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Fed govt warned of flour crisis ahead over new wheat policy

Fed govt warned of flour crisis ahead over new wheat policy

LAHORE: Flour Mills Association on Wednesday rejected new wheat release policy announced by the federal government and said that it would cause a flour crisis in the country.

Chairman Flour Mills Association Asim Raza Ahmad said that they have set June 27 as a deadline to the government to bring a uniform policy over wheat supply to the mills.

The Punjab food department has decided to release wheat from government godowns in five districts, he said adding that mills in other 31 districts of the Punjab province had to purchase it on higher rates from the open market.

“The government will release wheat at the rate of Rs 1600 per 40 kilograms, in contrast of wheat available in the open market at the rate of Rs 2000 per 40 kilograms,” the chairman said.

It is pertinent to mention here that Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting headed by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Monday approved measures to lower wheat and flour prices in the country.

The private sector was allowed to import wheat, without setting any limit on the quantity, to ensure lower prices, said a handout issued after the ECC meeting.

The provincial governments would also be asked to immediately announce a policy on releasing their wheat stocks to flour mills. “The Punjab government will be releasing 900,000 tonnes of wheat to the flour mills within the next two weeks,” it said adding that the PASCO would also determine the wheat requirements of KP and Balochistan provinces.

Steps will also be taken to facilitate the transfer of wheat stocks from Punjab to the KP and Balochistan provinces, the ECC handout read while announcing the decisions taken during the meeting.