Only functional flourmills to get wheat quota, says food minister
Punjab Senior Minister for Food Abdul Aleem Khan.–File photo
Punjab Senior Minister for Food Abdul Aleem Khan has said that only functional flourmills should be given wheat quota and a survey of flourmills working throughout the year been started with the help of intelligence agencies.
Speaking at a meeting with a delegation of the Pakistan Flourmills Association (PFMA) led by its Central Chairman Asim Raza, Aleem Khan said, “We want to keep the price of flour to the minimum therefore the decision has been taken to import wheat on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan and release wheat to flourmills ahead of time.”
He said that a new policy is being introduced in the food sector in Punjab in the next three months. Under this policy, he said, subsidised flour would be given to selected people only and data of such people would be collected from “Ehasaas Programme” and Utility Stores. He said that same amount of wheat that was released to flourmills last time would be imported to ensure availability of sufficient wheat reserves.
The food minister said that farmers got a very good rate of wheat this year and the government was playing its role in keeping the prices of flour to a minimum despite an increase in the price of wheat. He said that a serious consideration was being given to provision of maximum relief in wheat and flour prices to the common man and 10 districts of the province had been selected for the release of government wheat in the first phase. However, the Flourmills Association will be taken into confidence in this regard and their legitimate suggestions will be accepted, the minister said.
Aleem Khan said that Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to keep the price of flour in Punjab to a minimum that is why he got the matter approved by the ECC and the federal cabinet immediately. He listened to the suggestions given by the Flourmills Association.
Flourmills Association Central Chairman Asim Raza suggested that government wheat should be released uniformly to all flourmills across the province instead of a few districts. The flourmills would also ensure supply of flour at the same rate across Punjab. He assured Aleem Khan that flourmills would fully cooperate with the government.
Association’s Punjab President Abdul Rauf Mukhtar, Mian Riaz Ahmed, Shaukat Hayat and Farrukh Shehzad were also present.