LAHORE - The Punjab government has failed to ensure sufficient supply of flour in the open market in the provincial metropolis despite allocating Rs 2 billion subsidy on the staple food, market sources said on Thursday. Long queues of people who were restless to get flour bags at the subsidised rates, witnessed around the flour trucks, outside sale-points and fair price shops throughout the City on Thursday. "We don't need subsidy. We need flour. Flour bags have vanished from the market since the government announced to provide flour at subsidised rates," Ahmed Munir, a resident of Sabzazar said, when contacted. Despite hectic efforts and settlement with the flour millers, the provincial government could not ensure supply of flour at the sale-points and fair price shops only as there are no 20-kg flour bags available in the open market. Taking advantage of the flour shortage, the flour dealers are supplying only five-kg and 10-kg bags at the retail shops in the City at Rs 135 and Rs 260 respectively. 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, the President Lahore Kiryana Merchants Association, when contacted. He urged the government to supply the flour bags to the shopkeepers and dealers rather than supplying and distributing the flour on the roads, which often resulted in panic. He said that neither the flour millers nor the officials of City District Govt are supplying flour bags to the shopkeepers, 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. 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. He also informed that a number of customers went back with empty hands. Meanwhile, the areas like Baghbanpura, Shadman, Wahdat Colony, Iqbal Town, Sabzazar, Islampura, Johar Town and Samanabad are facing acute shortage of flour due to the inadequate supply.