LAHORE: The prices of wheat and flour saw a reverse in their rising trend on Tuesday following reports of an increase in the grain quota of all the flour mills in the province by the government.

The government also announced strict monitoring of the movement of flour and other wheat products from the mills gates up to the wholesale dealers and retailers to check artificial hoarding of the products that had led to an abrupt hike in their prices in the open market.

The rate of wheat fell from Rs5,400 per maund to Rs4,200 per maund in Lahore and Rs4,300 in other markets of the province, as the food department announced increase in the quota of wheat for the flour mills from 21,000 tonnes to 26,000 tonnes per day on the directions of the chief minister.

A wheat trader said the crop rate dropped to Rs4,200 per maund from Rs5,400 per maund in the provincial capital, while in Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur and other major flour consumption centres it is Rs4,300.

The food department officials say that prices of flour, its fine quality and other byproducts will also begin a downward slide within a day or two with the increase in flour supply from the mills as well as because of a crackdown they are launching on artificial hoarding in the province.

In certain districts, including Lahore, the administration has already deputed revenue department officials at flour mills’ gates to monitor the grinding of wheat and supply of its products to wholesalers and then onwards to retailers.

Muhammad Ajmal, a flour retailer, says they are still facing problems in getting supplies of subsidised flour bags of 10 kilogrammes that are in high demand because of the difference in prices as compared to open market rates.

Each 10kg flour bag is being sold at Rs650, while in the open market it the rate ranges between Rs1,250 and Rs1,300 per bag.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2023

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