ISLAMABAD: The government has lifted the ban on inter-provincial movement of wheat and wheat floor in the country in view of the improved supply situation. Briefing newsmen here on Thursday, Chairman Federal Food Committee Lt. General (Retd) Farooq Ahmad Khan said now there is no restriction on inter and intra-provincial movement of wheat and wheat products as the situation has improved.
He said the Federal Food Committee has decided to consult Nazims on the issue and for this purpose the Committee held a meeting with Rawalpindi Nazims. He said Nazims from opponent parties will also be invited to seek their input on the issue. He said situation of wheat flour availability is fast improving in the country due to steps taken by the Federal Food Committee. He said the Committee is now focusing on stabilizing the rates of flour and improving its quality. He said Nazims and DCOs have been asked to activate District Prince Control Committees. Provincial governments and Civil Armed forces have been asked to get the samples check from laboratories acceptable to Flour Mills Association, he added.
He said the main reason of flour crisis was mismanagement and interruption in between godowns and flour mills and not due to shortage of wheat in the country. FFC Chairman said wheat quota for 9th and 10th of Muharram is being released today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) so that there will be no shortage of the commodity during Ashura holidays.
He pointed out that there is a ban on export of wheat and its products through private parties. About wheat stock situation, he said there is no shortage of the commodity in the country.
He said the government has imported 214,000 tons wheat and 887,000 tons are being imported. Out of the 214,000 tons, Sind was supplied 50,000 tons from the quota, NWFP 16,000 tons and Balochistan was granted a quota of 111,000 tons, he added.
The Chairman FFC said that still Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) is holding a stock of 103,000 tons. He said that Punjab was holding its own stocks. He said that out of wheat quota of 21,000 tons of Punjab, the 318 mills in the province have lifted 20,225 tons on January 16, and 19226 flour bags were produced and 16959 bags were delivered in the market. Similarly, he said out of the wheat quota 141 mills in Sind 9000 tons 6,554 tons have been lifted on January 16, and 4048 flour bags were produced and 3427 bags were delivered in the market.
He said of the wheat quota 138 mills in NWFP 5000 tons 3,894 tons have been lifted on January 16, and 3,883 flour bags were produced and 3764 bags were delivered in the market. The Chairman said that out of the wheat quota 55 mills in Balochistan 2,000 tons 1220 tons have been lifted on January 16, and 952 flour bags were produced and 844 bags were delivered in the market.
He said that more people are visiting Utility Stores Corporation (USC) outlets as compared to open market as USC is selling twenty (20) Kg flour bag Rs.40 less than the market price. General Farooq said the flour mills lifted 31,893 tons of wheat against the quota of 36,200. The mills produced 28,109 tons of atta and delivered 24,994 tons of flour. He said this shows that essential stock of wheat flour is available.-SANA