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March 7, 2021

Rs130 million fine slapped on millers for substandard ‘atta’

Islamabad

March 7, 2021

Rawalpindi: The District Food Department has imposed a fine of Rs130 million on flourmills from July 2020 to March 6, 2021 for supplying sub-standard ‘atta’ at skyrocketing prices to the public. The concerned department has taken action against different flourmills according to ‘Wheat Release Policy’ in this regard.

According to District Food Department, dozens of flourmill owners are supplying low-quality ‘atta’ and looting innocent public with both hands. The department has taken action according to ‘Wheat Release Policy’. The authorities concerned have claimed to supply 80 per cent local wheat and only 20 per cent imported wheat to flourmills to grind.

The concerned department not only imposed fine but registered dozens of FIRs and sealed 13 flourmills and stopped the wheat quota of 42 mills from July 2020 to March 6, 2021. The concerned department has imposed fines and registering FIRs on different allegations that some of the flourmills were using over 30 per cent water before grinding wheat and some mills were committing price violations. Punjab government has fixed Ex-mill rate of a 20-kilogram ‘atta’ bag at Rs837 and the retail price at Rs860. The Punjab government is selling 40-kilogram wheat at Rs1,475.

District Food Controller (DFC) Muhammad Zaman told ‘The News’ that they had received several complaints of low quality ‘atta’ in open market shops. “We have collected ‘atta’ samples and sent them to a laboratory, which proved that sub-standard ‘atta’ was being supplied to the public,” he said. “We have recovered Rs130 million by imposing fines on several flourmills supplying low quality ‘atta’ to the public,” he claimed. He warned to continue action against flourmills for supplying low-quality 'atta' adding we will never spare corrupt practices.

‘The News’ collected information from Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Lahore that concerned department has registered FIRs against 25 District Food Controllers (DFCs) in the province. But, the concerned department has so far to prove anything against DFCs in the province, the sources said.

All Pakistan Flourmills Association (APFA) Punjab Senior Vice Chairman Haji Muhammad Saeed said that we are trying to provide quality ‘atta’ to the public. “We will not back flourmills for supplying low-quality atta”, he assured. He said that majority of mills are grinding wheat according to set government standards.