KARACHI - The Sindh government would release wheat to flour mills and 'Chakies at Rs975/40 kg from first day of next month, suggested by Federal cabinet, sources told The Nation. However, the final decision about the issue price of commodity will be taken in a meeting being held today (Wednesday), to be chaired by Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah. When contacted by The Nation, Provincial Secretary of Food Department Kamran Naveed Baloch confirmed the meeting schedule and said that the department will brief the Sindh Chief Minister regarding the amount spent on 1.2m tons wheat stocks procured during this season and issue price of commodity suggested by the Federal government. 'The provincial food department will start releasing wheat from 1st August, 2009, but the issue price will be decided by CM Sindh, he said, adding that a significant amount would involve to release wheat on subsidised rates to flour mills and 'chakies. It may be noted here that provincial food department had procured the wheat at official support price of Rs950/40 kg from farmers, which increased to over Rs1000 after transportation and storage cost. Another senior official of the Food Department said that provincial department has prepared proposals about issue price of wheat to be released from next month. The department has prepared a summary for CM Sindh carrying proposals to release wheat at Rs975/40kg to mills as 'Ramadan Package with the aim to provide relief to consumers in the fast approaching holy month. He further said that two options of releasing wheat on monthly fix quota or liberal policy would be considered. This years wheat procurement has doubled, to 1.2m tons against merely 0.6m tons procurement of last year. However, Johar Kandhari provincial chairman of Pakistan Flour Mills Association while talking to The Nation said the provincial food department is going to decide the issue price of wheat on Wednesday, but before deciding price, the flour mills body has not been taken into confidence by government. He predicted that government may follow the federal government suggestion to set issue price of wheat at Rs975/40kg for mills and said the proposed price is equal to the commodity rates prevailing in open market in city. 'If government sets the issue price of wheat at Rs975-40 kg for mills/chakies, the ex-mill rate of flour will touch Rs30 per kg, while increase in retail price of commodity will be evitable in coming days, he pointed out. Provincial chief of flour mills body claimed that at least five rupees expenditures are borne by mills per kilogram of wheat, which include transportation, electricity, govt taxes and other charges. Keeping in mind of daily consumption needs of 5 to 6 thousands metric tons wheat, he said at least 0.15m tons wheat require in a month, while same quantity of this food staple also require for other districts of the province in a month. He demanded that bearing subsidy of at least Rs5b, the govt should supply wheat at Rs20/kg to flour mills and 'chakies for this season as stock of commodity lies in the godowns are sufficient to fulfil the consumption needs for next season.