Tandoors defying price cut face action

District officials instructed to implement relief measure across Punjab

Afzal Talib April 16, 2024
Local tandoors in some of the most populated cities of the country are charging exorbitant amounts for naans and rotis.


The Punjab government has instructed the deputy commissioners of all districts to implement the reduced prices of Roti and Naan announced to provide relief to the people.

However, the tandoor owners have refused to sell the bread at the reduced prices, resulting in action by the district administrations against the violators.

Residents of several areas complained on Monday that they were forced to buy Roti at the old price of Rs20 and Naan at Rs30.

Punjab Food Minister Bilal Yasin raided markets in different areas of the city to ensure availability of bread at the notified prices and ordered the arrest of eight people on the spot for selling expensive Roti and Naan in Sanda, Islampura, Rajgarh and Anarkali areas.

The shops were sealed after registration of FIRs.

Talking to journalists, the minister said he would visit markets daily in the morning and evening and the government would not allow anyone to sell bread at high prices.

Bilal Yasin said the price of a 20kg bag of flour had dropped by Rs500 and the positive effects of this reduction should be passed on to the public. He said that along with the notified price, the standard weight of Roti and Naan should also be fulfilled.

He said that the price list should be clearly displayed in all shops and the district administration should ensure its implementation.

The Punjab government has reduced the price of a 100-gram of Roti from Rs20 to Rs16 and a 120-gram Naan from Rs30 to Rs20 across the province after the prices of wheat and flour decreased.

Tandoor operators complained that the provincial government had not taken them into confidence before issuing the notification of the new prices and implementing it.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, a citizen, Muhammad Khafeez said that the Punjab government had reduced the prices to give some relief to the people reeling under the burden of inflation, but it was necessary to implement the initiative to establish the government writ.

Ahsan Butt ensuring the enforcement of the decision would improve the image of the government.

Muhammad Farid said lack of implementation of the relief measure would be unfair to the people.

A tandoor owner, Naseer Ahmed contended that cheap flour was is not available to the owners who bought it from private shops. In addition, transportation costs are also incurred.

He said the electricity and gas costs had increased manifold along with the wages of employees and rent of shops.

“In this situation, it is impossible to sell Roti and Naan at the price set by the government,” he contended.

He said that 250 Rotis were cooked from a 20kg flour bag, which were sold for Rs5,000. The price of a bag of flour is Rs2,700. The gas, electricity and water bills are paid from the remaining amount. The daily wage of a labourer for preparing dough and cooking is Rs2,000. A tandoor employee, Nabil Ahmed, said the income from the business was low.

Lahore Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa said the food department and district administration had reviewed all aspects related to the matter.

He said Roti was being sold for Rs15 and Naan at Rs20 in Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib. The price of Roti in Lahore and Kasur was Rs16.

Deputy Commissioner Rafia Haider said more than 300 outlets had been checked and notices issued to 52 shopkeepers, fines imposed on 22 and nine arrested.

With additional input from APP

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2024.


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