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Thursday, June 24, 2021

PEW proposes independent food authority

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Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said an independent authority should be established with ultimate intervention powers to tackle repeated food crises and frequent price hikes. Toothless departments have not served any purpose since decades, it said.

Holding Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) responsible for failures would only make sense after giving them autonomy, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

TCP that is presently acting as a logistic company and a trading arm of the government which cannot take critical decisions. It should no more remain bound to follow specific directives of the ministries led by politicians who are driven by their own interests, he said.

A new independent authority or empowered TCP should have final say in assessment, policy planning and execution aimed at market stabilization, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal. Such an organization should have financial independence and authority to take punitive actions against those who hold back stocks; its chief should enjoy constitutional protection, he demanded.

The board of independent authority must comprise retired judges and honest bureaucrats from all provinces, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan. A powerful mafia of profiteers frequently buy whole stock of commodities imported to reduce prices. The consignments should be off loaded in small quantities at different cities to ensure mass benefit, he said.
Pak Economy Watch

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