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LAHORE: Flour millers from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) will observe token strike from May 10 to 17, to press the government for what they said allowing them to carry out the milling process and business freely.

During these days, the milling and grinding process besides supply of the flour will remain closed from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

PFMA Central President Asim Raza Ahmad announced this on Tuesday. He said millers from Punjab and KPK decided to observe strike after discussing the prevailing situation of wheat market and faulty policies adopted by the Punjab Food department.

He appealed to the prime minister and the chief minister Punjab to take notice of wrong policies of department and allow the millers do business smoothly.

Earlier, the Punjab Food department reacting to the allegations levelled by the flour mills said that mills in the province had 450,000 metric tons of wheat in their godowns which they had also registered on provincial government’s online portal. A spokesman of the department said the mills had purchased this grain at Rs 3,900 per maund and this wheat was enough for more than one month.

It said it was their ethical and religious duty that mills should not create artificial shortage and price hike of flour. He also claimed that the directorate of food was issuing permits to the mills for procurement of wheat and millers should follow this path.

However, the millers reacting to this statement of the spokesman said that flour prices and wheat were increasing due to wrong policies of the provincial Food department. The millers claimed that price for wheat in Rawalpindi had reached Rs 6,000 per maund while in Lahore the price of wheat was Rs 4,800 per maund. They also denied there was any policy of issuing permit in place at the moment. However, they admitted that some flour mills from Rawalpindi were issued permits during initial days of the procurement.

They said recovery of wheat stocks from the rice mills was proof of the claim of flour millers that hoarders were hoarding the wheat and the provincial Food department should pay attention to this illegal hoarding of wheat.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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