Food de­part­ment halts wheat sup­ply to flour Mills

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

RAWALPINDI—The Pun­jab Food De­part­ment has or­dered to halt the sup­ply of wheat to the flour mills from govern­ment share com­pelling them to pur­chase wheat from pri­vate wheat traders on ex­ces­sive rates. This costly pur­chase of the raw ma­te­rial has in­flated the price of flour in the mar­kets. The district au­thor­i­ties re­main ir­re­spon­sive on this mat­ter while the shop­keep­ers sus­pect cri­sis of flour sup­ply. A spe­cific share of wheat is al­lot­ted to the pri­vate flour mills by the food de­part­ment which en­ables them to sup­ply flour to the mer­chants of the local mar­ket at the rates im­posed by the govern­ment.

The sus­pen­sion of wheat sup­ply from the food de­part­ment to 57 pri­vate flour mills has com­pelled them to buy wheat from the local wheat traders on ex­ces­sive rates in or­der to man­u­fac­ture flour. This flour is sold to the flour mer­chants on ex­tra charges who are selling the flour to the con­sumers af­ter adding an ad­di­tional sum in the cost. The govern­ment had im­posed the price of flour as Rs. 40 per kg whereas the shop­keep­ers in dif­fer­ent ar­eas have in­serted ex­tra Rs. 8 to Rs. 10 in the govern­ment rates. The govern­ment had im­posed the price of a 20 kg flour bag for Rs. 770 which is be­ing sold for Rs. 830 by the shop­keep­ers with a miss­ing amount of flour weigh­ing half kg up to 1 kg.

Ac­cord­ing to flour mills if wheat is not pro­vided in time a cri­sis of flour is sus­pected be­fore the ar­rival of the holy month of Ra­madan. District Food Con­troller, Me­har Ijaz Siyal, has said that the sup­ply of wheat to pri­vate flour mills has been sus­pended be­cause the govern­ment is pur­chas­ing wheat. He also stated that the flour mills have not mounted the prices of the flour sup­plied to the local traders how­ever the district au­thor­i­ties would take ac­tion against the shop­keep­ers selling flour on ex­ces­sive rates.

Mean­while ac­cord­ing to farm­ers of Rawalpindi di­vi­sion,there has been sur­plus wheat pro­duc­tion in the barani ar­eas due to good rains dur­ing the win­ter. They said flour mills and other traders were pur­chas­ing wheat from them lower than the sup­port price fixed by the govern­ment.—Agen­cies

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