Monday October 18, 2021

Flour price to come down by Rs7 per kg from today

September 24, 2021

LAHORE: The price of wheat flour is going to be lowered by Rs140 per 20kg or Rs7 per kg from today (Friday).

The flour mills have started lifting wheat from the official warehouses on controlled rate of Rs 1,950 per 40kg under the release policy 2021-22, said a representative of Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA). He said till Thursday, the price of 20kg flour bag was hovering around Rs 1,240 while private wheat was being sold at Rs2400 per 40kg. However, with timely intervention of the government, there would be steep fall in the price of wheat flour from Friday. This price is expected to be enforced till the arrival of fresh wheat in April next year.

At the same time, highly subsidised wheat quota for supply of flour to low-income group at the last year's rate of Rs 430 per 10kg bag is continuing and its share is being increase substantially with a view to cover sizeable deserving population of the province.

With this intervening, the low-income group would get flour at the last year's rate of Rs 43per kg in specially-designed 10kg bag while the rest of the population would buy flour at Rs55 per kg against the present rate of Rs 62 per kg.

This step under the guidance of the federal government is aimed at introducing market-based price of flour for ordinary people besides offering highly subsidised flour for the needy people. This step has been taken after policy go-ahead by the federal government and reaching mutual agreement with ruling group of PFMA. In an initial response, a group of flour mills opposed move of market-based wheat price. However, after three days of negotiations, now flour mills have agreed to follow provisions of wheat release policy 2021-22.

It may be noted that taking cue from the policy approved by the federal government last week, the Punjab government set precedence for embracing liberalised wheat market after fixing realistic release price of Rs1,950 per 40kg for the flour mills against the support price of Rs1,800 per 40kg.

A group of flour mills allegedly involved in misappropriating subsidised wheat was earlier opposing grain issuance policy 2021-22 on one pretext or the other. They insisted certain amendments to the issuance policy to increase their margins as little profit window existed with much higher release price.

Punjab earlier on last Saturday asked the flour mills to submit documents for launching wheat releases from September 20, 2021. However, millers rejected the new mechanism. Later, after negotiations, now all issues have been settled, prompting the millers to lift wheat from official storage.