LAHORE: After the government announced reduction in flour prices, the supply of flour in the market has reduced considerably.
According to sources, consumers were already having problems with the availability of flour in the market when flour prices were high.
Earlier flour millers had assured the government that they will sell a 20 kilogramme (kg) bag of flour for Rs860.
However, instead of selling 20kg bags of flour, flour millers introduced 25kg packaging in a bid to avoid rates set by the government. Currently a 25kg bag is being sold at Rs1,350 in the market.
Yasir Aslam, a shopkeeper in Akbari Mandi, said that he is finding it difficult to get hold of 20kg or 10kg bags of flour. “Shopkeepers will only be able to sell low priced flour, if there is a supply of such flour in the market. Currently, instead of 20kg bags of flour, bags having 25kg of flour priced at Rs1,350 are being supplied in the market,” he said.
Similarly, low availability of flour bags at utility stores has also been reported by the general public who said that utility stores are refusing to sell flour citing inventory stock-outs.
“Both sugar and flour are in short supply at the utility stores. We have to visit utility stores multiple times to be able to buy these commodities,” said Nasir Shah, a resident of Chungi Amarsidhu.
On the other hand, Muhammad Ilyas, a utility stores official near Mansura informed Profit that there were some supply chain issues pertaining to flour and sugar, however, their availabilty had been ensured at the stores.
“The price of flour and sugar at the utility stores is lower than the market. We do our best to ensure the supply of cheap flour to the people,” he said.
Similarly, Pakistan Flour Mills Association Chairman Abdul Rauf while talking to Profit maintained that there is no shortage of flour in the markets and that flour mills have been supplying flour at government rates.