ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN – The Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) announced that the millers of Rawalpindi (and Islamabad) division would go on strike beginning Nov. 15, while units from other regions planned to follow suit the following day, according to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
The PFMA said it is protesting “non-provision” of the wheat quota by the Pakistani government’s food department.
The mills have already reduced supplies of subsidized flour to the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi by 80% during the last two days, Dawn reported.
Sources told Dawn the mills in the Gujranwala and Sargodha divisions have declined the government’s request to provide flour supplies to Rawalpindi and Islamabad to meet the expected shortage of the commodity to be caused by the strike.
The millers told Dawn the flour mills in Punjab are being provided 90% less than the allocated quota, sufficient only for one-hour grinding, resulting in shortage in the market.
PFMA leader Asim Raza said a meeting of the association will be held on Nov. 16 to make further decisions regarding the “violations of promises by the food authorities.”
“The food officials backed out of even those commitments they had made before the media in a press conference,” Raza told Dawn.
A government spokesperson told Dawn that a few mill owners are attempting to create “an artificial flour crisis” as a pressure tactic for the acceptance of their “unlawful” demands.