Wheat flour crisis in Pakistan
Flour prices are touching the sky in Pakistan at the moment. In Peshawar and Karachi cities, people are forced to buy flour for Rs 70 a kg. To curb the shortage of flour, the neighboring country has decided to import 3 lakh tonnes of wheat. Meanwhile, a controversial and ridiculous statement by the Central Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid of Pakistan also came out. He held Pakistani citizens responsible for the shortage of wheat in a press conference. He said that people consumed more bread than usual during November and December. Due to this, there was a shortage of wheat.
After this statement, he was severely criticized in the Parliament of Pakistan and the opposition MPs asked the government to apologize for making fun of Pakistani citizens.
What is the real reason?
Wheat growers have blamed the mill owners and the provincial governments for the shortage of flour. This problem arose when transporters in Karachi went on strike in protest against rising petrol prices. This disrupted the supply of flour. Especially in the local markets of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. Apart from this, the other factor is the inter-provincial ban on transporting wheat between Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The province government has imposed this ban citing smuggling of wheat to Afghanistan.
Problem will be overcome in few days
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had a meeting with senior officials on this problem that arose in the country. The Pakistani government has assured the citizens that the prices of wheat and flour will come down in a few days. The government is taking effective steps. Jahangir Taran, a senior leader of Pakistan Tehreek-based justice, has said that the government has allowed duty free import of wheat.
Citizens also feel responsible to the government
Pakistani people have also blamed the government for the flour crisis that it did not buy enough wheat from farmers. There the support price of wheat has remained at Rs 1300 for many years, while the cost of production has increased considerably. If the Food Department had sufficient stocks of wheat, then the problem would have been resolved in time.
At the same time, flour mills in Punjab province have attributed the large scale consumption of flour in poultry or animal feed mills to the shortage of flour. They say that we are selling flour only at the regulated price.
Source: Gulf News, Reuters, DAWN