Skyrocketing prices making flour inaccessible in Pakistan
Islamabad, Jan 10 (IANS) Skyrocketing wheat flour prices have kept the food staple inaccessible for many in Pakistan as varied rates of grain and its by-products in provinces continue to encourage its black-marketing.
People are struggling to get a single bag of the daily-use commodity and stampedes have also been reported at sale points in rural parts of the country as the people endeavour to get subsidised flour bags, The News reported.
The highly subsidised 10 and 20 kg flour bags in Punjab province are still short in supply despite issuance of wheat to mills in sizeable quantity.
The price of a 15 kg bag went through the roof as it is available at around 133 PKR per kg or over 2,000 PKR per bag.
The whole wheat flour on the other hand soared to 150 PKR per kg in the province.
In Sindh, especially in the urban areas, and in the entire Balochistan, per kg flour price has been as high as 150 PKR.
Similar is with the case of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where a 20 kg flour bag is in short supply even at record price of 3,000 PKR per bag.
The rates of tandoori roti and naan also hiked to almost double the price of what was prevalent a year back.
It seems that there is no check on black-marketing of wheat and flour in the country, especially in the Punjab province from where complaints about pilferage of subsidised wheat have been rampant.
There are serious issues of flour quality deterioration.
People complained that smelly wheat flour is being supplied by the flour mills and there is no quality check of the officials concerned, The News reported.
Meanwhile, market insiders are of the view that price of wheat may touch the peak for the time being following increase of wheat release quota in Punjab province, the biggest producer and consumer of grains in the country.
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