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LAHORE: Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA-Punjab Zone) has warned of flour shortage during Eid holidays because of what they said forcible unloading of wheat procured by the flour mills by the federal procurement agency, despite having permits.

In a statement issued here Saturday, PFMA Punjab Chairman Asim Raza Ahmad alleged that wheat purchased by the flour mills is being forcibly unloaded in various districts of the province despite the clear cut orders of the Prime Minister that wheat procured under permits cannot be denied to the flour mills.

He claimed that wheat is being forcibly snatched by the Pakistan Agricultural Services & Supplies Corporation (PASSCO) in connivance with the district administration by impounding vehicles in Bahawalnagar, Hafizabad and some other areas. He demanded immediate return of the snatched wheat.

When contacted, PASSCO GM (Field) Muzahir Iqbal denied any such incident. However, he said that the food department had stopped issuing permits to flour mills in areas designated for buying by PASSCO as a result of a meeting between PASSCO and the Food department Punjab the other day.

To a query, he said that the Corporation has till date purchased 650,000 metric tons of wheat against its assigned target of 1.2 million metric tons.

Meanwhile, Punjab Food Department (PFD) has claimed to achieve 86 per cent of its wheat procurement target set at 3.5 million metric tons for the year 2021. It has issued gunny bags to farmers equal to 104 per cent of the target, said a spokesman of the department.

According to the breakup, Food Department had bought 262,916 metric tons of wheat in Lahore Division, 378,988 metric tons from Faisalabad, 202,997 metric tons from Sargodha, 512,576 metric tons from Multan, 285,321 metric tons from Sahiwal, 465,178 metric tons from D. G Khan, 590,664 metric tons from Bahawalpur, 340, 460 metric tons from Gujranwala and 3,768 metric tons from Rawalpindi Division. This makes 3,042,868 metric tons of wheat procured accumulatively till May 07, 2021, the spokesman added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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