HARIPUR: Biscuit industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is on the verge of collapse due to Punjab’s ban on flour supply, chairman of the Haripur Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tayyab Khan Swati on Saturday.
Accompanied by members of the HCCI executive council Dr Chan Mubarak Hazarvi and Ahmed Jan Sikandar, Mr Swati told reporters here that the province’s biscuit industry halved production and laid off most of its workforce.
“Since the Punjab government banned the movement of fine flour out of the province a few months ago, five biscuit factories in the Hattar Industrial Estate have been struggling to continue production. The future of their 11,000 workers, both men and women, hangs in the balance,” he said.
The HCCI chief warned that if flour supply didn’t improve, biscuit production would stop leading to massive layoffs and in that case, the government would lose revenue massively.
He said biscuit factories got “smuggled” maida at an inflated rate that would drive biscuit prices up.
Mr Swati said uncertain circumstances threatened industrial units in the province.
Haripur chamber resents Punjab ban on flour supply
Meanwhile, an HCCI delegation comprising executive council members Dr Chan Mubarak Hazarvi, Syed Ahmed Jan Sikandar, Saeed Abbas, Jawad Tariq and Zainul Abideen called on commissioner of Hazara division Shaukat Yusufzai in his office.
The visitors apprised the commissioner of maida shortage, import-related problems and uncertain future.
They requested the commissioner to approach federal authorities for fixing flour quota for biscuit factories in the Hattar Industrial Estate to ensure their continued production and prevent layoffs.
The commissioner assured them that he would make every effort to ensure smooth flour supply to the industries.
Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2023
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