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KARACHI: Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) has warned of a serious wheat crisis as the flour mills are not getting the required wheat to meet the domestic demand.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Chairman of Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Chaudhry Aamir Abdullah said that the flour crisis has further intensified in the megacity as the Sindh government is not supplying the pledged wheat to flour mills.

He said that two weeks back, the Sindh Food Department promised to supply 5 million wheat bags to the 92 mills of the Sindh province to avoid the wheat flour shortage; however, the food department has issued challans for the 552,000 wheat bags of 100 kg as against promised 900,000 bags of 100-kg wheat. While, out of issued challans, some 250,000 bags of wheat have been released during the last two weeks, he added.

Flour millers want increase in wheat supplies

In order to complete the wheat procurement target, the food department has set up check posts at 13 different locations of Sindh to control the wheat movement, he informed.

He said some 30 to 40 percent of the four mills have shut down their operations due to the non-availability of wheat.

“Half of the flour mills in Karachi have run out of wheat, the rest of the flour mills are grinding only for 3 to 4 hours”, he mentioned.

He said that wheat movement should be allowed from inside Sindh to Karachi without hindrance to meet the domestic demand and avoid shortage.

“If our legitimate demands are not accepted, then we will announce our next action plan after a few days.

On the occasion, Hanif Thara, vice chairman of PFMA said that there is a shortage of flour in the megacity and wheat four prices are gradually increasing. Next week the flour prices will reach Rs 200 per kg, if wheat is not supplied within 48 hours.

Flour mills have wheat stock of one or two days and all the mills in the city will be closed from May 2 due to the non-availability of wheat grains.

Chairman PFMA Chaudhry Amir suggested the import of wheat grains to meet the domestic demand. Wheat is cheap in the international market compared to the domestic market. Wheat can be imported from Russia at Rs 93 rupees per kg, while local wheat is priced at 120 rupees per kg, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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