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Millers body raises alarm over looming flour crisis

January 03, 2013

KARACHI, Jan 3: Demanding an immediate ban on inter-provincial movement of wheat, the Pakistan Flour Mills Association has warned that Sindh will face a wheat flour crisis in the next couple of days as the government is issuing wheat to traders and exporters instead of the millers.

Speaking at a press conference in the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday, PFMA vice chairman Mohammad Ilyas Kapadia said Sindh had a good crop of wheat this season and the government provided cheap flour to the citizens and the price of wheat flour remained stable.

He said traders and exporters were selling wheat from Rs3,300 to Rs3,400 per bag to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through the black market. He said the price of wheat in Sindh was Rs2,800 a bag. He said each flour mill of Sindh needed 1,200 bags for crushing daily, but the government was issuing them only 300 bags.

He said exporters and traders had taken special permission from the Sindh chief minister to sell wheat outside the province due to which a critical condition of shortage of flour in the next few days would emerge in Sindh.

He demanded that the government announce a liberal policy for distribution of wheat to millers in Sindh from Karachi to Kashmore. He said if the government could give wheat to traders and exporters, why it could not increase the number of bags to the flour mills.

Mr Kapadia demanded that the government ban inter-provincial movement of wheat. He said Karachi was facing a critical shortage of wheat so the government should allow transporting wheat from the interior of Sindh to Karachi.

Chaudhry Ansar Javed, ex-chairman of the Pakistan Flour Mills Association, Mian Mahmoodul Hassan, Haji Muhammad Yousuf and Saleem Peyara Ali were also present.—PPI