LAHORE.              -          Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has taken strict notice of the unnecessary increase in flour price in some districts of the province and directed to take immediate administrative measures for stabilizing the flour prices.

He directed to immediately remove the Food Department officers involved in irregularities and negligence from duty. Usman Buzdar said that he will not tolerate the unnecessary increase in flour price at any cost.

On the strict instructions of Chief Minister, Punjab Food Department initiated crackdown and took action against 376 flour mills and imposed an overall fine of Rs 90.6million besides suspending the license of 15 flour mills along with suspending the quota of wheat of 180 mills. Action has also been initiated against the food department officers for showing negligence in their duties and four such officers have been removed from their posts.

According to officials, District Food Controller Gujranwala Rohail Butt and District Food Controller Sialkot Nasrullah Khan Nadeem have been suspended while Deputy Director Food Department Faisalabad Kamran Bashir and District Food Controller Vehari Sagheer Ahmed have been removed from their posts.

Also, on the instructions of Chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, at least 126 sale points have been set up in different districts of the province for ensuring the smooth supply of flour.

Flour is being supplied on the ex-mill rate at 21 sale points in Lahore division through trucks. Similarly, 55 sale points have been set up in Rawalpindi division where flour is being provided at control rate.  Moreover, flour is being provided at nine sale points in Gujranwala division at control rate through trucks, at 17 sale points in Bahawalpur division and at 24 sale points in district Sialkot where flour is being provided at control rate.

Usman Buzdar said that availability of flour to the people at fixed rates will be ensured. He directed to set up a monitoring cell in the Food Department for the strict monitoring of supply and demand of wheat and flour. He said that those mills will be sealed which involved in selling flour from government wheat in the open market. He directed officers of the food department and district administration to ensure the availability of flour at a fixed price. He said that the flour Chaki owners will not be allowed to increase the price of flour and action will be initiated against the violators. He directed strict the monitoring system at the exit points of the province and added that no leniency will be shown to anyone with regard to unwanted increasing in flour price.

The CM directed Minister Food to ensure the availability of flour in the market by going into the field. He said that the government will not let flour price increase in Punjab. He said that the food department should submit report about their daily base initiative to chief minister office. “I shall not accept increase in flour prices at any cost and food department should take action to ensure the availability of flour in the market,” the CM said.

Reportedly, the price of flour has reached Rs 70 per-kg after an increase of Rs 6 in Lahore. The Flour Mills Association jacked up the price of flour to Rs 70 per kg owing to increasing in wheat prices. The FMA announced the increase in the flour prices stating that as per the increase in the wheat prices the flour prices should be of Rs 72 but it has been set at 70. The flour price was also increased by the FMA on January 4 by Rs 4.