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January 22, 2020

Nanbais call off strike as govt allows them to sell 115 gram roti for Rs10

Peshawar

January 22, 2020

PESHAWAR: The nanbais called off their strike on Tuesday after successful talks with the government after being allowed to sell roti weighing 115 gram for Rs10.

The weight of the roti (bread) before the flour crisis was 130 gram and was available for Rs10. Now the nanbais would get the same price for a roti weighing 15 gram less. Nanbais Association General Secretary Abdul Majeed Qureshi told The News that the talks were successful and the administration had given permission to the nanbais to sell 115 gram roti for Rs10.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Ashfaq Ahmad said the administration would issue the notification about the new rate for the roti. Some unconfirmed reports said the government had also agreed to fix Rs15 rate for a roti weighing 170 gram. The wheat flour dealers said the flour prices were becoming stable. They said the 85 kg bag was being sold for Rs5,200, the 20-kg bag of superfine flour for Rs1,120 and special flour for Rs1,080.

However, Nanbais Association President Iqbal Yousafzai claimed that the flour prices have not yet stabilized, adding, today’s price was Rs5,400 per 85 kg bag. The nanbais had closed tandoors on Monday indefinitely to force the government to allow them to sell roti at a higher price. On the second day of the strike on Tuesday, restaurants owners prepared tortillas to serve customers. One of the restaurant owners told this scribe that he used 13 bags of 20-kg flour to prepare tortillas for his customers. The customers were charged Rs20 per tortilla.

Waqar Ahmad, owner of bakeries in Nauthia and Swati Gate localities in Peshawar said he had run out of stock of bread and other confectionaries. However, he said that he could not earn money from the unusually high sales as he had to pay his cook more money for doing two shifts. Zahid Khan, a chickpeas and bean seller on the Kohat Road, said his business was also affected as people did not come to his eatery when he could not provide roti to them. He said his sales had been reduced by half during the strike by the nanbais.

Musharraf Khattak, a general store owner, said the most sold items these days were rice and biscuits as rotis were hard to find. The roadside kiosks selling shawarma also did brisk business during the strike that began on Monday. However, another general store owner in Gulberg locality, Ghaniur Rehman said that he had not noticed any unusual pattern among his customers. Pointing to the roadside kiosks selling shawarma, he said they did good business during these two days as people stop by and buy shawarma from them before returning home. One of the shawarma sellers, Muhammad Yousaf, admitted that his business was better than routine. “Normally people rarely buy shawarma during lunchtime but today I sold more than 70 shawarmas,” he added.