Punjab has sufficient wheat stocks
LAHORE: After rumours that country may fall short of flour, the Punjab government has declared that commodity is abundantly available in the provincial and its prices are stable.
The Punjab government on Monday had accorded an approval to increase the flour price by Rs25 per 20kg bag to Rs665 in the retail market. The recent increase in price had been made following the enhancement in wheat release price by Rs50 per 40 kg by the Punjab Food Department.
However, the traders and flour millers claim that the price of wheat flour registered a significant increase of Rs7 per kg and Rs110 per 20-kilogram bag across the country owing to the provincial government step to fix the wheat quota for flour mills and put ban on open market trade. They said that flour price has reached Rs37 per kg in Lahore, Rs38 per kg in Peshawar and Rs40 per kg in Quetta while it is touching Rs45 per kg in Karachi. There are reports that flour is not available at most of the utility stores across the country.
But the Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister on Food Mansha Ullah Butt said on Tuesday that flour was abundantly available throughout the province and the prices were stable.
He presided over a meeting to review the flour situation in the province. Secretary Food, Director Food and Deputy Directors Food of all the Divisions were present on the occasion. The special Assistant was briefed that Punjab Food Department had sufficient wheat stocks of 2.6 million metric ton and these were being distributed to the flour mills of the province in a transparent manner.
Mansha Ullah Butt was informed that after the recent increase in the issuance price of wheat from Rs1075 per 40 kg to Rs1125 per 40 kg, the increase in the retail prices of flour would be proportionate to the price of wheat. Mansha Ullah reiterated Punjab government’s commitment to food security in the province and expressed his belief that the Food Department would ensure maximum availability of flour and stability of prices.