SIALKOT: A mafia is creating artificial shortage of wheat and flour by purchasing commodities from local markets in a bid to whiten their black money, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.
She stated this while addressing a news conference on Sunday. The SAPM said that 368 sale points and 181 truck points had been set up to ensure smooth supply of wheat flour to the public people. She added that indiscriminate action was being taken against elements involved in hoarding of flour. “More than 25,000 tonnes of wheat was being provided to some 814 flour mills in the province on a daily basis.”
The special assistant claimed that the government was successfully breaking the nexus of the mafia to get rid of those creating an artificial flour crisis. “The government was taking stern legal action against stockists, hoarders and profiteers.
“PM Imran green-lighted supply of 400,000 ton wheat to Sindh but the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government only acquired 100,000 ton. Their failure to supply wheat to the flour mills has resulted in a price hike.”
“60 per cent of the country’s wheat is produced and stocked in Punjab,” she said. “Punjab is supplying around 23,390 ton of wheat to 814 flour mills on a daily basis through 368 selling points and 181 truck stations.”
Of allies and negotiations
When asked about the reservations put forth by the PTI allies, namely Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Awan insisted the government would complete its five-year tenure alongside its coalition partners.
“Every party enjoys the right to present its views based on their vote bank and manifesto. This is the beauty of democracy.”
She said the government and its allies were on the same page about the country’s progress and prosperity.
Awan said the talks with MQM-P were positive and added that the Rs162 billion worth Karachi package would be implemented soon.
Meanwhile, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry blamed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government for inflation.
Responding to PML-N spokesperson Marriyyum Aurangzeb’s criticism of the federal government to curb inflation, Fawad said the Nawaz Sharif-led government “drowned the country in debt”.
“Please come back from Australia and ask your leaders to return to Pakistan from London. We know how concerned you are about the common man.”