Flour Crisis in Punjab: New Price Breaks All Records Despite Limited Availability

The lack of subsidized wheat flour in Punjab has rendered it unaffordable for consumers, and the tandoor operators have stated that prices would rise soon.

Meanwhile, some parties are suspected of buying subsidized wheat flour for Rs. 2,300 per 40 kg and selling it for up to Rs. 4,300 on the market. Because of the growing demand for subsidized flour, there is a scarcity of 10-kilogram bags, which are currently priced at Rs. 648.

A 15 kg bag of privately manufactured flour costs Rs. 1,800 to Rs. 1,850, while the market price of whole wheat flour has hit a new high of Rs. 165 per kg.

Despite the daily delivery of 23,000 metric tonnes of wheat from government storage, residents are experiencing difficulties obtaining any subsidized flour at all.

As per the reports, the Punjab Food Department claims to provide 500,000 bags of subsidized flour daily, but some of the wheat is presumed to have been misappropriated, resulting in long queues at government flour selling points and concerns from people who have to endure them to buy the affordable flour.

The department now has 1.5 million tons of wheat on hand and has sought 2.5 million extra, with the federal government guaranteeing supply, but the import might take up to 45 days.

Punjab Food Secretary, Muhammad Zaman Wattoo, acknowledged the people’s suffering and said that he is working to remedy the situation. He has organized special squads to combat wheat flour smuggling and has made sure that corrupt personnel has no position in the department.

He has also directed an analysis of flour mill electricity bills and will have milling and power use validated to avoid corruption. 

To promote openness, the secretary has directed that the wheat quota be made public on a website. People may check for the presence of flour mills in their region and confirm their functioning, assisting in the prevention of government subsidy fraud.

Via Express-News

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