The Lahore High Court (LHC) was informed by the Punjab government on Friday regarding existence of “substantial quantity” of wheat available in the flour mills as well as in the markets of the province.

LHC Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh – hearing the case regarding wheat shortage in the province – sought reply from the Punjab additional chief secretary (ACS) whether wheat crisis arose due to following factors: smuggling, given to Afghan refugees or taken to other provinces.

The ACS replied, “2.3 million tonnes of wheat is available.” The chief justice resultantly inquired regarding an impression of a crisis and that the flour was expensive. The Food secretary then stated that chakki owners had actually purchased wheat from open markets at a higher price so they were adamant on raising their rate list.

Upon Secretary's clarification, The CJ remarked that problem arose essentially due to  lack of communication between the institutions. “A coordination system should be adopted to facilitate inter-department communication,” he emphasised.

The high court adjourned the hearing until January 29 and sought response from the federal government.

The LHC had previously issued notices to the both, the federal and Punjab governments, in order to provide response to petition questioning failure of relevant authourities to control the flour crisis.

The CJ stressed that the court seeks to understand the genuine reasons being the cause of crisis and the subsequent failure of the government to try to control it.