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LAHORE: A few days after the Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Punjab announced to go on strike if the government failed to revisit the wheat release policy and re-determined the price of 20 kilograms of flour bag, the Punjab government has notified that wheat shall be released on the basis of targeted population of districts while maintaining a minimum benchmark of 12 bags per roller body for each mill.

According to a notification issued by the Punjab Food Department on Saturday, the department while maintaining a minimum benchmark of 12 bags per roller body for each mill shall release wheat on the basis of targeted population of each district of the province.

"The flour mills shall observe extraction ratio of 10:18:12 (flour, fine, bran) in respect of public wheat stocks," the notification, a copy of which is available with Business Recorder, says. It adds that all other departmental instructions and codal formalities regarding advance deposit of price and issuance of wheat shall be strictly adhered to.

It may be mentioned that the development came a few days after the Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Punjab announced to shut down their mills and go on strike if the government failed to revisit its wheat release policy and re-determined the price of 20 kilograms of flour bags.

Flanked by Group Leader Asim Raza Ahmed, PFMA Chairman Tahir Hanif Malik while addressing a press conference on Friday had said they held several meetings with the director and secretary of the food department and submitted their proposals to them for the consideration of the provincial cabinet.

Hailing the cabinet's decision, Asim Raza Ahmed while talking to Business Recorder on Sunday disclosed that they had sent a four-point proposal to the cabinet which resolved their two out of four issues. "Remaining two issues - grinding charges and transportation - will hopefully be resolved as well," he added.

PFMA Punjab Chairman Tahir Hanif said that the strike call stands deferred after issuance of the notification by the government. He said the wheat quota in Narowal, Layyah, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin and Rahim Yar Khan has been increased by 60 percent. "However, our other two demands are still pending and if they were not met then we would take to the streets," he warned.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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