Inflation Compounding Food Security, Nutrition Crisis: Mian Zahid Hussain
Umer Jamshaid 1 month ago Mon 21st June 2021 | 05:21 PM
Flour budget proposals to burden masses by Rs1.5 trillion, Flour mills should be tax-free to make roti affordable
Karachi (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21th April, 2021) Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said increasing inflation and unemployment is intensifying the issue of food security and nutrition.
Masses deserve affordable bread therefore additional taxes should not be slapped on the flour mills but existing taxes should be waived and electricity should be provided to them on discounted rates, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that a four hundred percent hike in income tax and seventeen percent sales tax on bran has been proposed in the budget which has triggered concern across the country.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the decision will hurt the 1700 flour mills operating in the country while the price of flour was estimated to jump by Rs5 per kg but the prices are rising before the implementation of the proposals.
Wheat is disappearing from the market while prices have jumped from rs20 to Rs 30 in different cities which speaks of weakness of the administration.
The business leader said that Pakistan is among the countries with one of the highest per capita flour consumption which is 124 kg while total consumption is 28.5 million tonnes.
The expected rise in price will burden masses by Rs1.5 trillion which is beyond their affordability, he said.
The business leader noted that a small clarification has appeared in the press which isn’t enough to allay the concerns of stakeholders therefore top government functionaries should clarify the position before the countrywide strike by the disgruntled millers which will irritate masses.
A proper clarification may dishearten hoarders to bring price stability in the market, he said, adding that government has recently decided to import three million tonnes of wheat which is recipe for disaster therefore a minimum quantity of four million tonnes should be imported.
He said that flour mills should be provided cheap electricity so that it can reduce prices of the major staple.