Rs680m subsidy announced: Millers agree to cut wheat flour price
KARACHI, Jan 16: In a move aimed at curbing flour price hike, the Sindh government on Wednesday decided to provide Rs680 million subsidy on wheat to bring millers round to reduce the ex-mill price of wheat flour across the province.
Following the decision announced by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Pakistan Flour Mills Association chairman and food secretary in a joint press conference said that the flour mills across the province agreed to sell wheat flour at the ex-mill rate of Rs33 a kilo after a detailed deliberation on the issue.
A meeting was held at the CM House on Wednesday to consider the trend of increasing wheat flour price in the province.
The chief minister, who presided over the meeting, said the Sindh government would provide Rs680 million subsidy on wheat for a couple of months to ensure availability of wheat flour at a reasonable rate in the province. However, he warned that severe action would be initiated against those found involved in profiteering, hoarding or illegal export of subsidised wheat.
Mr Shah said the food department would provide wheat to flour mills on a subsidised rate and ensure that retail price of wheat flour remain Rs34.50 a kilo and the ex-mill price Rs33.
He issued directives to the officials concerned that they must ensure availability of wheat flour in the market at the controlled price. He asked the commissioners to constitute special magisterial teams in this regard. He said the teams be tasked with keeping constant vigilance on supply of wheat flour to people on the fixed price and the traders found fleecing consumers be taken to task.
Sindh Food Minister Mir Nadir Ali Magsi, Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Raja Mohammad Abbas Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Arif Ahmed Khan and other officials attended the meeting.
Earlier, Food Secretary Aftab Ahmed Memon informed the meeting that a total stock of 6,80,239 tonnes of wheat was available with the food department. Giving an area-wise position, he said that 73,507 tonnes of wheat was available in the Karachi region, 95,977 tonnes in Hyderabad, 352,123 tonnes in Sukkur, 78,097 tonnes in Mirpurkhas and 80,534 tonnes in the Larkana region.
He informed the meeting that last month the price of a 100-kilo bag of wheat in the open market was between Rs3,100 and Rs3,150 against the price of Rs2,800 fixed by the government. Currently, he added, the price of a 100-kilo bag of wheat was between Rs3,160 and Rs3,480 in open market.
Joint press conference
Later, speaking at a joint press conference at the Sindh Secretariat, Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Chairman Chaudhry Ansar Jawed and Food Secretary Aftab Ahmed Memon announced that the flour mills across the province had agreed to sell flour at the rate of ex-mill price of Rs33 a kilo, adds PPI.
They said that on a demand of the PFMA, a meeting was convened to review the ex-mill price. After a detailed deliberation, the participants in the meeting decided to fix the ex-mill price of flour at Rs33 a kilo, they said, adding that flour at this rate would be available at all weekly bachat bazaars and mill fair shops.
In order to fulfil wheat requirements of the mills, the monthly wheat quota of 75 flour mills in Karachi has been increased from 12,000 bags a month to 15,000 bags, while the monthly quota of 18 flour mills in Hyderabad has been increased from 8,000 to 9,000 bags, according to them. Similarly, they said, the quota had been increased from 8,000 to 9,000 bags for 13 mills in Mirpurkhas and Larkana each and for 50 flour mills in Sukkur.