The government has taken a landmark decision of restoring subsidy on gas tariffs for Tandoors to reduce the surging prices of bread. This initiative will definitely check the price hike especially the prices of edibles which are lifeline of the lower class of the people. The decision of the federal government is earned enormous applause from almost all the segments of life.
The price of staple will be reduced to the level which existed a few months ago which will provide relief to millions of poor. Inflation has already taken a toll on the poor therefore a reduction in prices of basic food will provide them some relief. However, thousands of nanbais (bread makers) have also reduced the weight of roti and naam which warrant a strict action.
The hike in the piece of wheat and flour is 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 must bar district administration from increasing the roti price in an arbitrary manner, strikes by nanbais should be discouraged as it will encourage other sectors to pressurize government for the unjustified price hike.
The authorities must also revere the artificial hike in the price of wheat and review the gas tariff for tandoors to make the move a success. Pakistan’s annual requirement of wheat stands at 25.8 million tonnes while 27.9 million tonnes of wheat is available in stocks. The price must not have been increased in the presence of 2.1 million tonnes of surplus wheat.
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.