ISLAMABAD, Aug 2 (APP):The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) has lauded the decision of the government to reduce prices of roti (flatbread) and naan to provide relief to common masses.
“Inflation has already taken a toll on the poor therefore a reduction in prices of basic food will provide them some relief,” said Chairman Brig. Muhammad Aslam Khan (Retd) in a press statement issued here.
However, he said that thousands of nanbais (bread makers) have also reduced the weight of roti and naan which warrant a strict action.
He said that hike in the piece of wheat and flour has little to do with erosion in the exchange rate, high energy prices, and tax measures while it has a lot to do with profiteering.
The government should bar district administration from increasing the roti price in an arbitrary manner, strikes by nanbais should be discouraged as it would encourage other sectors to pressurize government for the unjustified price hike, he demanded.
Khan said that Pakistan’s annual requirement of wheat stands at 25.8 million tonnes while 27.9 million tonnes of wheat was available in stocks. The price should not have been increased in the presence of 2.1 million tonnes of surplus wheat.
He said that the ban on export of wheat should not be lifted, smuggling should be controlled and strict action should be initiated against hoarders and flour mills mafia which pushed the country into food insecurity for profit.