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LAHORE: Flour millers of the province have threatened to stop supplying flour to the market from February 14, in case their demands of providing security to the trucking points and putting an end to action by the Food department against the millers are not met.

Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Punjab Chairman Iftikhar Mattoo while addressing a press conference along with other leaders on Friday said that they are giving a deadline till Monday (February 13) to the government for acceptance of their demands. However, they will stop supplying flour to the market after that day. They said that the working relationship between the food department and the millers were tense for the last week. There was no security at the trucking points which were selling flour bags at subsidized rates to the consumers. They said dacoits were looting their staff at these trucking points on gunpoint.

They said either the trucking stations should be abolished or they be provided ample security. They claimed mills were bound to supply flour at their gates according to the law. Supply should be taken at the gates so as to relieve the mills from the responsibility of selling at trucking points. Similarly, they accused the Secretary of Food Punjab of taking unjustifiable actions against the mills. They demanded that actions against the mills should be stopped forthwith while any inspection of the mills should be carried out by the authorised staff according to the rules and regulations.

They also demanded that the ban on inter-provincial and inter-district movement of wheat products produced by the mills from wheat bought from the open market should also be withdrawn. They again said that they were giving time till Monday for acceptance of their just demands; otherwise they would not lift their quota from the department from February 13 and stop supply to the market from February 14, 2023.

Millers claimed that they went to the director of food for negotiations but he refused to say he would consult the secretary of food first.

Meanwhile, the provincial food department spokesman had said that inspection of the flour mills were being carried out as per rules. He said that action would be taken against those mills which would mismanage the quota of official wheat. Over 900 flour mills were getting subsidised wheat in the province, he added, and said some mills were selling wheat at Rs 4200 per maund after getting it from the government at Rs 2,300 per maund.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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