Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday ordered the suspension of four senior officers of the Ministry of National Food Security for “poor planning and negligence” regarding the wheat scandal.

Interestingly, no action has been taken against the previous caretaker setup or its key officials under whom the wheat scandal took place originally.

Earlier, PM Shehbaz had given Secretary Cabinet Division Kamran Ali Afzal the task of investigating the import of wheat last year despite a “bumper crop”, which has led to excess wheat stock leaving Balochistan and Punjab governments unable to purchase the crop from the farmers.

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The stock surplus has, so far, been attributed to the decision of the caretaker government — led by former caretaker prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar — allowing the import of 2,758,226 226 metric tonnes of wheat worth Rs225.783 billion till February 2024.

Geo News reported that the Ministry of National Food Security had apprised PM Shehbaz’s cabinet that 28.18 million tonnes of wheat was produced last year and the caretaker government decided to import 2.45 million tonnes more.

The government allowed for relevant action to be taken against federal Secretary of National Food Security Muhammad Asif and also ordered the suspension of former Director General Plant Protection AD Abid, Food Security Commissioner Dr Wasim and Director Sohail and Punjab Director of Food Security Imtiaz Gopang.