Dozens of Flour Mills found non-functional; Sindh’s wheat being smuggled to KPK and even to Afghanistan
Chief Secretary Sindh Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah Thursday directed the district administration to check flour price in the market on daily basis and conduct raids on mills and godowns to check hoarding.
Presiding over meeting regarding hike in flour price in Karachi, Chief Secretary stated that in Karachi as per requirement 200,000 tons of wheat is being provided to the flour mills and there is no shortage of the wheat.
He said that when the required wheat is being provided them why the prices of flour have been increased and warned of stern action against the hoarders and the officer concerned.
Secretary Food and members of flour mill association informed the meeting that out of 76 flour miles only 56 mills are functional in Karachi division, in Hyderabad division 9 mills out of 18, in Larkana division 18 out of 19, in Mirpurkhas division 5 out of 9, in Shaheed Benazirabad 8 out of 16 and in Sukkur Division 26 Flour mills out of 62 are functional.
The members of Flour Mills Association demanded of the government not to provide wheat to the nonfunctional flour mills of the province. On this the Chief Secretary stated that those mills which were not functional during last 13 months will not be provided with wheat quota and in this regard a policy will be put before the Sindh Cabinet.
Mumtaz Ali Shah further stated that the provincial government has sufficient wheat stock and additional 400,000 tons wheat will be given by the PASCO to the provincial government.
The meeting was informed that the province had sufficient stock of wheat and flour but the vested interests were trying to create artificial shortage. The mills association also informed the CS about smuggling of wheat from Jacobabad to KPK and even Afghanistan.
The CS said he was optimistic that better wheat supply to mills would stabilize the market and reduce flour price. The CS also directed deputy commissioners concerned to check flour price in the market on daily basis and conduct raids on mills and godowns to check hoarding.
A committee comprising one officer from each district administration and Sindh Food Department and two members of flour mills association was formed to check the quality of available wheat at warehouse of Sindh Food Department and submit report within 24 hours.
The meeting was attended by the Secretary Food Laeeq Ahmed, Secretary Agriculture, Price Bureau and Supply Agha Zaheeruddin, Secretary Implementation and Coordination Riaz Ahmed Siddique, Additional Commissioner 1 Karachi, members of flour mill association and other concerned officers of the Sindh Food department.