Inflation tsunami breaking the backbone of poor masses

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Inflation tsunami is breaking the backbone of poor masses as they have no other option but the purchase the basic necessity of life “Flour” of Rs 145 per kg in Lahore and adjoining areas. With the price of wheat hitting Rs5,000 per maund in the grain markets, the rate of flour has hit Rs150 per kilogramme in Rawalpindi’s open market.

A 15-kg bag of flour is being sold for Rs2,250 in the garrison city. An ex-mill red flour bag is available for Rs11,650 in the city while the rate of an ex-mill fine flour bag has increased to Rs13,000.

The Pakistan Flour Mills Ass ociation (PFMA) said the official quota of wheat was low and wheat was being sold at Rs5,400 per maund in the open market. The city’s Naanbai Association has warned that they would be compelled to increase the rate of a roti by Rs5 again if the prices were not brought under control.

Similarly, the whole-grain chakki flour has jumped up to an all-time high of Rs145 per kg across Lahore.Apart from that, different brands of flour are being sold at a price of Rs130 per kg in the provincial capital. Flour millers in Lahore blame the reduced wheat releases from the government for the increase in prices.

Chakki owners hold the shortage of grains and high wheat support price responsible for the uptick in the flour rates in Punjab. Former PFMA chairman Khaleeq Arshad told that hardly 21,000-22,000 tonnes of wheat was being released by the Punjab food department. The release of government wheat in Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan was also negligible, he added. “There are insufficient grains in the market in comparison with the demand,” he maintained. In addition, he indicated that the government had delayed wheat import despite having complete knowledge of the current market situation.

“Smuggling and black marketing of wheat flour are other factors responsible for the price increase,” he pointed out. Besides these local problems and internal mismanagement, Arshad pointed out that the Russia-Ukraine war had also made wheat import difficult. (INP)