Wheat flour price to drop to Rs43 a kilo within a week, says Sindh minister

Published December 15, 2019
The wheat being procured from Passco was being supplied to flour mills at subsidised rate with 50 per cent cost shared by federal and provincial governments, but they were not passing on the benefit to consumers. — AFP/File
The wheat being procured from Passco was being supplied to flour mills at subsidised rate with 50 per cent cost shared by federal and provincial governments, but they were not passing on the benefit to consumers. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Food Hari Ram Kishori Lal has hinted at drop in wheat flour price by Rs3 per kg to Rs43 a kilo within a week in the wake of Sindh Food Department’s signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) for the procurement of 300,000 tonnes of the grain.

The department had earlier received 100,000 tonnes wheat from Passco which was at present being supplied to flour mills. Passco general manager retired Colonel Tanveer Ahmed Meo and additional director of food Khalid Qaimkhani signed the MoU.

Lal said the food department had fixed the price of flour at Rs43 per kg in agreement with Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA), Sindh zone. The flour was currently being sold at Rs46 per kg but it would drop to Rs43 a kilo within a week, he said.

The province, he said, had 800,000 tonnes of wheat stocks in its godowns, which were sufficient for its needs and could last till the harvest of next crop; that was why the government did not procure wheat last year from growers.

The wheat being procured from Passco was being supplied to flour mills at subsidised rate with 50 per cent cost shared by federal and provincial governments, but they were not passing on the benefit to consumers, he said.

He warned that strict action would be taken against the flour mills and retailers who were overcharging people.

According to a handout issued by Sindh information department, the Passco GM said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been supplied 450,000 tonnes, Sindh 100,000 tonnes and Balochistan had been provided 50,000 tonnes on demand.

He hoped the MoU between Passco and Sindh food department for additional 300,000 tonnes would provide relief to general public.

Sindh zone PFMA chairman Khalid Masood said the mills would try to ensure sale of subsidised flour at weekly bazaars as well. The mills had got 137,000 tonnes of wheat in November while the allocation for December was 92,000 tonnes, he said.

He said the price of wheat in open market hovered around Rs4,600-4,650 per 100kg bag while the food department was providing wheat at Rs3,450 per 100kg.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2019

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