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January 17, 2020

Mills selling allocated wheat in market face action

Lahore

January 17, 2020

LAHORE:Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has directed for initiating indiscriminate action against flour mills involved in the sale of allocated wheat in open market and added that no flour mill can be allowed to do so. Action will be initiated against such flour mills, he added.

He issued these directives on Thursday while presiding over a meeting at his office to review prices as well as demand and supply of flour and wheat along with ongoing sugarcane crushing and payments to farmers in the province.

Usman Buzdar also directed for further streamlining the monitoring of exit points as public interest is supreme. I shall not tolerate any hurdle in the provision of flour at the suitable rate and people should not face any difficulty with regard to the provision of flour in their areas, he said.

Action will be initiated in case of any complaint and the wheat procured by the flour mills from the food department must be made available in the market in the shape of flour. Hundred percent grinding of procured wheat should be ensured and this should also be regularly monitored along with submission of a report about it, the chief minister said.

He reiterated that there should be no shortage of flour anywhere in the province and directed the food department that flour mills should be bound to establish fair price shops where flour should be available at ex-mill rate.

Usman Buzdar said that the provincial minister for food should take a lead for the solution to different issues and indiscriminate action should also be taken against the corrupt elements of the food department.

Secretary food said that food department is daily releasing four thousand metric ton wheat to flour mills and ample wheat reserves are available in the province. The wheat quota of flour mills failing to abide by the rules and regulations has been suspended and there is no dearth of wheat or flour in the province, he added. Food Minister attended the meeting from Bahawalpur through video link. Director Food and others also attended the meeting.

The meeting also reviewed the sugarcane crushing season and payments to the farmers. The chief minister was told that sugar mills are currently engaged in crushing. Ten million metric ton crushing has been done and 10.51 lac ton sugar reserves are available in the province. Last year 99 percent payments have been made to the sugarcane farmers and around 80 percent payments have also been made this year.

Usman Buzdar assured that interests of sugarcane farmers will be safeguarded by the government adding that in compliance with the clear cut instructions of the Punjab government some nonfunctional sugar mills have also started crushing. I am a custodian of the farmers and no compromise will be made on their interests, he assured. He further said that sugar mills will never be allowed the deduction of sugarcane weight and farmers will be given a full reward of their hard work.

The PTI government has protected farmers’ rights by increasing the support prices of wheat and sugarcane crops, he said and regretted that the past government exploited the farmers by not increasing the support prices of these two crops. The incumbent government is farmer friendly because Punjab would only be prosperous if its farmers are rich and contented. The Punjab government is striving to financially strengthen the farmers along with the promotion of the agriculture sector on modern lines, concluded the chief minister.