ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator, Shibli Faraz has said that selling sugar and flour at a high rate will not be allowed and it was the top priority of the government to keep flour prices stable across the country.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday Shibli Faraz said the federal government was taking all possible measures to reduce the prices of flour, sugar and other daily use items.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a review meeting on inflation and prices of daily use items, including flour and sugar, and expressed his dissatisfaction with their prices.
He said that the new wheat procurement policy was being prepared as per the instruction of PM Imran Khan. Genuine flour mills owners were assisting the government by implementing orders while ghost ones were indulging in blackmail the government, he added.
Faraz said the focus of the prime minister’s policies was the welfare of the poor and backward classes, who were directly affected by the hike in the prices of daily use items, whereas the past rulers made policies for personal gain and elite class in the country.
He said the PM Imran was regularly getting briefings on inflation and prices, and he had been issuing orders to the provincial authorities to taking measures for their effective control.
The minister further said the meeting was informed that a 20-kg flour bag was being sold in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at Rs 900 to 1,150, in Punjab at Rs 860 to 950, in Karachi (Sindh) at up to Rs 1700.
He said the reason for the highest price of flour in Sindh was that the provincial government had not issued wheat quota to the flour mills. The disparity in flour price resulted from the transportation of wheat from other provinces to Sindh, Shibli Faraz added.
The minister said a comprehensive policy was being formulated for ensuring the equal price of flour across the country. Advisor to the PM on Finance Hafeez Sheikh, Provincial Food Minister Aleem Khan and relevant food secretaries were working out a plan of action, he said.
The government’s target was that the sugar price must come down by at least Rs 20-25 per kilogram. He said the government would reduce the prices of essential goods at any cost.
Since the past rulers owned sugar mills so they formulated policies for their own interest at the cost of farmers and consumers, he added.
The minister said it was a matter of satisfaction that even during the difficult times of COVID-19 plague; the supply of daily use items remained stable. Shibli Faraz informed both public and private sectors were importing sugar to reduce its prices in the market.
The Federal Government in cooperation with the provinces was introducing a new law to ensure the timely start of the sugarcane crushing, he said.
The minister said under the new law, the sugar mill that delayed crushing, would be fined Rs 5 million a day, which was presently Rs 20,000 for the entire season. He said in the case of the sugar crisis, the related institutions were being investigated.