RAWALPINDI: Nanbais (bakers) on Monday staged a protest over escalating prices of wheat flour and its shortage and warned that they will increase prices of roti if their demands were not accepted.

The protesters demanded the government to bring down flour prices and ensure its supply to nanbais.

All Pakistan Nanbai Association President Shafiq Qureshi was leading the protest that continued for more than an hour outside the Rawalpindi Press Club.

The protesters said if roti price was not increased by the district administration, they would be left with no option but to close down their shops for indefinite period.

Mr Qureshi said the strike was also being observed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. All associations of the country will meet on Thursday to finalise future strategy, he added.

He said during the last three months the price of fine flour had been increased to Rs1,800. The protesters later dispersed peacefully.

Deputy Commissioner Saifullah Dogar said in a video message that there was no shortage of wheat flour in Rawalpindi district as check points had been established to monitor its transportation to other districts.

He said the district administration was closely watching the prices of roti and taking all possible measures to ensure the supply of wheat flour.

Mr Dogar said 39 truck points had been established in different areas of Rawalpindi district where flour was being sold at Rs805 per 20kg. Besides, 110 fare price shops have been established where 20kg bag is being sold at Rs 800.

He said Rawalpindi had been getting a quota of 30 bags per mill, which had been increased to 35 bags.

He said an awareness campaign had been started to guide them on availability of wheat flour.

Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2020