The Lahore Atta Chakki Owners Association has increased the price of flour by Rs3 and started selling in the open market at Rs93 per kg.
Citizens were outraged at the high prices of flour and demanded an immediate reduction. Speaking to Profit, Mohammad Sadiq, a Class IV employee of the Civil Secretariat, said that the increase in the prices of flour and sugar in the last four years has made life very difficult for the common man.
“Everyday consumer goods are becoming more and more expensive. Just four years ago, I used to buy flour between Rs35 and Rs40 per kg and now the price has gone up to Rs93. In comparison, if you look at my wages, four years ago it was Rs25,000 per month, now it is only Rs32,000 per month. I have four children and about 30 kg of flour is easily consumed in our house every month but now the increase in it’s price will force the poor man to stop eating,” he lamented.
The chakki owners told Profit that the price of wheat has reached Rs2700 per quintal in the grain markets of Punjab and in this situation the prices had to be increased.
General Secretary Lahore Atta Chakki Owners Association Abdul Rehman said that the continuous increase in wheat prices had made it inevitable to increase the price, so it was impossible to sell flour at Rs90 per kg.
However, complaints of non-availability of subsidized flour from the citizens also kept coming up; however, when contacted, Deputy Commissioner Lahore Omar Sher Chatha said that the sale of low-priced flour was going on at about 800 points in the city.
“A total of 62,100 bags of 10 kg flour and 105,045 bags of 20 kg flour have been provided at these points. A 10 kg bag of flour is available at Rs490. The Assistant Commissioners and Price Control Magistrates are ensuring the supply of flour,” he informed.
It is pertinent to mention here that the newly elected Chief Minister of Punjab Hamza Shahbaz also had dialogues a few days ago with flour and sugar millers to reduce the prices.
On the other hand, the chairman Punjab Flour Mills Association told Profit that the negotiations with the government regarding the supply of low-priced flour to the millers did not apply to the owners of private atta chakki.
“This decision will not apply to those who buy wheat from private farmers and sell flour in chakki. In other words, the mill owners will sell the flour at the same price at which they bought it from the farmers. In this case, the government does not interfere,” he said.