Tandoor owners hike bread price unilaterally

Demand subsidised flour or raise in official rates

Our Correspondent May 21, 2021


Flatbread has also become more expensive in the provincial capital following a rise in the wheat flour price.

Tandoor owners in the city have increased the price of roti by Rs2 and started selling it for Rs10 instead of Rs8.

However, the Muttahida Naan Roti Association has demanded an increase in the official price to Rs12. The district administration has reportedly sought three days time to resolve the issue, while the citizens are apprehensive of another increase in their financial hardship.

The people of the provincial capital were already reeling under the impact of rising prices of sugar, ghee, fruits, vegetables, and flour when the owners of clay ovens moved to hike the prices of roti and naan.

They reportedly increased the price of naan by Rs2 to Rs4 in different areas of the city. The oven owners contend that along with flour, electricity, and gas have also become more expensive, while their employees’ salaries had gone up.

The owner of a tandoor said while speaking to The Express Tribune that they could no longer afford to sell the bread at the old rates. He said the price of a 20kg flour bag had increased by Rs200 after a hike in the wheat price.

He said the flour in retail shops was being sold for Rs80 per kg. The oven owners said that the government gave subsidised wheat to the flour mills but they had to buy expensive flour.

They said they would suffer a loss if they continued selling the bread at the old price.

Aftab Aslam Gill, president of the provincial Muttahida Naan Roti Association, told The Express Tribune that before the new wheat crop arrived, the government had fixed the subsidy price at Rs.1,800 per maund, but it was being sold for Rs2,000 in the markets.

He said that when wheat became expensive, the government ensured the sale of flour at the fixed price by providing a wheat quota to the mill owners at subsidised rates. He alleged that owners of the mills sold flour at high prices even after getting cheap wheat but they were not prosecuted due to their influence, while the oven owners belonged to the working class.

“Even if we increase the price by Re1, various departments start taking action against us,” the leader of the traders said.

He said the price of bread had not been increased during the past year, although the price of flour had risen several times.

“The government should provide subsidised flour to us like the supply of wheat to the mills so that we do not have to increase the price of bread. Otherwise, we will be forced to increase the price,” Gill said.

“We have met district administration officials and told them that if they provide us cheap flour, we will sell bread for Rs8,” he said. “Otherwise, we have demanded increase in the price of bread to Rs12,” he added.

Meanwhile, a resident of a city area, Tariq Saeed, said inflation had already caused severe difficulties for the people.

He said the common people were barely able to afford their meals.


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