Flour mill-owners threaten strike from October 12
LAHORE: The Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Punjab Chapter has announced to go on a strike from Tuesday, October 12, 2021, if the ambiguities in the official wheat release policy were not removed till Monday.
Addressing a press conference, PFMA Punjab chairman Tahir Hanif Malik and group leader Asim Raza Ahmad said that the flour mills across the province is perturbed over the official wheat release policy.
The mill-owners held a meeting in the past to discuss the release policy and unanimously demanded that a minimum benchmark of wheat quota/body should be fixed, extraction ratio of wheat should be fixed at 70:30 instead of 80:20, price of 20kg flour bag should be fixed afresh and the condition of lifting 25 per cent of allocated quota to a mill from districts other than the district of the mill.
The meeting decided that the flour mills will neither lift wheat quota from the food department till the acceptance of their demands nor they enter into any kind of agreement with the department.
They said that later after meetings with the Food Department secretary and Punjab Food director, it was decided that the demands of the mill-owners would be sent to the Cabinet for approval and strike was deferred.
However, they said there had been no development since September 24, 2021. Many rounds of negotiations were held with the provincial food department but to no avail.
They said unrest is increasing among the mill-owners, while reduction in wheat quota is resulting in less availability of flour in the market on the government rates.
The PFMA claimed that lower quota was not even matching the production cost of the mills and reiterated the demands earlier sent to the Cabinet, besides abolishing the condition of lifting 25 per cent allocated quota by a mill from other districts, allowing free movement of flour from Southern Punjab to interior Sindh.
They warned that if their demands are not met till Monday (October 11, 2021), the mills will go on strike from Tuesday across the province.
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