HARIPUR: The local flour mills have not been getting the daily wheat quota for the last few days owing to shortage of the commodity in the government godowns in the district, according to sources.

They said that the district food office exhausted the wheat stock three days ago due to which the flour mills were not getting their daily quota. They feared that shortage of wheat would make the consumers fully depend on costly flour being supplied from the open market.

However, the officials blamed the allocation of insufficient wheat quota by the provincial government for Haripur for shortage the commodity in the official godowns.

According to millers and the grocery store owners, the local food godowns exhausted the wheat quota three days ago due to which none of the 10 flour mills was supplied with daily wheat quota, leaving the local consumers at the mercy of open market.

“I have not been supplied with a daily quota of wheat for the last four days. Every time the food officials say that the wheat stock has depleted and the new consignment from Passco is on the way,” said the owner of local mills, requesting anonymity.

He also questioned the monitoring mechanism of supply of wheat and marketing of flour in the district on a daily basis. He said that owing to lack of check and balance, some influential millers violated the set rules.

He feared that if the situation remained the same for next few days, the consumers would be unable to get flour at controlled rate.

He said that the consumers would be left with the only option to buy flour in the open market at a higher rate.

The miller said that the controlled rate of 20-kilogram bag of fine quality flour was Rs980 while the commodity was sold at Rs2,070 in the open market.

“The consumers would be at receiving end if the situation remains unchanged for another couple of days,” said Haji Farhat Nawaz, former general secretary of All Traders Association Haripur.

He said that some of local millers had stock of wheat from their local purchase but that would prove insufficient if the supply of wheat to government food godowns remained suspended.

The district food controller, Shahwaz Tariq, when contacted, said that it was a temporary shortage as the new contractor for transportation of wheat was engaged and would start supplying wheat to the godowns from next day.

He said that there would be no shortage of wheat flour in the district as the shortfall between the supply of quota to local millers and marketing of flour would be covered through the open market. “Haripur has 10 flour mills and the provincial government has fixed a daily quota of 82 tonnes of wheat for the district,” he added.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2022

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