Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday urged the Central government to take an early call on allowing export of wheat to Pakistan and common wealth of independent states (CIS) countries through Attari integrated check post (ICP) to facilitate farmers get remunerative prices for their agriculture produce.
Badal said that empowered group of minister (EGOM) meeting on Wednesday to take a decision on allowing the export of sugar and cotton should also contemplate exporting wheat since Punjab and other wheat-producing states were set to witness record production of the crop this season.
He stated that Punjab was facing peculiar crises on storage of wheat procured from farmers as the Centre had failed to activate railways to move last season's paddy stock from the warehouses in Punjab to other states.
Punjab mandis were facing a wheat glut as it hoped to cross the target of 115 lakh tonnes of procurement this year.
Making an impassioned appeal to the central government to make optimum utilisation of ICP recently inaugurated by Union home minister P Chidambaram, the deputy chief minister said the export of wheat to Pakistan and CIS countries could solve the twin problem of storage and extra production, besides ensuring remunerative price to hardworking farmers of the country.
"If we can allow the export of sugar and cotton to other countries, why can't the Union government take bold step of allowing wheat export through the land route," he added.
Seeking an early and positive decision on this issue, Badal said this move besides improving trade ties with Pakistan would open new vistas of growth of the country.