Flour is the most basic staple commodity which even the poorest segment of society consumes for a basic meal. The sudden soaring rise in flour prices across the country is a serious cause for concern as it will affect the common man.
According to reports, the price of flour has increased by Rs6 per kg across the country and is being sold at Rs70 per kg in various cities including Lahore and Karachi. The price of wheat flour has increase by Rs30 in the past five months. All claims of providing relief by the PTI government are in vain as prices keep on skyrocketing during their tenure.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken notice of the hike in flour prices calling for the hoarders and profiteers to be penalised. A two-member committee has been formed to make efforts to reduce prices but this is unlikely to have much effect. The prime minister has ordered authorities to take remedial measures to reduce prices of edible items and other essential commodities as well.
The government is planning to release 0.1 million tons wheat to KP, but in a shocking move the chief minister claims there is no wheat crisis in his province. The government will also import 0.3 tons wheat this year. This can eventually ease the crisis but cannot provide immediate relief.
Flour Mills Association has said that no subsidy has been provided by the government compelling them to raise prices. They claim that flour prices have been increased due to a rise in wheat prices. The government often appears helpless over the influential mills owners and sellers and is unable to take any concrete action.
The politicking over the wheat crisis has not subsided. PTI leader Jehangir Tareen has said that Sindh government was instructed to collected 0.4 million tons from storage facilities but instead only 0.1 tonnes wheat was collected. The Sindh government has stated that wheat from Punjab, sent to meet the shortfall in Sindh, has not yet reached the province.
The common man is not concerned whether the wheat crisis is genuine or created by inefficiencies of the authorities. He is worried about fulfilling the basic needs of his children and providing them two square meals a day. The government should spare the poorest segments already facing unemployment, poverty and immediately take action to reduce prices.