Naanbais observe ‘partial strike’ amid more arrests

Published April 19, 2024
A Naanbai in Rawalpindi sifts through his mobile phone outside his Tandoor which has been closed due to shutterdown by Muttahida Naanbai Association of Punjab on Thursday. — Online
A Naanbai in Rawalpindi sifts through his mobile phone outside his Tandoor which has been closed due to shutterdown by Muttahida Naanbai Association of Punjab on Thursday. — Online

| Naanbais say strike to continue today as well
| 16 arrested over non-compliance with notified rates

RAWALPINDI: The district administration on Thursday arrested 16 naanbais for not complying with new rates of Roti and Naan as tandoors across the garrison city observed a partial strike against the government’s move to reduce the prices of Roti.

The strike was observed on the call of the All Pakistan Naan-bai Association and is likely to continue today as well. On the other hand, the district administration warned they would seal the shops if the tandoors remained closed on Friday and the new price list was not followed.

Last week, the Punjab government reduced the price of Roti from Rs20 to Rs16 while the price of Naan was reduced from Rs25 to Rs20 in the province. However, the move was rejected by the naan-bai association which said the decision was taken by the government without consultations with the stakeholders.

The refusal of the tandoor owners to follow the government prices was met with high-handedness. The president of the naan-bai association was detained under the MPO and many naan-bais were arrested for violating the notification. Fines were also imposed.

According to a report submitted to the Punjab government on Thursday, the district administration teams visited different bazaars and markets and imposed fines to the tune of Rs243,500 on 59 tandoors and arrested 16 violators. The administration warned the price magistrates that negligence would not be tolerated in the implementation of the new price for Roti.

Meanwhile, All Pakistan Naan-bai Association General Secretary Khursheed Qureshi told Dawn the tandoors remained closed on Thursday as they refused to accept the new price list issued by the Punjab government.

“The district administration must release the association president Shafique Qureshi who was detained under MPO four days ago. It is not possible for tandoors to sell Roti at Rs16 as the production cost is more than Rs18; how is it possible to sell Roti for Rs16,” he said.

He said that the price of flour, natural gas, and LPG has increased, adding that the tandoors run on natural gas had a much higher cost. “The price of wheat flour has reduced, but not so much that we reduce the price of Roti,” he said. In many areas of the garrison city, tandoors remained closed during the day. “We brought roti from home as the tandoor owners informed us that they will not open their shops on Thursday,” said Muhammad Rafique, a shopkeeper in Chaklala Scheme-III.

Intikhab Khan, who runs a tandoor on Bostan Khan Road, said his shop was closed on the call of the naan-bai association. He said that tandoors would remain closed till their demands were met. On the other hand, the district administration remained active in the garrison city and imposed fines on those who failed to implement the new price of Roti.

A senior official said the district administration warned the naanbais that their shops would be sealed if they failed to open them on Friday and did not follow the new list. He said that the roti price would be implemented in the district within a day or two and people would get Roti at the notified rate. He claimed that the price of wheat flour had reduced and the cost of Roti was less than Rs13.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...
Afghan puzzle
Updated 28 May, 2024

Afghan puzzle

Unless these elements are neutralised, it will not be possible to have the upper hand over terrorist groups.
Attacking minorities
28 May, 2024

Attacking minorities

Mobs turn into executioners due to the authorities’ helplessness before these elements.
Persistent scourge
Updated 29 May, 2024

Persistent scourge

THE challenge of polio in Pakistan has reached a new nadir, drawing grave concerns from the Technical Advisory Group...