Flour Millers call off strike following successful talks

From Abid Usman

LAHORE: Punjab Flour Mills Association (PFMA) on Monday announced calling off strike it had announced on Feb 14 against the government’s raids on the mills for verifying compliance with subsidies and wheat quota fixed by the government.
Chairman PFMA Iftikhar Ahmad Mattu said the mills would start operations on Feb 14. The association decided this at a meeting, attended by Pakistan Floor Mills Association Chairman Asim Raza, Liaqat Ali Khan, Chaudhry Riaz, and others, with the government.
Earlier, Punjab caretaker chief minister (CM) Mohsin Raza Naqvi had invited a delegation of the PFMA to his office. Provincial ministers S.M. Tanveer, Mansoor Qadir, Bilal Afzal, and Secretary Food Department will also attend the meeting. It merits mention that preparations had been started earlier to arrest the owners of flour mills in Punjab after the Secretary of Food ordered Deputy Commissioners of the province’s 36 districts to impose Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Ordinance starting from Rawalpindi. Later, the flour millers continued their strike in protest against raids of the Punjab food department for checking subsidised flour and wheat quota disputes.

These instances compelled the government into thinking that a spat with the millers could generate a flour crisis in the province as the millers in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan had also weighed in for the protests which could ultimately deteriorate the situation in the province.