RAWALPINDI: The prices of roti and naan were reduced by Rs2 in Rawalpindi on Tuesday.

The decision was taken at a meeting between naanbais (bread makers) and the Rawalpindi district administration.

Deputy Commissioner Chaudhry Mohammad Ali Randhawa, Sub-Registrar Iqbal Sangharia and Naanbais Association’s Shafique Qureshi and others attended the meeting.

Capital admin decides to hold talks with naanbais association

It was decided that the price of roti would be reduced from Rs10 to Rs8 and that of naan from Rs12 to Rs10. The new prices will be implemented in all tandoors of the district from Wednesday.

Bread makers increased the prices of roti and naan on Eidul Azha from Rs7 to Rs10 and Rs8 to Rs12, respectively.

During the meeting, the naanbais presented their problems and said millers had increased the price of wheat flour from Rs2,850 per 80 kg bag to Rs3,600 per 80 kg bag after the announcement of the federal budget 2019-20.

They said the natural gas tariff had also gone up, forcing the naanbais to increase the prices.

However, the deputy commissioner said the “Punjab Food Department has fixed the price of wheat at Rs1,375 per 40 kg and millers were bound to sell wheat flour at Rs808 per 20 kg bag.”

He said the price of natural gas had not been increased. The Food Department has issued a notification about the wheat flour prices to clear any confusion about it.

He said the government had issued directions to the district administration not to allow any bread maker and shopkeeper to increase prices of edibles and the administration would take stern action against the violators.

He said the district administration would impose heavy fines if the bread makers did not reduce the prices.

After a long discussion, the administration and the Naanbais Association agreed to reduce the prices. The local administration wanted to implement the decision immediately but the naanbais assured the officials that they would implement it by Wednesday morning.

After the meeting, Naanbais Association President Shafique Qureshi confirmed to Dawn that the prices of roti and naan would be Rs8 and Rs10.

However, he said the government had issued the price of red wheat flour and failed to reduce the price of fine wheat flour used in making naan.

He said the old price of roti was Rs7 and naan Rs8. If fine wheat flour is made available at the reduced rate, the price of naan will be brought back to the old rate of Rs8. He said the flour mills were responsible for the increase of roti prices last week.

When contacted, the sub-registrar said the deputy commissioner made it clear to the bread makers that the government would not tolerate overcharging as it had already fixed the price in consultation with the stakeholders but bread makers increased the prices.

He said the district administration had chalked out a plan to keep an eye on overcharging and in this regard it had formed teams in different areas and markets of the district.

Islamabad

After a notification was issued by the Punjab government reducing flour prices, the Islamabad district administration decided to hold another round of talks with the naanbais.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat told Dawn that teams had been formed to ensure old rates were restored and the enforcement would start soon.

Meanwhile, Chairman Market Committee Roshdil Khan Hoti said the notified rates of pateer roti and naan in Islamabad were Rs8 and Rs10 each while both had to weigh 120 grams. The official rate of kulcha is Rs12 and its weight has to be 130 grams.

“However, there is no official rate of paratha, roghani and other products sold by naanbais as these are not essential items,” Mr Hoti added.

The local administration has formed teams headed by its officers for different areas where the residents can lodge complaints against naanbais.

The ICT administration has also directed the assistant commissioners to furnish inspection reports on daily basis.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2019