Shopkeepers asked to register to get subsidised flour – 21 Feb 2023

Citizens will get flour from grocers by furnishing ID cards and phone numbers

The Rawalpindi district administration and the food department have imposed a ban on the supply of subsidised flour to shopkeepers without getting their identity cards and telephone numbers across the district.

Sources said an order has been issued that the shopkeepers and stall owners who do not give their identity cards and telephone numbers should not be supplied with cheap flour.

It will also be required to collect identity cards and phone numbers of men and women buying cheap flour from every grocery vendor and stall owner, the sources said and added that selling cheap flour to children under 18 years of age will be prohibited.

According to sources, shopkeepers will be obliged to provide the data of identity cards and phone numbers in respect of all the cheap flour bags they received a day earlier in order to get a fresh supply the next day.

Meanwhile, grocers have rejected the ban and announced that they will not sell cheap flour due to the ban. Grocer Mahmood Ali complained that the profit on one flour bag was just Rs10 whereas he would have to hire an employee on a monthly remuneration of Rs20,000 to record the mobile and identity card number of each customer in the register.

“We cannot sustain a loss of Rs20,000 for the sake of profit of Rs3,000 to Rs5,000 per month,” he said, adding that 70% of the shopkeepers were not educated.

“If they were educated, they would not operate grocery shops in the streets,” the grocer said and lamented that with the ban, 70% of the deserving people will be deprived of cheap flour.

“In inner cities mostly women do the shopping and they cannot be asked for their identity cards and telephone numbers. Neither would any woman give it.

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