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January 18, 2020

Country faces flour crisis: Wheat quota of 180 flour mills stopped in Punjab

Top Story

January 18, 2020

LAHORE: As the country is facing a serious flour crisis, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Friday took notice of a news item aired on the media regarding unilateral increase in flour price in some districts of the province.

He directed the officers concerned to take immediate administrative measures for stabilising the flour price in the province. On the instructions of the chief minister, the Punjab Food Department initiated a crackdown on 376 flour mills, stopped wheat quota to 180 mills, imposed Rs90 million fine on the mills andsuspended licences of 15 flour mills.

Earlier, chairing a meeting at Chief Minister's Office, he ordered for immediate removal of the Food Department officers involved in irregularities. He said he would not tolerate overcharging of flour at any cost. He said availability of flour to people at officially fixed rates would be ensured. He directed the officers to set up a monitoring cell in the Food Department for strict monitoring of supply and demand of wheat and flour.

He said the mills involved in selling flour from the government wheat in the open market would be sealed. He directed the officers of the Food Department and district administration to ensure availability of flour at official price. He directed the food minister to ensure availability of flour in the market by going into the field. He said that the government would not let flour price increase in Punjab.

Action has also been initiated against the Food Department officers for showing negligence in their duties and four such officers have been removed from their posts. Gujranwala District Food Controller Rohail Butt, Sialkot District Food Controller Nasrullah Khan Nadeem have been suspended while Faisalabad Food Department Deputy Director Kamran Bashir and Vehari District Food Controller Sagheer Ahmed have been removed from their posts.

On the instructions of the CM, 126 sale points have been set up in different districts of the province for ensuring smooth supply of flour to citizens. Flour was being supplied on the ex-mill rate at 21 sale points in Lahore division through trucks.

Similarly, 55 sale points have been set up in Rawalpindi division where flour is being provided to the people at official rate. Moreover, flour is being provided at nine sale points in Gujranwala division at official rate through trucks, at 17 sale points in Bahawalpur division and at 24 sale points in Sialkot district where flour is being provided at official rate to the consumers.