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PESHAWAR: Flour millers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa decreed to go on strike from tomorrow (Monday) if the restriction on transportation of wheat from Punjab didn’t lift immediately.

Talking to media persons here on Saturday, All Pakistan Flour Mills Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (APFMA-KP) Chairman Haji Muhammad Iqbal said a ban was imposed on movement of wheat from Punjab on pretext of smuggling that has caused price increase and shortage of wheat to mills in the province.

He went on to say that the ban on inter-provincial movement was a violation of article 151 of the constitution of the country. Therefore, he termed the Punjab government move as completely unlawful and unconstitutional, which should be lifted immediately.

He expressed fear that the government didn’t take serious notice of this issue so that the price of flour would further go up and beyond the purchasing power of poor people.

Iqbal urged the government to take notice of the ban imposed by Punjab on transportation of wheat and save the complete closure of the flour mills in the province.

The APFM provincial chief said check posts had been established to monitor movement of wheat from Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Iqbal said the Punjab government move created division and hatred among the federating units.

70 percent of the flour industry has closed down owing to an illegal ban on inter-provincial movement of wheat that has triggered massive unemployment in the province, besides that investment worth billions of rupees also sunk, he added.

The flour millers demanded of the government and authorities concerned to allow procurement of wheat from open markets in Punjab so it could prevent the flour mills industry in KP from destruction

Iqbal assured that millers will provide quality and low-price flour to the people of KP if the wheat supply would be restored from Punjab and allowed to procure wheat from the open market in Punjab.

Economic-crisis and terrorism battered flour milling industry has come on complete closure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, millers said. They added that the illegal and unconstitutional restriction on wheat supply from Punjab has further worsened the situation.

The millers urged the federal and provincial governments to announce a special relief package to save the flour milling industry from destruction.

Iqbal said 80 percent wheat is produced in Punjab because KP was not sufficient in wheat production so that the province is mainly dependent on Punjab for fulfilling requirements of wheat and flour since the inception of the country.

The association chairman said the total requirement of KP is around 50 lakh metric tons as per its population but wheat production is KP nearly 6 to 8 lakh metric tons.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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Pakistani1 May 07, 2023 11:28am
Their interest is to buy the wheat, smuggle to Afghanistan and smuggle back something else or to get dollars. A sad situation.
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