Saturday Jan 18, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of the recent surge in wheat prices, instructing all four provincial chief secretaries to initiate a "grand operation" against those involved in hoarding flour and selling it at exorbitant rates, Geo News reported on Saturday.
The Prime Minister's Office ordered the provincial governments, chief commissioners and deputy commissioners (DC) to take stern action against the culprits.
Read more: Wheat prices skyrocket across the country
Special Advisor to PM for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the PM Imran had taken steps to bring stability in wheat prices.
“By taking timely steps, flour prices will fall,” Awan said, adding that stern action will be taken against those selling wheat at self-prescribed rates.
“Persons creating hurdles in flour and wheat supply will be dealt with iron fists,” Awan stated.
Authorities have been directed to arrest persons hoarding flour or those selling it at expensive rates and seal their warehouses.
The district administration and DCs have been ordered to conduct operations and submit reports within 24 hours.
It was also made clear to authorities that wherever flour is hoarded, sold at exorbitant rates or found to be short in supply, the relevant authorities will be held responsible.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday slammed the government for the price hike saying that 'people's lives are being made miserable by the day with government’s apathetic attitude.'
"Aata crisis and massive price hike is yet another reminder of sheer callousness that is hallmark of the PTI government. People's lives are being made miserable by the day with government’s apathetic attitude!," the PML-N leader wrote on his Twitter handle.
Flour prices have skyrocketed across the country in recent days, selling for as high as Rs62 per kilogram at several retail stores.
The price of the flour has increased by five rupees in just the last week due to a shortage of wheat supply. “Fine flour is available for Rs62/kg while the price of mill flour increased by five to six rupees and is being sold between Rs 62/kg to Rs70/kg,” the president of the flour retailers association told Geo News.
In Karachi, a sack of flour is being sold for Rs500.
In some parts of the city, a bag of 10kg flour which cost Rs450 before the crisis is now being sold for Rs700 after an increase of Rs250.
In Lahore, the Punjab Flour Mill Association increased the price of flour by Rs6 per kg, after which it is now being sold at Rs70 per kg across the province.