Pakistan’s Ministry of National Food Security and Research has sought a 50 percent regulatory duty on the import of wheat, in an effort to discourage purchase from overseas markets due to a surplus.
The proposal is awaiting final approval from the Economic Coordination Committee.
The previous 25 percent regulatory duty on wheat recently was raised to 40 percent.
Some provinces, such as Sindh, have been the victim of substandard wheat imports this year, despite the high-quality wheat produced in the country. Therefore, the provinces recommended the duty increase.
An official says prices on the international market are lower than Pakistan’s rates, and traders were importing wheat from other countries to sell it cheaper in the local market.
Because of the imports, “a huge quantity of surplus stock from the previous year is already stored in the country and another bumper crop has started hitting the market,” an official said.
The World Trade Organization forbids countries from banning the import of any commodity in an open competitive market, so the regulatory duty is the country’s only option to discourage imports.
Wheat surplus: Ministry seeks 50% regulatory duty on imports