Rising cost, makes flour unaffordable for many people
LAHORE/KARACHI: According to the news, rising flour prices and the advent of underground marketplaces have rendered flour and its byproducts inaccessible to individuals all around the nation.
The cost of flour has increased to Rs 130 per kg; fine flour costs Rs 150 per kg; and Chakki flour costs Rs 160 per kg.
Despite the allotment of wheat to mills, the Punjab government’s subsidised 10kg and 20kg flour bags are in short supply. The cost of a 15kg bag has also increased dramatically, and it now sells for Rs133 per kg, or more than Rs2000 per bag. On the other hand, the cost of whole wheat flour in Punjab increased dramatically to Rs150 per kg.
Balochistan and Sindh, particularly the metropolitan areas, have seen a sharp increase in the price of flour to over Rs150 per kg, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is seeing a record-breaking price spike of Rs3,000 per bag for a 20kg bag of flour that is still in short supply. According to reports, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad, and Jammu Kashmir have higher prices.
The cost of naan and tandoori roti has increased since last year as a result of the high pricing.
Black markets and hoarding have emerged as a result of the commodity’s dual rates, particularly in Punjab. Numerous complaints have been made concerning the province’s wheat subsidy theft.
Additionally, some have expressed grave worries about the subsidised flour’s declining quality. Many people say that the flour mills are supplying poor quality, foul-smelling flour since there are no quality controls in place.
The crisis has gotten worse as a result of the macroeconomic situation getting worse, the depletion of foreign exchange reserves, and the damage of wheat crops owing to floods.
Market insiders told that if the distribution of wheat to flour mills is adequately controlled, the price might be stabilised.
Two ships carrying more than 350,000 tonnes of Russian wheat arrived in Karachi on Monday, providing respite to the nation. A 700,000-ton import of wheat from Russia was announced by Pakistan’s Ministry of National Food Security & Research. By the end of March, the remaining 400,000 tonnes should reach the Gwadar Port.
A single bag of the staple meal is difficult to come by, and stampedes have also been documented at locations where subsidised flour is sold in rural areas of the nation.