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SAHIWAL, April 17: District Food Department officials denied receiving imported wheat from Punjab Food department, saying they have enough stocks to meet the requirement.

Official sources told Dawn wheat had been cultivated on 381,465 acres in the district and the total expected production would be around 505,060 tons.

“Food department will procure 160,000 tons of wheat out of the total production and we are sure to achieve the target. This will enable us to meet the requirement of other districts as well if need arises,” Muhammad Ibrahim, District Food Officer, told this correspondent.

“Last year we procured 136,492 tons of wheat, out of which 103,374 tons have been supplied to Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Lahore division as there was a shortage,” he said.

Commenting on abolishing flour mills’ wheat quota by the Punjab government, he said under the new rules the mills’ owners were asked to buy the commodity from open market. “This will also lessen our burden, as earlier we had to provide allocated quota to nine floor mills operating in the district,” he added.

“40 bags of 100Kg wheat are provided daily against one roller body and a total of 69 such grinders are operating in the nine floor mills of the district," he added.

“We have total 16 storage centers (godowns) in Sahiwal, out of them 12 covered, having a capacity to store 88,300 tons, while four are flag centers (uncovered) having a capacity of storing 71,700 tons,” he said.

Lauding the new arrangement of keeping 72-hour wheat stock in floor mills, he said: “We are sure the district wont face any shortage under the new arrangement.”

Haji Muhammad Sajid, District Floor Mills Association president, said: “We urge government to ban feed mills’ purchase of wheat during the harvesting period as humans must be preferred to animals." This, he hoped, would further help resolve wheat shortage issue.

DOCTORATE: Mustafa Khokkar, assistant professor (Punjabi), at the Govt College Sahiwal, has been recommended for the Phd degree by Dr Zafer Iqbal, chairman, Dean Committee, Bahauddin Zakriya University, Multan, Dawn learnt.

The Dean Committee meeting was held on last Tuesday.

Earlier, all the external and internal examiners have approved Prof Khokar’s thesis.

The topic of his thesis is ‘Punjabi sufeiyana shaairy mein alamati muqam’ (Symbolism in Punjabi Mystical Poetry).

Asif Tanveer, Ikhlaq Ahmed, Mirza Moeen, Amir Ghffar, along with other members of Itehad-i-Asatza, have congratulated him over the award of Phd degree.