LAHORE - The Punjab government’s representative informed the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday that abundant quantity of wheat was available in the flour mills and the market.

Last Wednesday, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh had observed that the court wanted to know the reasons behind the wheat crisis and the government’s failure to control the situation by issuing notices to the respondents and summoning the Punjab additional chief secretary and foods secretary yesterday.

During the proceedings, Punjab additional chief secretary informed the court that over 2.3 million tonnes of wheat was available in the market.

The chief justice asked whether wheat had been smuggled, given to Afghan refugees or taken to other provinces. The government’s representative told the court that there was a substantial quantity of wheat available in the flour mills and in the market.

On his reply that 2.3-million tonnes of wheat is available, the court asked then why there was an impression of a crisis and that the produce had been made expensive. The food secretary said that chakki owners raise their rate list as they purchase wheat from open markets at higher prices.

The court observed that there was a lack of communication between the state institutions. The court suggested that a coordination system be carried out to facilitate communication among the department.

The additional chief secretary said that four more additional chief secretaries were being posted for the purpose. The judge remarked that there are complaints of adulteration in 60 percent of the wheat flour.

The court then adjourned the hearing until January 31 and has sought response from the federal government.