LAHORE-The price of 20-kg flour bag has swelled to Rs 460 from Rs 420 in the Punjab as the govt has increased the issue price of wheat for the flour mills from Rs 730 to Rs 810 per 40kg, official sources said on Thursday. The govt has increased the issue price of wheat for the flour mills ahead of the arrival of new wheat crop in the market. The govt had fixed Rs 950 per 40-kg as the wheat procurement price against the previous year's purchase price of Rs 625 per 40-kg. Earlier, the Punjab Food Department was issuing wheat to the flour mills at Rs 730 and the ex-mill and retail price of 20-kg flour bag was Rs 410 and Rs 420 respectively. The Punjab Food Department has increased the wheat price from Rs 730 per maund to Rs 810 while in Sindh it was increased from Rs 750 per maund to Rs 910. The Pakistan Flour Mills Association held a meeting soon after the govt announced increase in the wheat price. Chairman PFMA Asim Raza presided over the meeting, which reviewed the price situation. 'We have decided to increase the ex-mill price of 20-kilogram bag of flour (Atta) from Rs 410 to Rs 450 in Punjab', he said. He further said that the 20-kg flour bag price has been increased from Rs 430 to Rs 530 in Sindh. The provincial govt of Sindh has increased the wheat issue price to Rs 950 per 40 kg for the flour mills. He said that the price of 100kg bag of wheat would be increased to Rs 200 in Punjab while Rs 500 in Sindh. It may be mentioned here that the Punjab and Sindh govts increased the rate of wheat by Rs 80 and Rs160 per maund respectively, which led the flour mills owners to announce rise in the rate of Atta. Chairman FPCCI standing Committee on flourmill industry Dr Bilal Sufi, when contacted, said that the govt would have to bridge the gap between the new procurement price of wheat and issue price as the new wheat crop would start arriving in the local market during the next couple of weeks. He said that this decision would discourage hoarding and smuggling of wheat and definitely overcome flour shortage as the govt has brought wheat price at par with the price in the international market. The govt had to import wheat worth over Rs 104 billion during the last two years due to the shortfall in wheat production in the country, he said.