QUETTA: Balochistan Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has taken serious notice of the ongoing wheat flour crisis in the province and directed the authorities concerned to take strict action against those found responsible for it.
The chief minister on Monday directed all commissioners, deputy commissioners and the authorities of the food department to take immediate steps for ensuring availability of flour at government rates.
He said smooth supply of flour was the responsibility of his government and no negligence would be tolerated in this regard.
Mr Alyani ordered a crackdown against wheat and flour hoarders. “Strict measures should be taken against those elements who are involved in flour and wheat smuggling through Iran and Afghan borders,” he said. He directed the food department to submit a report about stocks of wheat and flour in government warehouses.
The chief minister ordered the food department to ensure supply of wheat to flour mills without delay.
Sources in the food department said that government warehouses had no stock as wheat was not procured from Nasirabad division and other areas for the past two years.
“On paper, there is a big stock of wheat available with the food department but there is nothing in government warehouses,” an official of the department said on the condition of anonymity.
The flour crisis aggravated in Balochistan as the federal government has not provided share of wheat to the province. However, provincial Food Minister Abdul Rehman Khetiran has denied flour crisis in Balochistan and said the issue would be resolved as fresh stock of wheat would reach Quetta in 10 days.
Flour mill owners were asking the provincial authorities to allow them to bring wheat from Punjab to supply flour in Balochistan.
Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2020