Islamabad: President, Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) Mian Usman Zulfiqar urged the provincial governments to make sure the flour in the markets on competitive rates and have an in-depth check and balance on daily basis.
As subsided flour has almost disappeared from the markets amid worsening shortage of the commodity in Punjab
Usman Zulfiqar said common man can’t afford the weekly increasment in the flour prices. In Punjab few days back the 15kg price witnessed on Rs 1200. Now it has available on Rs 1600 despite government rates are much lesser but no flour available on the government rates that shows the district administration of the punjab failed to ensure the writ of the government to facilitate the common man.
Similarly flour is also short in the markets of Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta too with high prices which needs to be looked seriously.
He requested All Pakistan Flour Mills Association to ensure flour in Sindh and Balochistan especially in flood affected areas on government rates so that the affecties may get compensated to some how.
Vice Chairperson PBF Balochistan Chapter, Sana Durrani also informed that even in quetta the prices of flour have skyrocketed in including other parts of Balochistan while the commodity was not available in most shops across the province. Meanwhile, a 20-kg bag of flour was being sold from Rs2,380 to Rs2,500.
PBF’s Sindh Chapter Chairman, Mir Murad Ali Talpur said the price of wheat surged by up to 10-20% on the outlook for a possible delay in sowing of the staple crop in October and doubling of the grain support price to Rs4,000 per 40 per kg by the Sindh government for the next cultivation season.
He maintained that reserves of wheat were available in the open market to meet the local requirements but profiteers were speculating due to possible delay in the cultivation of the crop following devastating floods in the country.
The PBF President Usman Zulfiqar further told that we have a strong view to increase the quota of flour mills to ensure the availability of subsidised flour in abundant quantity to the citizens. Currently three flour mills have sealed over hoarding Govt Flour in multan region.
Including simultaneous release of wheat from all the four provinces can ensure stability in the prices of flour and help remove panic buying; he said.
Similarly PBF has shown grave concern over the delay in opening letters of credit (LCs). The Industrial Production has stopped due to non-availability of parts, bank payments are not being made, operational expenses are also becoming difficult to meet, which has increased the fear of unemployment, he added.
Large firms in Pakistan rely on imported raw materials / parts, which run our industries. In this regard Finance Minister and Governor State Bank to take immediate notice of the situation for open Letter of Credit (LCS).