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Pakistani millers to raise flour price
Publication Date : 25-09-2013
Flour millers are flexing muscles to pass on massive increase in power rates to consumers by revising upward rates for all varieties this week.
Millers said that they have received 75 per cent enhanced power bills due to increase in power rates by the government and they are finding it difficult to absorb the hike. Ultimately this burden would be passed on to consumers in the shape of flour price hike, they said.
Millers have already increased prices in the last few months owing to rising price of wheat in the open market and other expenses.
Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Chairman Chaudhry Mohammad Yousuf hinted at increase of at least 1.25 Pakistani rupees per kg in flour prices following rise in electricity rates and rising transportation costs.
He said the association had sought permission twice from the Sindh government regarding hike in ex-mill flour rate from the current 39.50 Pakistani rupees per kg, but the government is yet to respond.
The association, he said, would remind the government thrice after two days, seeking rise in flour rate.
After getting no response, the millers will be bound to raise prices on their own to offset rising production cost, he added.
He said the millers are trying to take the government into confidence before raising prices as government knows the negative impact of rising power rates and transportation charges on production.
Yousuf said the government usually never seeks any suggestion from stakeholders before raising power and oil prices. And when manufacturers raise prices, it wakes up.
He said the millers would have never raised prices, had there been no increase in power rates by 75 per cent.
The PFMA chief said that import of wheat is going on to keep flour prices stable or under control, otherwise it would have crossed 55 Pakistani rupees per kg if imports would have not been made.
Currently all the imported wheat is being utilised by the Karachi and Hyderabad flour mills.
Import of wheat has already crossed over 100,000 tonnes in the last few months and Pakistan may import another 400,000-500,000 tonnes in coming months to avert any jump in prices, he anticipated.
However, he said devaluation of the rupee against the dollar would make the imported wheat costlier while further increase in oil prices in the end of this month would further raise transportation charges of wheat.
The imported wheat costs 34.50 Pakistani rupees per kg while locally produced wheat is selling at 35.60 Pakistani rupees per kg in open market.
The Sindh government is also providing wheat to the millers at 34.50 Pakistani rupees per kg.
US$1=106.2 Pakistani rupees.