KARACHI: Flour millers have further raised the price of flour No 2.5, fine and super fine flour by Rs1.50 to Rs3 per kg.

After the increase of Rs1.50 per kg, the new price of flour No 2.5 is fixed at Rs58 per kg while fine and super fine flour rates have been raised by Rs3 per kg to Rs62 per kg.

The new price of 10kg flour bag produced by the mills is Rs585 as compared to Rs570.

The increase in price of flour in Karachi is shocking as flour millers along with Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Food Minister Hari Ram Kishori Lal and Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani on Thursday at a press conference had blamed Punjab for higher flour prices than Sindh.

Representatives of the Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA), Sindh Zone, kept praising the Sindh government on wheat policy and termed it better than Punjab.

However, they did not raise the old issues of increasing wheat prices to over Rs5,200 per 100kg bag from Rs3,500 in April in the open market on account of non-release of trucks arriving from the interior of Sindh to Karachi by the food department officials and smuggling of wheat from Sindh to Balochistan and Punjab.

Flour millers have been urging the Sindh government to fix the price of wheat for millers and start releasing wheat for August and September, but the provincial government is not ready to release the grain before September.

The Sindh government ministers had largely ignored massive price hike of Rs22.50 per kg in flour No 2.5 by the flour millers in April till to date while on the other hand, millers and the Sindh government officials were seen praising each other at Thursday’s press conference.

A day after the press conference, PFMA Sindh Zone chairman Khalid Masood wrote a letter to the Sindh food minister on Friday terming wheat and flour situation ‘alarming’, saying it would be difficult to control flour prices by the mills of Karachi and Hyderabad amid high wheat prices in the open market.

He said the present situation may become normal after August 25 when imported wheat in good quantity is expected to arrive in Karachi.

He said 650,000 wheat bags are lying at the government’s warehouses in Karachi which is quite insufficient to meet the wheat requirement of flour mills in the metropolis.

In the past two days, 100kg wheat price has reached Rs5,225 from Rs4,900.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020

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