Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is staring at a possible flour crisis as its wheat supply has been cut down by the Punjab government.
The sudden disruption of wheat supply has caused a sharp increase in flour prices in the province. As per reports, flour mills have increased prices by Rs. 80 for a 20kg bag in KP.
According to Pakistan Flour Mills Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chairman Haji Mohammad Iqbal, there was no reason given by the Punjab government for the uninformed supply cut.
“We met the food department’s officials and demanded an increase in wheat quota for local mills from 2,000 metric tons to 5,000 metric tons daily, but the government is not ready to do so,” he said.
He said that due to an acute shortage of wheat, 50 percent of the flour mills have shut down in KP, while others will also close down soon if the situation continues.
Iqbal disclosed that the province receives 95 percent of its wheat supply from Punjab, which has been completely halted for the past couple of days.
He fears that the upcoming Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s march on top of the two-day traders’ strike will only worsen the crisis.
We took up these issues with the provincial government, but unfortunately, no one is willing to pay heed to them.
KP Food Minister Qalandar Khan Lodhi said that he is aware of the situation, but he’s helpless to resolve it.
“What can I say,” was his response when asked about his plans to counter the possible crisis.
He hoped that the meeting between KP food secretary and Punjab authorities will restore the wheat supply.