Threat of most serious flour crisis in decades approaching. The crisis will make people forget destruction by virus, disasters. Mafia can be frustrated by immediate wheat import.

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(June 01, 2020)

FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel SVP, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said most serious flour crisis in the history of the country is in the making which can be stopped through the government’s intervention.

Mafia has planned to increase the price of flour by at least fifty percent which will make people forget the recent coronavirus crisis and all the disasters that took place over the last seventy years, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the policies of the federal and provincial governments have emboldened the mafia which cannot be stopped through statements.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the price of wheat and flour is increasing rapidly in the market and the price of wheat has jumped from Rs1400 to Rs1600 per maund in few days.

The former Minister noted that some seed companies, brokers and landlords are hoarding wheat while the officials of the food department seem unconcerned what has resulted in an artificial shortage in some districts.

The flour mills are not being allowed to stock wheat according to their requirements which is contributing to the situation, he said, adding that the government should launch an operation against profiteers and hoarders or allow the import of wheat to stabilize prices.

He said that import of one million tonnes of wheat per month up to April next year has become imperative to foil the unholy designs of mafia for which cooperation of private sector and flour mills must be sought.

The wheat production can fall behind target by a million tonnes which can be bridged through imports for which regulatory duty must be reduced.

Government can import wheat from USA, Russia, and Ukraine while the private sector should be allowed to import it from any country.

He warned that inaction can result in a serious crisis for which the government will have to pay a heavy price.

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