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LAHORE: Successful negotiations between flour millers and the Punjab Food Department on Wednesday evening averted any possible flour crisis in the province as mills deferred their call to shut down their operations as a protest against the official wheat release policy 2021.

Addressing a joint press conference, Director Food Punjab Umer Jahangir and Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Punjab Chairman Asim Raza Ahmad said the mills in the larger interest of the masses had decided to continue selling flour in the market. While the rate of the 20 kilograms flour bag will be Rs 1100 per bag instead of Rs 1250.

The mills had announced not to enter into any agreement with the government or lift wheat from the official godowns on Monday for the next five days as a protest of what they claimed reduction of grinding charges in the wheat release policy for the current year and other some lacunas.

However, Wednesday they announced to accept the grinding rates fixed by the government and continue their operations.

It was also announced in the press conference that other demands of the mills like equal allocation of wheat quota and etc would be sent to the government as a summary for approval. Asim Raza Ahmad said on the assurance of the Director Food Punjab, mills had deferred their protest movement for the next eight days. He said they were holding different sessions of negotiations with the department for last three days and “today decided to call off their protest movement for the time being.”

Asim Raza Ahmad reiterated that mills should be given Rs 600 grinding charges per 100 kg, and said the wheat allocation should not be on a population basis rather equal allocation to all the mills and withdrawal of changes in the extraction policy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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