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January 22, 2020

Flour shortage a conspiracy: minister

Lahore

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APP
January 22, 2020

LAHORE:Food Minister Samiullah Ch on Tuesday said that wheat and flour shortage was created in Punjab under a pre-planning and the planners were those who did not want to see Imran Khan as Prime Minister and Usman Buzdar as Chief Minister.

Addressing a news conference here at DGPR office, he said such elements would face sheer disappointment as neither prime minister nor chief minister would change because of their baseless propaganda and nefarious designs.

Information Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan and Industries & Trade Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal were also accompanied by him. He said that today, there was no wheat, flour crisis in the province and it was being sold at the price fixed by the government, Rs 720 per 20 kg bag. He explained that today, Punjab had 2.3 million metric ton wheat reserves, and 482 sale points and 207 truck stations had been provided to supply flour to the people where 20kg flour bag was available at Rs 790. Samiullah Ch said the PTI government was the one which ensured timely and complete payment to cultivators for their produce, while gunny bags were also distributed among the farmers in a transparent manner and every single grain of wheat had been procured from them respectfully. He said Punjab government kept an open policy for gunny bags and toll-free numbers were provided to the farmers by Provincial Food Department where they registered their complaints regarding gunny bags distribution and their problems were resolve accordingly. To a question, he said that Punjab government showed a responsible behaviour and procured wheat of its share whereas Sindh government fail to do so, asserting that today, Sindh government was claiming that it had 850,000 metric ton wheat reserves but when NAB team conducted raids on their godowns, it found mud and sand in the bags.

To another question, he said allegations levelled by PPP government in Sindh regarding export of 700,000 metric ton wheat by PTI government was against the facts.

He said that when PTI government came to power then it had 7.3 million metric ton wheat reserves of last four years, clarifying, "We did not export these reserves but sale them in the local market.

"Responding to reporters’ queries, the minister said that since Sindh and KP province had no reserves of wheat, Punjab chief minister has allowed to provide wheat to the other provinces and Punjab had decided to provide 5000 metric ton wheat to KP on daily basis.

"Punjab while playing role of elder brother will also provide wheat to Sindh and Balochistan if required," he assured.