RAWALPINDI: Private mill owners have increased the price of wheat flour to Rs150 per kg.

Even though, a 20-kg official wheat flour bag is available at Rs1,280, people prefer wheat from mills due to the quality of the former being low. While the price of a 20-kg wheat flour bag is between Rs2,400 to Rs2,600, a 15-kg bag of flour is available for Rs1,950.

Apart from Rawalpindi city, Cantonment and adjoining areas, the situation has reportedly become alarming in all tehsils of Murree and Rawalpindi. However, officials from the Food Department Rawalpindi claim that bags of flour are available in abundance in all grocery stores and with street vendors.

In the last year, the district administration registered more than 100 small flour mills in the district to release official wheat and in return it was to sell wheat flour at a lesser price.

Flour Mill Dealers Association President Zahoor Bhatti told Dawn that the price of wheat flour and fine flour (maida) increased due to the indifferent attitude of the food department and district administration.

He said that more than 1,000 flour mills in the province received wheat quota from the Punjab government while it sold a wheat flour bag measuring 100 kgs at Rs10,800 and an 80-kg bag of maida at Rs5,700.

He said that flour mills extract maida and semolina from wheat and sell it at a high price. He said that the food department did not monitor flour mills.

A spokesman of the district administration said that flour is available in large quantities at all grocery stores, including flour trucking points across the district, and there is no complaint of shortage or crisis in any area.

Smuggling of flour is being prevented at check posts at seven different places under the management of the Food Department, where hundreds of bags of flour are recovered daily and cases are filed against smugglers.

Published in Dawn, january 2th, 2023

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