PAKISTAN -Pakistan Flour Mills Association Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chapter has called on the government to lift the ban on wheat movement from Punjab and increase the wheat quota as a measure to address the ongoing shortage.
Then the ban imposed on May 13, 2022 affected all private wheat exports amid widespread loss of yield due to abnormal heat waves in the major wheat-growing states of Punjab.
The call, as reported by The Express Tribune, aimed at addressing a severe shortage of the commodity to allow millers to keep the flour prices in control as inflation soars.
Chairman of the association Haji Iqbal Ahmed Khan, group leader Muhammad Naeem Butt and senior flour mill owners told a press conference that there is a severe shortage of wheat and flour in K-P coupled with skyrocketing flour prices.
He termed the restrictions on the movement of wheat quota by the Punjab government as an illegal and immoral act, adding that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is dependent on Punjab for wheat and flour requirements.
According to Khan, the shortage issue can only be addressed if the government lifted the wheat movement ban from Punjab and increased the wheat quota from the current 5,000 tonnes to 15,000 tonnes.
“The requirement of wheat quota in K-P province is 14 thousand to 15 thousand tons “while we are being given only 5 thousand tons of wheat quota daily, which is extremely low,” said Khan
He further stated that the reason behind high flour rates in K-P is realized since 80 percent of local market demand is met by wheat and flour purchased from Punjab and the ban is the genesis of increased flour prices to the locals.
“If the ban on the wheat quota and flour from Punjab were to end, and the government increases the wheat quota, flour rates in K-P would reduce by 500 to 600 Pakistan rupees (US$2.20 to US$2.64) from the current 1100 rupees”.
The association leaders have appealed to the Federal Punjab government and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, to immediately lift the ban on the movement of wheat quota from Punjab province and increase the wheat quota.