LAHORE - Flour bags vanished from the local markets causing worst flour shortage in the City during Eid holidays with the government clueless how to improve flour supply, dealers said on Saturday. The flour dealers said that the flour supply situation would not improve in the open market before Monday.  However, the flour millers said that at least 80,000 flour bags would be supplied in the Sunday bazaars today (Sunday) at Rs 420 per 20-kg. The government on Friday increased the flour price from Rs 300 to Rs 420 per 20-kg bag and abolished the subsidy on staple food. Market sources said that the flour millers had reduced the supply to the markets three days before Eid considering a considerable increase of Rs 120 in the price of 20-kg bag, as a result worst flour shortage hit the market. The Punjab government putting an end to Ramadan package on Friday announced new wheat issue price from Rs 545 to Rs 730 per 40kg. Taking advantage of the situation, the flour dealers started selling only five-kg and 10-kg bags at the retail shops in the City at Rs 150 and Rs 275 respectively as no 20-kg bags are available in the market. The flour crisis still persists in the open market as the government has badly failed to overcome the shortage, shopkeepers said. "The government must ensure flour availability in the open market instead of forcing the public to run after the flour trucks or wait for hours outside sale-points," Shahid Mahmood, a resident of Samanabad said. "We don't have flour bags at the shops for sale and the customers are going back with empty hands. A great number of shopkeepers are waiting for flour supply across the City but they were not supplied even a single bag till Thursday evening," said Rao Akram, president Lahore Kiryana Merchants Association, when contacted. He urged the government to immediately ensure flour supply to the shopkeepers. He said that neither the flour millers nor the officials of City District Govt were supplying flour bags to the shopkeepers so far, which has further intensified the shortage. Khalid Ahmed, a representative of Lahore Atta Dealers Association said that they were still facing severe shortage of flour. "We don't have even a single flour bag of 20kg as a number of customers are going back with empty hands," he added. The flour millers however, were of the view that the flour supply situation would improve in the local market from Monday. "It will take two to three days more to bridge the supply and demand gap. The government has fixed the new price of 20-kg flour bag at Rs 420, which would not only help improve the supply situation but also discourage the flour smuggling," Dr Bilal Sufi, Honorary Advisor to the Pakistan Flour Mills Association said, when contacted. He also said that at least 80,000 flour bags would be supplied to the Sunday bazaars to overcome the flour shortage in the City. Naeem Khan, another shopkeeper from Mughalpura area said that they were still facing severe shortage of flour. He said that over a hundred flour bags were supplied to some dealers, which disappeared from the shops within no time because the demand was very high than the supply. Meanwhile, the areas like Baghbanpura, Shadman, Wahdat Colony, Iqbal Town, Sabzazar, Islampura, Johar Town, Township, Faisal Town and Samanabad are facing acute shortage of flour due to the mismanagement and inadequate supply. It is worth mentioning here that the Punjab government during the holy month of Ramadan had fixed the price of 20kg flour bag at Rs 300 and gave Rs 1.60 billion subsidy on flour to provide cheap flour to the public.