LAHORE -  Chairman of FPCCI’s Standing Committee on Flour Milling Dr Bilal Sufi has criticized the notification of the Punjab food department regarding wheat release policy, terming it as illegal and unacceptable.

He said that food department has adopted a discriminatory attitude both with the buyers (millers) as well as the sellers (growers).  “The department purchases 101.15kg wheat from the growers but counts it only 100kg. At the time of releasing wheat to the flour mills it counts 100kg but sells less weight of 99kg. Through a notification, the department has stated that the weight of sack will also be counted along with 99kg wheat, which is illegal, he said.

Dr Bilal Sufi stated that thousands of kilos wheat is not being kept in record. “It’s the question as to who is benefitting from thousands of kilos of wheat?”

Senior vice chairman Ch Mukhtar said that no other province is doing this illogical and illegal practice, urging the food department to withdraw this notification at the earliest.

Sufi also demanded a generalised wheat export policy, favouring not only the whole flour millers but also general consumers. He asked the government to freeze the wheat support price at current level. “In fact, the wheat rate should be cut down to the level of international rates to improve the almost stagnant exports of the commodity,” he demanded.

“The export is not possible until the local wheat prices are linked to that in the international market,” he noted.

Besides, he said, Russian states and India had snatched the Afghan market from Pakistan, causing a glut of wheat here. “International wheat prices are very low and the rates still do not become feasible even after adding subsidy,” he said.