The government of Gilgit-Baltistan has implemented a complete ban on the transportation of wheat outside the region.
This move is aimed at ensuring transparent distribution of wheat at subsidized rates to the local population and cracking down on wheat smuggling.
To enforce the ban and prevent illegal wheat shipments from Gilgit-Baltistan, police personnel at entry and exit points, including the Karakoram Highway, Babusar, and Ghizer Road, have been instructed to prepare for a major operation against smugglers by setting up checkpoints and inspecting vehicles. The police department is tasked with devising a comprehensive strategy to carry out this operation.
The food department has also been directed to collaborate with the district administration and police to take strict legal action against individuals involved in wheat smuggling. The food secretary has been tasked with preparing recommendations for targeted subsidies and equitable distribution of wheat.
The Gilgit-Baltistan government has urged the public to identify and report individuals engaged in illegal wheat supply and hoarding to prevent a wheat crisis in the region.
This ban on wheat transportation was implemented based on a decision made during a meeting of the Provincial Intelligence Committee (PIC) held on September 5, 2023. The government has instructed law enforcement agencies to monitor and inspect all entry points in Gilgit-Baltistan to enforce the ban effectively.
Earlier this year, the federal government had urged the Gilgit-Baltistan government to rationalize the cost of subsidized wheat for its citizens and charge market rates to affluent individuals to ensure sustainable wheat supply. Additional subsidies were provided to cover the supply cost of wheat during Ramadan, as the previous budget allocation had been exhausted due to rising prices and expensive imports.
The ban on wheat transportation and crackdown on smuggling are part of efforts to ensure fair access to subsidized wheat and combat illegal practices in the wheat supply chain.