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LAHORE: Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Punjab on Saturday threatened to shut down milling operations from Tuesday, if the issues posed to the industry including stopping wheat supplies to the millers are not resolved immediately.

The Punjab Food Department has stopped issuing wheat to flour mills of Rawalpindi Division and Islamabad who have declined to lift wheat from the Southern Punjab. Mills from these divisions in the first phase will stop supplying flour in the market from Monday.

In the second phase, millers from across the Punjab province will converge in the provincial metropolis, to discuss the situation arising out of stoppage of supply of wheat to the mills from government godowns and give the call for strike from November 16, 2021.

Group leader PFMA Asim Raza Ahmad alleged that a crisis like situation is going to occur in the province due to ill planning of the provincial food department. If Rawalpindi/Islamabad mills lift wheat from South Punjab, price of the 20 kilograms flour bag will increase by Rs80 per bag.

Association sources said that all the registered dealers have been advised by the millers to pick-up their already committed consignment from mills as no delivery will be made on Monday or Tuesday.

They claimed that mills of the province were being provided 12 bags of wheat per body instead of 20 bags per body.

A flour mill owner on the condition of anonymity said that millers are being asked to collect wheat from far-away places, which will increase their cost rendering them unable to sell flour at controlled rates.

Talking to Business Recorder, Asim Raza Ahmad said that the association was confronting four issues in the past out of which two were accepted and two were deferred for approval of the provincial cabinet which included enhancing grinding charges and transportation.

He said today flour bags prepared from private wheat was delivered in the market of Rawalpindi but it will also be stopped from Monday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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