PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN — The Pakistan Flour Mills Association’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province chapter and senior mill owners are calling for the lifting of a ban on wheat movement from Punjab and an increase in the wheat quota to address a severe shortage and high flour prices, The Express Tribune reported. 

Haji Iqbal Ahmed Khan, chairman of the association, Muhammad Naeem Butt, group leader, and senior flour mill owners told a press conference that there is a severe shortage of wheat and flour in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The main reason behind high flour rates in the province is the ban on bringing wheat from Punjab to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, they said.

Khan said Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s wheat quota is required to be 14,000 to 15,000 tonnes, but only 5,000 tonnes is being provided daily, a number he called “extremely low.” He said if the ban on the wheat quota and flour from Punjab were to end, and the government increases the wheat quota, flour rates in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would fall 500 to 600 Pakistani rupees ($2.20 to $2.64), 

The association leaders have appealed to Pakistan Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif to immediately lift the ban on wheat quota from Punjab province and increase the wheat quota.