LAHORE: Some new flour millers disassociating themselves from the strike call given by the Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Punjab from Tuesday (today) has assured the government to supply flour anywhere in the province.

They alleged that some millers wanted to create unrest in the province by giving strike call and their colleagues were not ready to be part of any such conspiracy. The millers gave this assurance during a meeting with the Secretary Food Punjab Zaman Wattoo at his office here on Monday.

The delegation of 40 such new millers was headed by Rana Abad Ullah. The secretary Food directed the officials concerned to release wheat quota to these new mills as per the law. He also directed to release the quota to avoid any damage by the strike call issued by the Association, said a statement issued by the department.

Meanwhile, Wattoo said over 80 percent of the mills had deposited payment for the wheat quota for February 14, 2023.

He claimed that conspiracy hatched by the striking millers had failed due to the support of the masses and patriotic mills.

Later in the day, addressing at a press conference at the Lahore Press Club (LPC), the new flour millers said that they would supply flour at the trucking points and the market from Tuesday. They said they had no connection with the Secretary Food or the mills calling for strike. They also claimed that from 200 to 250 flour mills are supporting their stance and not ready to be part of the strike.

Rana Basit Khan and Abdul Jabbar speaking on behalf of these mills claimed that even those millers were picking the government official quota who were with the Association. They said it was cruel to sell government quota of wheat in the market. They said situation of flour supply in the market was better because of increase in the wheat quota.

The secretary Food while talking to this scribe said their doors were open for any dialogue. But our fundamental stance is not negotiable which include no compromise on action against embezzlement and no compromise on smuggling.

It may be mentioned that the millers had announced not to lift any quota from the government godowns from Monday (Feb 13) and then stop supplying flour to the market from Tuesday (Feb 14) against actions being taken against the mills by the secretary Food Punjab.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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