LAHORE - Punjab Chief Secretary Major (retired) Azam Suleman Khan and KPK Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz on Saturday discussed the supply and demand of flour in both the provinces. They also agreed to ensure uninterrupted transportation of wheat and flour from Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province.

Both the chief secretaries during a video-link conference decided to keep a check on the smuggling of flour and what.

The KPK Chief Secretary informed his counterpart about the problems being faced at borders during transportation of wheat and flour from Punjab to KPK.

The Chief Secretary Punjab arranged the video-link conference soon after meeting Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar. Provincial Minister Food Mr Sami Ullah Chaudhry, Secretary Food Department Mr Waqas Ali Mehmood, director food, and representatives of flour mills association were also present on this occasion.

Major (retired) Azam Suleman Khan assured that all necessary arrangements would be made to resolve these problems and instructions have been issued to relevant authorities in this regard.

The meeting decided that concerned officers of food departments of both the provinces would keep close liaison to get the required results regarding wheat and flour availability.

The Chief Secretary assured that as soon as data about flour mills that send supply to KPK is received it would be shared with the relevant authorities to ensure free transportation of wheat and flour at borders.

The Chief Secretary KPK said that all kind of cooperation would be extended to Punjab regarding cross-border movement so that wheat and flour smuggling could be controlled.

Punjab Minister for Food Sami Ullah Chaudhry on Saturday said artificial increase in flour prices would not be allowed as necessary measures had been taken in this regard.

He was presiding over a meeting to review the prices of flour and demand and supply of wheat. Secretary Food Waqas Ali Mehmood, Director Food Wajid Ali Shah and Additional Director Food (Lahore) Muhammad Hussain Khokhar were also present.

The minister ordered for monitoring availability of flour from mills. Sami Ullah Chaudhry said for the ease of people, 20kg flour bag at subsidised rate of Rs790 and 10kg bag at Rs395 was available in the province.

The complaints lodged about the prices and availability of flour from various districts would be redressed, he said.

Reportedly, flour delivery from Punjab was closed for five days as crisis deepens in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to reports, flour stock in Peshawar was left for only two days and price of 20kg flour bag increased by Rs 100 in one week whereas the rate of 85kg sack surged by Rs 400-500.

The dealers say that delivery from Punjab had been halted completely. People have complained that it was already difficult to make both the ends meet and the new crisis has multiplied their miseries.

On the other hand, KP Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai once again urged people to not eat fine flour. He said doctors warn that fine flour can become a cause of cancer whereas local whole-wheat flour saves from stomach diseases.

The minister also questioned that why the Nanbais prefer fine flour of Punjab instead of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. KP is giving subsidy on fine flour while Punjab’s fine flour is expensive, he said.