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Balochistan

Sale points for flour at controlled rates

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QUETTA:

The Balochistan government has established sale points in Quetta to provide flour to the general public at controlled rates.

Official sources told The Express Tribune that the availability of flour was ensured after the provincial Minister for Food Zamarak Khan Achakzai, on behalf of the government of Balochistan, held a meeting with the Chief Minister of Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

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CM Punjab approved supply of wheat and flour to meet the requirements of the Balochistan province.

The provincial government has started provision of 20-kilo bag of flour at the controlled rate Rs1399 for which Balochistan Food Department has established sale points in Quetta.

“We have not received flour at official prices so far from the government or flour mills,” the president of the Flour Dealers Association Quetta said, adding that dealers are facing difficulties in purchasing flour from the mills in Quetta as there was a huge demand and supply gap.

With the shortage of flour, the prices of bread also jumped from Rs25 to Rs50 in the city unnoticed.

It may be mentioned here that skyrocketing flour prices hit the middle class and the poor hard, including flood victims across the province. Balochistan is one of the poorest provinces in the country.

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The food department usually procures around 1 million flours bags from the Naseerabad Division to meet the domestic requirements of the province in a good year. This year only 300,000 flour bags were purchased because of the infighting within the ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

Despite the claims of the government 20 kg flour bag is still sold at Rs2,500 in the open market.

“I am not able to afford even wheat flour due to this situation,” a resident of Quetta said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2022.



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Balochistan

Culture Day observed in Balochistan

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QUETTA:

Culture Day was observed in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan on Friday.

Political parties and members of various organizations had organized functions to celebrate the culture day.

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Youngsters wearing local Pashtun dresses performed the traditional attan dance in Quetta’s Liaquat Park, Balochistan University, Pashtu Academy and other locations and received much applaud. Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) organized an event to mark the culture day in Quetta.

PKMAP Chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai participated in the culture event and addressed the participants on this occasion. “Pashtuns are a peace loving people,” Achakzai said while addressing the participants of the event.

Different stalls were established at the Park to attract the people to witness the traditional items.

Children were also wearing traditional dresses to mark the day.

“We respect all languages and are determined to protect our own language,” Achakzai said.

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Pashtu Academy Quetta and also organized an event on this occasion.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2022.



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Balochistan

Rs15b agri relief package announced

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QUETTA:

The Balochistan government has approved a plan to provide Rs15.83 billion in subsidies for the restoration of the agriculture sector in the province, which was severely affected by floods and torrential downpour.

Chief Minister Balochistan, Mir Abdul Qudous Bizenjo chaired a high-level meeting on Friday, which discussed the restoration of the agriculture sector in the province and approved the plan.

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In view of the restoration of the agriculture sector and food security in the province, the meeting reviewed all ways and means.

Over Rs15 billion in subsidies were approved for the farmers in the flood-affected areas to restore the agriculture sector which is the largest employment sector in the province.

Provincial Ministers Mir Asadullah Baloch, Zmarak Khan Achakzai, Chief Secretary Balochistan, Abdul Aziz Uqaili, and other officials were also present at the meeting. The secretary of agriculture Balochistan briefed the meeting about the agriculture restoration plan of in the province.

The meeting discussed that the provincial government will provide Rs6.71 billion in subsidies to the farmers for buying seeds, Rs6.47 billion for fertilizers, and Rs2.62 billion for tube wells and solar systems restoration which will help farming sector start anew.

Torrential downpour followed by flash floods affected 52 per cent standing crops in different districts. Flash floods affected the solar tube wells and canal systems too. Preserved and stored agricultural seeds were also washed away. Experts fear that this widespread damage to the sector could result in a food shortage for the local population.

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The provincial government will provide a 70 per cent subsidy on agricultural seeds and a 50 per cent subsidy on fertilizers as well as for the restoration of solar systems, the meeting decided.

This restoration of the agriculture sector will provide food security, employment to farmers, and Rs324 billion benefits.

Food Minister Zmarak Khan Achakzai said that sale points were established in different spots at Quetta to provide cheap flour to the consumers. The provincial government is purchasing flour from the Punjab government and PASCO to overcome the food shortage.

“Relief must be provided to the landowners and farmers in order to avoid shortage of food,” Bizenjo said, adding that the provincial government will not hesitate to help the farmers even it is not able to pay the cabinet members for months.

 

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Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2022.



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Balochistan

LG by-elections on 27th in Balochistan

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QUETTA:

Provincial Election Commission, Balochistan on Thursday said that local government by-elections in four flood-affected districts of the province will be held on September 27.

“Polling in 65 wards of 11 union councils of four flood-affected districts of the province including Musakhail, Mastung, Duki and Loralai have been rescheduled,” said ECP Balochistan chapter spokesman Naeem Ahmed while talking to journalists. Earlier, the election commission had set the date of 28 August for the by-polls in these wards, however the elections were postponed in these areas due to floods and heavy rains.

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While sharing details, he said polling will be held in the 30 wards of four union councils of district Musakhail, 12 wards of two union councils of district Duki, 22 wards of four union councils of district Mastung while one ward of Loralai district’s one union council.

“In this regard, a total of 67 polling stations have been established in all the constituencies,” Naeem Ahmed maintained.

He added that strict security arrangements have been made for this purpose with the help of police, district administration and security forces.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2022.



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