Wheat prices skyrocketed in Punjab, including the federal capital. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported the wheat flour price increased on an average by 7.51% nationwide to Rs106.38/kg in the week that ended on September 15 compared to Rs98.95 in the prior week which ended on September 8.
In February, the price of wheat in the open market in the twin city of Rawalpindi Islamabad remained at Rs. 2400 to Rs. 2500 per 40kg. As a consequence of this sharp rise in prices, the crisis of price rise and shortage of flour has started to arise in the whole of Punjab.
Read more: Flour prices breaking the backs of citizens
According to the Punjab Food Ministry, the disagreement between the federal government and the Punjab government over wheat provision has been resolved, with the federal government agreeing to furnish the province with 500,000 tonnes of wheat.
Increase in supply due to this provision would result in lower prices of wheat across the province.
Wheat prices have fallen from Rs3800 to Rs3300, according to Food Ministry sources, and are projected to fall further to Rs3000 in the coming week. The Federal government’s plan to give Punjab wheat would discourage hoarders in Sindh.
According to the food ministry, flour mill owners would drop their rates once the wheat supply is restored and stockpiling stops.
With regards to the matter of wheat provision, earlier on September 13, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi stated that the federal government is “behaving like a stepmother” toward the Punjab government, particularly on wheat provision.
In a session on September 13, Chief Minister Elahi directed that an official protest be registered against the federal government over the inadequate supply of wheat to the country’s most populous province.
The import of wheat has spiked 11-time to 622,515 metric tons in the first two-month (Jul-Aug) of the current fiscal year 2023 compared to 57,000 metric tons in the same two months of the last year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The wheat import bill rose 19-time to $310.76 million in the two months under review compared to $16.46 million in the same two months of the last year.