PESHAWAR: Pakistan Flour Mills Association’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chapter on Sunday said that the stocks of wheat at KP government warehouses has gone down to 150,000 tonnes, which is only enough to fulfill less than two weeks of the province’s wheat consumption.
Pakistan Flour Mills Association KP Chairman Muhammad Iqbal while talking to Profit said that KP’s annual wheat requirements stand around 4.6 million tonnes, while the provincial government currently has a stock of just 150,000 tonnes.
“Despite repeated warnings to the KP government, authorities have failed to find a solution to the problem,” Iqbal said. He warned that a serious flour crisis may erupt in the next few days, if the government fails to take serious steps to resolve the issue.
He added that hundreds of workers belonging to flour mills in the province have lost their jobs while the prices of flour continue on an increasing trajectory.
Currently, due to shortage of supply of wheat from Punjab and Sindh, the price of a 20 kilograme (kg) bag of flour has risen by Rs200, to more than Rs1,300 per bag while the price of 86kg stack of flour has risen by Rs500 to Rs5,500 per stack in KP.
Earlier Prime Minister Imran Khan had issued instructions to restore supply of wheat from Punjab to KP, however, according to Muhammad Iqbal wheat supply to KP still has not been fully restored.
He urged that representatives of Pakistan Flour Mills Association should be included in the formulation process of wheat policy for KP, so that cheap flour can be provided to the people of the province.
“Flour mills in KP should be provided wheat according to the needs of KP’s population,” he demanded.
He alleged that the check posts set up to curb the smuggling of wheat from Punjab to Afghanistan are in fact being used to hinder wheat and flour transportation to KP.
Pakistan Flour Mills Association KP chairman rejected the allegations that wheat and flour are being smuggled from KP and Balochistan to Afghanistan adding that cheap wheat and flour are currently being exported to Afghanistan from Kazakhstan which leaves no room for smuggling of wheat from Pakistan
“Rumors regarding wheat smuggling from KP and Balochistan are being spread to deprive the two provinces of their share of wheat and flour,” he said.