Subsidised flour sale stopped, chakki owners also shut operations over price control drive.

KARACHI -- The sale of subsidised flour at Rs650 per 10kg bag has been stopped by the Sindh government while chakki owners have also shut their operations against price fixing by the Karachi commissioner.

'The provincial government has stopped sale of subsidised flour from January 20 after withdrawing the subsidy,' Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Sindh zone chairman Aamir Abdullah told Dawn, adding: 'We are now getting 100kg wheat bag at Rs8,500 from the government as against Rs5,825 when low-price flour bag was launched in September 2022.'

The ex-mill rate of flour No.2.5 is Rs95 per kg while it is being sold at Rs100 per kg as against the retail rate of Rs98 per kg fixed by the Karachi commissioner.

The PFMA chief recalled that the daily supply of 10kg flour bag had risen to 500,000 bags in Sindh from 300,000 to extend the benefit to the inflation-hit consumers. However, availability of subsidised flour could reach only 25-30pc people of Karachi despite an increase in the number of flour bags by the millers at 200-300 sale points from 90-95 points. The low-priced flour was not available at retail shops. Due to a big gap between the market rates and subsidised flour, long queues of flour seekers had emerged in Karachi and interior of Sindh at various sale points, resulting in riots and a casualty in Mirpurkhas. Besides, millers had also complained about lack of security at the sale points resulting in snatching of cash from the staff on the vans.

Despite an end to the subsidy, he said, the rate of flour is still cheaper in Sindh as compared to Punjab where mills are getting subsidised wheat at Rs5,730 per 100kg bag while flour No.2.5 rates hover between Rs120 and Rs135 per kg.

'The subsidy in Punjab is going waste as consumers are not getting any...

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