LAHORE - The Pakistan Flourmills Association (Punjab branch) has increased the flour price by Rs 25 per 20-kg bag on the plea that there has been a surge in the wheat price in open market and increase in the oil and gas prices. It is stated that the flour millers have increased the flour price without getting any permission from the Punjab government, thanks to good governance of the new provincial leadership. "We have unanimously decided in our today's meeting to increase the flour price by Rs 25 per 20-kg bag which will be applicable from Wednesday (today)," said Habib-ur-Rehman Leghari, Chairman Pakistan Flourmills Association (Punjab-branch) while talking to The Nation on Tuesday. According to him, after the increase in price of wheat, the ex-mills price of 20-kg flour bag will jump to Rs 385 and in retail, the price will soar to Rs 400 from Rs 365 to Rs 375 respectively. However, he said the flour supply situation would remain normal in the local market with no chance of any shortage as the millers have announced to increase the flour price. Justifying the price hike decision, he said that the millers were left with no other option but to increase the flour price as the wheat price had soared to Rs 740 per 40-kg in the open market, and the cost of doing business also increased after a record surge in oil price. He said as the wheat price increased from Rs 625 to Rs 740 per 40-kg therefore, the flour millers had to increase the flour price. To a question, he said, "We don't need to get permission from the Punjab government to decide an increase in the flour prices." He further said the Flourmills Association had forwarded a letter to the Punjab government three days ago, urging it either to issue wheat quota to the flourmills immediately or increase the flour price. But the government did not respond to it, so we have decided to increase the flour price, he added. Leghari said an urgent meeting of the Pakistan Flour Mills Association held on Tuesday took decision about the flour price. It is important to note here that in April last, the govt had increased the issue price of wheat to the flourmills from Rs 465 to Rs 625 per 40kg, as a result of which the price of 20-kg flour bag soared from Rs 290 to Rs 365. It is worth mentioning here that people, forming part of Punjab government at present had pledged in their election campaign to bring down the flour prices at all costs, but ironically, the prices are on the increase instead of showing any downward trend.