With government wheat supplies ending and millers having to buy on the free market, the support price increased by 22.22 percent on Friday, from Rs1,800 to Rs2,200 per maund, resulting in a Rs11 increase in flour prices, making life even more difficult for the poor.
The 10kg flour bag, which had previously cost Rs550 in the market, will now cost Rs660, and the 20kg bag, which had previously cost Rs1,100, will now cost Rs1,310 – the biggest jump in history, which will hit the poor more psychologically as the subsidy (Ramzan package) has ended on one hand and increased wheat prices have taken hold of the flour market on the other.
These rates have been announced by a segment of millers holding a large market share. The Punjab chapter of the Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) has advised its members to limit the rise to Rs10 per kilogramme, and even that will not be province-wide. According to Asim Raza of the PFMA, the hike will be proportionately lower in south Punjab, where wheat is still relatively cheap.
Nonetheless, it is believed that everyone will follow the higher rate (Rs11 per kg).