LAHORE - Taking notice of artificial shortage of wheat flour in different cities, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar Thursday directed action against flour millers selling wheat in the open market out of their allocated quota of food grains.

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar presided over a meeting at his office to review prices as well as demand and supply of flour and wheat along with ongoing sugarcane crushing and payments to farmers in the province.

The chief minister directed to initiate indiscriminate action against flour mills involved in the sale of allocated wheat in the open market and added that no flour mill can be

The chief minister also directed to further streamline the monitoring of exit points of different cities. “I shall not tolerate any hurdle in the provision of flour at the suitable rate and people should not face any difficulty with regard to the provision of flour in their areas”, he said.

1.5 million ton sugar reserves are available

He warned that action will be initiated in case of any complaint and the wheat procured by the flour mills from the food department must be made available in the market in the shape of flour. He ordered that hundred percent grinding of procured wheat should be ensured and this should also be regularly monitored along with submission of a report about it.

He ordered that there should be no shortage of flour anywhere in the province and directed the food department that flour mills should be bound to establish fair-price shops where flour should be available at ex-mill rate. Usman Buzdar said that the provincial minister for food should take a lead for the solution of different issues and indiscriminate action should also be taken against the corrupt elements of the food department.

Secretary food told the meeting that food department was releasing four thousand metric ton wheat to flour mills on daily basis and ample wheat reserves were available in the province. He also informed that wheat quota of flour mills, failing to abide by the rules and regulations, has been suspended and there was no dearth of wheat or flour in the province. Director Food attended the meeting while Food Minister took part in the proceedings from Bahawalpur through video link.

The meeting also reviewed the sugarcane crushing season and payments to the farmers. The chief minister was told that sugar mills were currently engaged in crushing.

“At least10 million metric tons crushing has been done and 10.51 lac ton sugar reserves are available in the province. Last year, 99 percent payments were made to the sugarcane growers and around 80 percent payments were also made this year.”

Usman Buzdar assured that interests of sugarcane farmers will be safeguarded by the government. “In compliance with the clear-cut instructions of the Punjab government, some non-functional sugar mills have also started crushing. I am a custodian of the farmers and no compromise will be made on their interests”, he assured.

He further said that sugar mills will never be allowed the deduction of sugarcane weight and farmers will be given a full reward of their hard work. He said PTI government had increased the support prices of wheat and sugarcane crops.

He regretted that the past government exploited the farmers by not increasing the support-prices of these two crops. “The incumbent government is farmer-friendly because Punjab would only be prosperous if its farmers are rich and contented”.  He said Punjab government was striving to financially strengthen the farmers along with the promotion of the agriculture sector on modern lines.

2020 will be a year of

fulfilling commitments

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said that 2020 was paving the way for a prosperous and peaceful Pakistan adding that government had not compromised on its commitment towards public service despite the spate of criticism.

“The government continued to perform and served the masses while opposition remained busy in slogan-mongering”, he said, in a statement.

Buzdar further said that with the people as the PTI was striving for transforming Pakistan as a true welfare state. He regretted that even the fundamental needs of the people were ignored and resources were wasted on exhibitory projects in the past. The incumbent government, he said, had set a new example by introducing holistic reforms and attention had been focused on the provision of facilities to the general public.

 Pakistan will achieve its real destination in 2020, he added.