Attock-All Pakistan Flour Mills Association (APFMA) has announced to observe countrywide strike from Sunday against food department and administration’s step motherly policy with millers and creating hurdles in smooth functioning in sheer violation of MoU between millers and food department.

“We are being treated as hard-core criminals by raiding the mill premises, threats of registration of cases, imposition of heavy fines and not allowing holding wheat for grinding and supply of flour and massive harassment by officials of local administration and food department,” Vice Chairman, Pakistan Flour Mills Association Sheikh Muhammad Saeed along with office bearers of Punjab Flour Mills Association while talking to newsmen in Hassanabdal near Attock on Saturday.

He said that the strike call was given by central body of the association and millers across the province would stop grinding and supply of flour to the markets from Sunday. It will continue until the assurance of the relevant departments that they would not carry out unnecessary raids at mills by scaling the walls, harassment of owners by officials of local administration and allowing the millers to hold wheat stock for 72 hours for washing and grinding. “The flour millers have given adequate time to government and food department to procure wheat from the growers but the step motherly attitude of the administration and officials of food department is un-called for as they are conducting raids at various districts across the Punjab and even not allowing 200 bags of wheat to hold for washing and grinding,” he said. He further added that the flour millers, having the hoarding  rights can store adequate stock of wheat but the government functionaries not only confiscated the wheat but also book flour millers in different cases in sheer violation of MoU between flour millers and government. Sheikh Zeeshan, member Punjab flour mills association, speaking on this occasion said “We have taken the decision after receiving directions of office bearers of central executive committee of the association to go on strike from Sunday.” He added,“this is not a token protest, but a complete shutdown until the demands are met by concerned government departments.” If we don’t have wheat, what would we grind and supply in the market,” he questioned.

The millers appealed to Chief Minister Punjab as well as Provincial Minister for Food   to take stock of the plight of flour millers as anti-mills steps would lead to adding to the miseries of the common man already hit hard by inflation and price hike.