PM vows stern action against wheat hoarders.

ISLAMABAD -- Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has vowed to take stern action against elements involved in hoarding wheat and profiteering, but denied at the same time that there was any shortage of the staple.

'We will not allow anyone to create an artificial shortage of wheat flour and indulge in profiteering,' the prime minister said during a meeting on the wheat crisis on Thursday.

Mr Sharif claimed the country had adequate stocks of wheat and provinces should utilise their own reserves, as well as those held by Passco (Pakistan Agriculture Supplies and Storage Corporation), to ensure timely supply of the commodity to flour mills.

Prices of wheat have shot up unbearably high over the past three months, forcing the government to sell the commodity at subsidised rates to the poor through designated points. But the commendable initiative has had an unintended consequence - scuffles have taken place at several centres after people failed to get a wheat bag even after standing in queues for hours together. Even deaths have been reported in a couple of instances.

Denies shortage of the commodity; PTI blames government for the crisis

Tandoor owners have raised the prices of Roti and Naan by Rs5 to Rs10, taking their rates to as high as Rs25 and Rs30, respectively.

The prime minister, however, claimed at the meeting that the price of a 40kg bag of atta has dropped by Rs1,000 after the government's stern measures over the last one week.

'The provincial...

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