The Chairman of the Pakistan Flour Millers Association (South Zone), Chaudhry Amir Abdullah, stated that if wheat is imported from Russia, the prices of flour will decrease to Rs. 110 per kg in Karachi and throughout the country. This is significantly lower compared to the current prices of Rs. 150 and above per kg.

During a briefing with journalists affiliated with the Council of Economic and Energy Journalists (CEEJ), Chaudhry Amir Abdullah emphasized that the cost of Russian wheat imports amounts to approximately Rs. 9,500 per ton, which is considerably lower than the local wheat prices in Karachi ranging from Rs. 12,500 to 14,500 per ton.

He further highlighted that the quality of Russian wheat is superior to what is typically imported from Ukraine. This higher quality wheat opens up opportunities for exporting flour to countries like Canada, Europe, and the Middle East.

The shortage of wheat supplies in the southern region, particularly in Karachi, has led to escalating wheat prices. Chaudhry Amir Abdullah warned that the prices in Karachi may reach up to Rs. 200 per kg if the situation persists. He attributed the flour crisis to provincial policies implemented by the Sindh government, which hindered millers from purchasing grain from growers in upper Sindh.

According to Amir Abdullah, 30 out of 93 flour mills in Karachi have halted their flour production due to the unavailability of wheat. He criticized the government for failing to fulfill its commitment of providing 5 million bags of wheat and only supplying 525,000 bags (10.5%) by mid-March. He specifically mentioned that the wheat shortage is only observed in Karachi.

The chairman accused the government of establishing checkpoints between upper Sindh and Karachi, where officials allegedly accept bribes to allow wheat-carrying trucks to pass. He also claimed that over 200,000 sacks of wheat, which had deteriorated and were declared unfit for human consumption, were forcibly handed over to mill owners from the government’s warehouses located in Malir.

As a result of these grievances, the Pakistan Flour Millers Association announced a strike, refusing to supply flour to retailers until their demands are met. Their demands include the resumption of wheat supplies and measures to prevent officials from accepting bribes from millers.

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