LAHORE: In a bid to overcome the flour crisis, Chief Minister Parvez Elahi has issued directions for an increase in the wheat quota of flour mills, doubling the number of subsidised flour sale points. On the other hand, the food department has launched a crackdown on the millers misusing their wheat quota.

The CM’s directive to increase the release of wheat from the food department stores to 26,000 tonnes per day against the earlier quota of 21,000 tonnes per day came after reports that the price of flour from Chakkis shot up to Rs130 per kg in the province.

Mr Elahi said that at least 1.84m flour bags of 10kg each should be made available for the public at official rates of Rs650 per bag across the province, hoping that the measure would help bring down the flour and wheat prices in the open market.

Meanwhile, the food authorities launched a crackdown against the flour mill owners misappropriating the wheat being supplied by the government at subsidized rates in the province.

Food dept suspends licences of 80 flour mills for misappropriating wheat quota

Food Secretary Nadir Chattha said, in a statement on Sunday, that licences of 80 mills had been suspended for discontinuing flour supply to the market despite receiving their quota of wheat from the government. He said the wheat quota of hundreds of mills was suspended because they were selling flour prepared from the quota wheat at the rates higher than those prescribed by the government. He added that 35 flour millers were booked for misappropriating their wheat quotas.

JI CHIEF: Jamaat-e-Islami emir Sirajul Haq has said that the world is celebrating the New Year, while Pakistanis are crying standing in queues for seeking flour.

Speaking at a function here on Sunday, he said that businessmen were worried, every fifth Pakistani was depressed due to poverty and inflation, as none from Chitral to Karachi could be seen having a smile on one’s face because of wrong policies of the government and plunder of the national wealth by the elite.

He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, former president Asif Zardari and ex prime minister Imran Khan were more dangerous than nuclear bombs for the country.

He said that Lahore has become the dirtiest town of the world and letters of credit were not being opened by the banks to importers of raw material due to which all, particularly those associated with the poultry business, were crying.

Criticizing Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, he said that the minister had promised to bring the exchange rate of dollar under Rs200 but instead the greenback was appreciating against rupee.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2023

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