Flour millers of the Potohar region have threatened to launch a protest drive if their loaded trucks were not released by the authorities in Punjab.
At an emergency meeting held in Islamabad on Thursday, representatives of the flour mills said that trucks supplying wheat to flour mills of the Potohar region were being stopped and unloaded at Sargodha, Wazirabad, Jhang and Mianwali, which may cause a flour crisis in the Potohar region.
The Punjab government has clamped a ban on wheat supply to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) from Punjab.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Islamabad Traders’ Action Committee Secretary Information Khalid Chaudhry said that 140 mills were facing an acute shortage of wheat after the trucks were stopped in different cities of Punjab. He said that if the practice persisted, mills in the Potohar region will not be able to supply flour to the market.
He said Punjab and Sindh have produced 2 million tons of wheat beyond their set target. He said that the Punjab Food Department, PASCO and the private sector have sufficient stocks, but an artificial shortage was being created.
Traders Action Committee Chairman Sheikh Muhammad Shabbir said that provincial government instead of stopping trucks supplying wheat to K-P, the provincial government was punishing mills in the Potohar region.
He also condemned the ban on wheat supply to K-P, terming it unjust.
“Punishing the PTI-led government in K-P will add to the peoples’ miseries in the province,” he said. They demanded that the Punjab chief minister and prime minister intervene and ensure smooth supply of wheat to flour mills in the Potohar region.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2014.
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