With the sudden and alarming rise in wheat price, the Sindh government at last came into action and released the grain’s subsidised quota to millers, resulting in an Rs10 decrease in the per kilogramme rate of flour.
The move comes as the unprecedented increase in the wheat rate translated into flour price hike which had jumped to Rs150-160 per kg, making it impossible for the poor to even meet their daily needs of the staple food.
In this connection, the Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association says the rate of per kilogramme of wheat in open market has gone down from Rs130 to Rs120. As a result, the flour prices were also reduced with the chakki flour price now available for Rs150 per kg against the previous level of Rs160.
According to details, flour mills and chakki owners in Karachi have been given 97,000 tonnes and 700,500 tonnes of the subsidized wheat while the corresponding figures for Hyderabad standing at 27,947 tonnes and 7,000 tonnes respectively.
Overall, the Sindh government has so far released 201,608 tonnes of wheat to flour mills and 25,392 tones to chakki owners across the province.
The entire country has been witnessing a historic rise in wheat and flour prices. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan are the most-affected provinces while Punjab being the least.
In this connection, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government claims that the price hike is a product of Punjab stopping the wheat supply despite the fact that the same party – PTI – is in power in both provinces.
However, the other parties, which are part of the ruling coalition, claim that it is an intentional move on the part of PTI to discredit the federal government although price control and agriculture are now provincial subjects after the 18th Amendment.
In this connection, some PML-N and ANP leaders on Monday had shared video on social media, showing stored wheat in government facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and said the crisis was government made, as it wasn’t releasing the wheat stock to flour mills. Similar stance is being taken by the PML-N leaders in Punjab.
Obviously, the question remains: where has all the wheat gone which was procured by the provincial governments? Is it smuggling or hoarding or politicking? People don’t know. Someone from the federal or provincial governments would have to answer the question.