KARACHI, Oct 18: Sindh Food Minister Mir Nadir Ali Khan Magsi has accepted the demand of flour mills regarding liberal quota of wheat procurement from Food Department by the mills besides ensuring superior quality of wheat.
After acceptance of demand, the Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Sindh Zone decided to call off the strike which was planned from Friday to protest against low supplies of wheat and its inferior quality.
PFMA Sindh Zone Chairman Mumtaz Shaikh told Dawn on Thursday that he along with other members met the minister who assured enhanced supplies of wheat to the flour as per their demand in order to bring down flour prices.
“The supply of wheat from the Food Department will increase to 200,000 tons per month for mills in Sindh from the current 100,000 tons per month,” he said, adding that improved supply would also definitely result in decline in prices of wheat flour.
He claimed that wheat rate in open market fell to below Rs3,000 per 100 kg bag on Thursday evening after the meeting with Food Minister after hitting Rs3,050-3,100 per 100 kg bag on Wednesday.
Mumtaz said that millers had started getting challans from the Food Department for lifting of wheat and hopefully consumers may witness price cut from next week.
Besides, the PFMA also raised the issue regarding high issue price fixed by the Sindh government at Rs2,850 per 100 kg as compared to Punjab’s Rs2,800. He said that after taking out expenses the Sindh government’s wheat will cost Rs2,900 per 100 kg.
“We have asked the minister to bring down the issue price to Rs2,750 from Rs2,850,” PFMA chief said adding that the Nadir Magsi had assured millers for moving a summary to the Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah on issue price. Hopefully, the CM will take up the matter after Eidul Azha, he added.
When asked about rising wheat flour prices for the last two to three months amid good wheat crop, he said consumers will now see drop in prices after arrival of new crop.
“The price of wheat flour may plunge by Re1 to Rs1.5 per kg next week depending on liberal supply of wheat from Sindh government as per desire of the mills,” he hoped. Currently the 10-kg wheat flour bag produced by the mills is available at Rs345.
Sindh has stocks of 1.2 million tons of wheat and in case 160 mills consume 200,000 tons of wheat per month then the government stocks will be enough before the arrival of new wheat crop in March, PFMA chief said.