On the assurance of allying their concerns on a priority basis by Senior & Food Minister Punjab Abdul Aleem Khan, the Flour Mills Association announced to end the strike which lasted for two days.
A 10-member delegation of Flour Mills Association headed by Central Chairman Asim Raza and Provincial President Abdul Rauf Mukhtar called on the food minister.
It was agreed that the mills will not increase the flour prices till Eid-ul-Fitr and the district administration will not raid the flour mills while the Food Department will have access to these mills.
Abdul Aleem Khan said that flour mills will be allowed for 7 days wheat storage instead of 72 hours. He said that permission in this regard was being given but the flour mills will declare their stocks. He telephoned the Chief Secretary Punjab during the meeting and asked him to convey the new instructions up to the division and district level.
The Senior Minister said that this year wheat was being bought but intends to create a new mechanism for the affairs of flour mills for which the concerned stakeholders should be on the same page. He said that for this purpose a joint meeting of the Food Department and Flour Mills Association will be held immediately after Eid.
The Flour Mills Association also said that the situation has worsened in Sargodha, Multan, Gujrat, and Kasur districts where flour mills do not have wheat for threshing.
He clarified that the Government’s job should not be to procure raw materials but to regulate and facilitate flour mills. He said that the Punjab Government spends a huge amount on procurement of wheat while storing and re-shifting is another exercise.
He added that a new strategy will be worked out for the procurement of wheat and “bar dana” in the coming years. Aleem Khan asked the officials of the Flour Mills Association to formulate their proposals in the light of which the next road map will be designed.
Secretary Food Punjab Waqas Mahmood after the meeting with the millers during a media talk said that 85 percent of the wheat procurement target has been completed in the province. He said that 3.75 million tons of wheat have so far been procured while the target of 4.5 million tons will also be achieved very soon.