Punjab flour mills announce strike, govt decries conspiracy
Punjab Food Secretary Zaman Wattoo has said that the strike announced by the Flour Mills Association is an attempt to create a food shortage in the province.
He also said that the people who ‘instigated’ the Flour Mill owners to start the strike are being investigated and action will be taken once their data is collected.
“We will not be blackmailed,” Zaman Watoo said. He also said that a majority of the mills were agaisnt the strike.
Flour Mill Association Chairman Iftikhar Mattu had announced that Flour Mills in Punjab would go on strike from February 13 in response to the provincial government’s ‘unjustified’ actions.
Mattu said that atleast 13 mills in the province had been shut down and this year’s support price for wheat had also not been announced. He also said that the ban between the movement of wheat between districts should be lifted.
“The government’s measure can lead to food shortage,” Mattu said.
He added that unless their demands were met, the mills would stop taking the wheat quota from government storage on February 13 and thenn shut down the supply of wheat on February 14.
A Food Department spokesperson said that officers were inspecting mills as per rules and regualtions. He said that 900 mills in the province were taking subsidised wheat from the government and that the only mills that had been penalised were buying wheat for Rs2,300 and selling it for Rs4,200.
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