LAHORE - Punjab Food Minister Bilal Yaseen has said the Sindh government’s ban on wheat movement is creating shortage of commodity in open market. In a statement issued on Wednesday, he said that the gap was being filled through wheat releases from the government stocks at the cost of depletion of carry forward stocks in the interest of consumers.Arrival of fresh wheat had been delayed in Punjab because of overcast, the minister added. “The food department is ensuring strict monitoring of release of wheat to flour mills. Release of wheat to flour mills was started earlier during current scheme year on September 5, 2013 as compared to October 8, 2012. Releases during current year are on lesser side, i.e 3,894,675MT against the last year release of 4,009,507 MT to flour mills,” said the minister. –OUR STAFF REPORTER“The supply, rate and quality flour was ensured through monitoring teams and grinding of wheat by the flour mills through electricity bills. Fines of Rs16,944,250 were imposed on the defaulters flour mills, beside suspension of wheat quota. Resultantly, abundant availability of quality flour within the government fixed price of Rs785/20 kg has been ensured throughout the year, despite enormous outflow of flour to other provinces. However, no restriction on the outflow of wheat and flour was imposed in the interest of the consumers of whole country,” Bilal held. The minister said the food department had ensured abundant supply of quality flour at the ex-mill price of Rs765/20 kg in the Sasta Bazars. The sale data of flour bag in the Sasta Bazars clearly established the abundant availability of wheat flour at the government fixed price as 448,928 bags of 20 kg remained unsold against the total supply of 1,161,757 bags at the ex-mill price of Rs765/20 kg in the Sasta Bazars.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 10-Apr-2014 here.