The CCP has suggested to the government that the policy of fixing wheat with minimum price is adding misrepresentation to the economy and creating debt in the food sector.
On Wednesday, the Competition Commission of Pakistan released a note with the title, “Policy recommendations in the wheat sector” that emphasized the government to bring transparency in the official departments only through minor changes in existing laws. It further said that the government’s heavily controlled wheat sector is less beneficial for both small farmers and the large scale atta chakki mills. Moreover, there is no official quality check of wheat products by flour mills.
The chakki mills make up 75 percent in the supply of wheat flour of total consumption but there has been 95 percent of wheat funded quota issued to roller flour mills yearly.
The CCP policy note regarding fixing wheat price reads, “The flour mills distribute wheat flour to retail and wholesale shops, clay ovens and occasionally directly to consumers,” there have been serious apprehensions over the output and quality of the roller mills.
According to an official of the Competition Commission of Pakistan, “The government can eradicate wheat flour crises simply by taking two steps: first by making the labeling mandatory at all flour bags showing contents of flour such as percentage of choker, etc, and other components. Secondly, the government should make it mandatory that the subsidized wheat be used only to make whole wheat and no other products like “maida, fine atta, suji, choker” etc.”
Further added, “These are profitable items and the main focus of flour mills is to make these products, these are also the main items smuggled/exported to Afghanistan, whereas the quality of wheat flour supplied by the flour mills is very low”.