KARACHI, Jan 9: As consumers continue to pay high price for flour, millers have sought 44,000 tonnes per month of more wheat supply from the Sindh food department to normalise the flour price.

The flour millers held a meeting with food secretary Aftab Memon and food director Talib Magsi on Wednesday for allocation of wheat stocks to the mills in the province.

Chairman of the Pakistan Flour Mills Association (Sindh zone) Chaudhry Ansar Jawed told Dawn that a joint proposal was being moved by the food department and the millers to the food minister for higher allocation of wheat to the mills from the current supply of 166,000 tonnes for mills in Sindh.

The meeting also discussed that additional wheat supply would be sufficient to keep the mills running till the end of March or early-April when new wheat crop would arrive.

He said that Sindh was holding 600,000-700,000 tonnes of wheat.

He said that flour prices would come down only if the government maintained higher supply of wheat to every mill.

He said that that Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation (Passco) had been holding back two million tonnes of wheat.

The flour price could further come down if the government provided two million tonnes of Passco wheat to every flour mill of the country. Besides, the federal government should also impose a ban on wheat export, he added.

However, a food department official said that the government would not let the mills go dry of wheat in the coming months.

He added that he could not confirm the actual allocation of wheat supply to the mills, but there would definitely be an improvement from the current supply of 166,000 tonnes of wheat per month.

He also hinted reassessment of Rs32 per kg (ex-mills) rate of flour announced by the food department on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, retailers in various areas said that consumers were now paying around Rs4 to Rs6 per kg more in various varieties of flour as compared to the prices prevailing last month.

The price of chakki flour is quoted at Rs44-46 per kg as compared to Rs38-40 per kg followed by fine flour price of Rs42-45 per kg as compared to Rs38-40 per kg. Flour No 2.5 now sells at Rs42 as compared to Rs38 per kg last month.

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