Islamabad [Pakistan]: Balochistan Food Minister Zamarak Achakzai has said that the province has run out of wheat stock and the flour crisis has become more severe, Pakistan vernacular media, Islam Daily reported.
He said that Balochistan immediately needs four lakh bags of wheat and warned that otherwise, the situation will turn more serious. Addressing a press conference, Balochistan Food Minister Zamarak Achakzai said that wheat stock is over and they have received only 10,000 wheat bags instead of two lakh bags.
Achakzai said that they had urged Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi for six lakh bags, according to an Islam Daily report. He said that Elahi had committed of providing wheat. However, he did not fulfill his promise.
Zamarak Achakzai said that they had contacted the Pakistan federal government regarding wheat, as per the Islam Daily report. He revealed that the Pakistan government provided them with five lakh bags of wheat and they were consumed during the past four months.
Achakzai stated that Balochistan depends on Sindh and Punjab for 85 percent of its need.
However, both of these provinces have banned out-of-province sales of wheat, which has worsened the situation, according to Pakistan’s vernacular media, Islam Daily report.
Earlier on January 8, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo ordered the concerned authorities to take action against wheat hoarders and wholesalers with an aim to control the shortage of wheat for the people of the province, The News International reported.
Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said that the administration of all districts should be mobilized and action should be taken against those who store wheat and sell food items at higher prices. He further stated that the people of Balochistan should not be left at the mercy of hoarders and street vendors.
Balochistan CM announced that a special team should be set up for taking action against wheat hoarders, adding that the report of the action should be presented to the secretariat of the Chief Minister, as per The News International report.
The district administration said that the operations of the special teams were underway under the supervision of deputy commissioner Quetta in various parts of the city in accordance to the instructions given by Chief Minister, according to The News International.
According to the district administration, the special teams in their respective areas conducted 378 raids and arrested 102 shopkeepers for illegal selling and hoarding, as per the news report.
The district administration said that shopkeepers were asked to pay a fine of thousands of rupees. Furthermore, around 31 shops were sealed and warnings were issued to 74 shopkeepers.