Chief Minister Punjab chaired a meeting in Lahore to take further steps for overcoming flour crises in province. At the initial step, sale points of wheat will be increased and 1.8 million flour bags are distributed to markets at official rates for customers.
He said that 26,000 tons of wheat will be released to flour mills tomorrow. A 15 kg bag of flour will be available to public for Rs. 2250. An ex-mill red flour bag will be sold for Rs. 11,650 and flour bag will be for Rs. 13,000. The Pakistan flour mills association (PFMA) said that the wheat percentage available in mills is quite low that’s why it is sold at Rs. 5400 in market.
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Rise in prices
The city naan association warned that they are forced to increase the prices of roti on high rate if the prices were not brought low again. The former PFMA head told that the amount of grain in market is low while the demand is high. Government should increase the amount of wheat production according to population increase and create a balance between supply and demand of wheat and flour.
He told that government had delayed the import of wheat despite knowing the upcoming of flour shortage in market. In addition, the black marketing and smuggling of wheat flour is also responsible for wheat shortage. Government should take steps against black markets and shopkeepers who store wheat flour to increase prices.
During the previous year Pakistan imported a good amount of wheat easily but because of Russia-Ukraine war, import of wheat is also facing challenges. The supply line of wheat import is disturbed because of conflicting situation between Russia and Ukraine.
Another factor responsible for this shortage is that government is not allowing the private sector to import any wheat. Private sector mills of Pakistan are far more efficient than government sector. Government should allow private sector to import wheat to deal with crises.