Pakistan to import 2 million tons of wheat from Russia with cash payment

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Pakistan is set to import two million metric tons (MT) of wheat from Russia with cash payment amid ongoing sanctions against Moscow that have made trading difficult with Vladimir Putin’s government.

The decision was taken by a key economic committee which also scrapped additional tariffs on the import of edible oil to incentivize suppliers to speed up shipments next month, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

“The Economic Coordinating Committee (ECC) has authorized the import of two million metric tons of wheat on a government-to-government basis” from Russia, Pakistan’s finance ministry said.

Previously, the possibility of a barter trade with Russia was under consideration due to sanctions imposed by the West.

Although there are no sanctions on importing grain from Russia, the Pakistani government should, however, work out a mechanism to make the payments, according to the Tribune report.

The report comes as Pakistan grapples with food production levels below expectations. The country urgently needs to import essential food items, including edible oil, wheat, sugar, tea and pulses.

The wheat import decision was announced days after Pakistan said it was open to importing oil and foodstuffs from Russia.

Speaking at a press briefing, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar said this week that the country had an “open door policy” driven by the national interest to expand the economic and trade relations.

“Our policy is clear, you know in terms of expanding economic and trade relations, we have an open policy, guided by the national interest. Wherever we see there is a national advantage, we pursue these options and these avenues,” said Iftikhar, quoted by The Express Tribune newspaper.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson made the remarks while responding to a question about whether or not Pakistan was considering importing oil and food grains from Russia.

It comes as the government raised the prices of petroleum products by PKR 30 a litre, saying the decision had been taken to ensure the relaunch of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program and that they had no other choice.
Source: ANI

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