Non-availability of wheat could lead to flour shortage: PFMA

August 21, 2013

Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA)
Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA)

Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Punjab Chapter has warned of shortage of flour in near future if the provincial government does not start releasing wheat to the mills from official storages. “Prices of wheat in open market are very high nowadays side by side supply of the commodity is also reducing and it is apprehended that soon arrival of wheat in the open market will come to an end.

Already 30 per cent mills in the province are closed down due to high rates and non-availability of wheat and if the situation persists it will lead to severe shortage of flour,” warned PFMA Punjab Chairman Habibur Rehman Leghari at a press conference on Tuesday. He was accompanied by the PFMA former central president Asim Raza Ahmed, Mian Muhammad Riaz and executive committee members.

However, when asked to provide the lists of 30 closed mills, Leghari asked the media persons to accompany him in a tour of the province and see themselves the closed entities. He said mills are closed off and on as per availability of the wheat in their respective areas.

Leghari said that rates of 40 kilograms wheat in Rawalpindi and Lahore on Tuesday were quoted at Rs 1,440 and it is not possible for the mills to provide flour to the consumers at present rates after buying such expensive wheat. He said at present 20 kilograms bag is available from Rs 780 to Rs 790 per bag as per price of the wheat in any specific area.

PFMA Punjab Chairman and Asim Ahmad Raza said that the mills had started writing to the Director Food and Secretary Food on 20th of Ramzanul Mubarak about the situation emerging requesting release of wheat from the government godowns. However, he said that the cabinet committee, which had to decide in this regard is yet to meet. They said that price of flour bag after release of wheat from government godowns would depend on the price fixed by the government.

They said at present government had sufficient wheat in its stocks. Asim said that traditionally wheat releases are started in October every year, but this year the Punjab government bought 900,000 tons wheat more than every year due to which commodity fell short in the open market.

They reiterated that increase in the prices of electricity, POL products and wheat is pressing the millers to hike the price of flour and early release of wheat from government godowns would help stabilising the price of flour in the market and facilitate the consumers. Courtesy Business Recorder

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