KARACHI - Accepting the demand of flour mills, the Sindh Food Department has increased the price of wheat atta for flour mills.According to the notification, price of wheat has been reduced from Rs2,850 per 100 kg bag to Rs2800 per 100 kg bag for flour mills. The ex-mills price would be Rs32 per kg while the retail price of flour would be Rs33.50 per kg.It is directed to the flour mills ensure availability of atta to the common man at new fixed price.Earlier, meeting of the flour mills delegation with the Sindh Food Minister Mir Nadir Magsi held at his office on Tuesday.According to the spokesman of the food department, the minister accepted the demand of the flour mills to release the daily wheat quota for them.The food department has directed to field staff to keep vigilant over atta prices and ensure that the floor mills are selling atta on the new agreed/fixed prices. Any laxity in the regard will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against the concerned staff, an official statement said.It may be noted that flour mills owners had warned to go on strike from January 8, on Tuesday if the provincial food department failed to accept their demands of reducing the wheat prices for them. President Pakistan Flour Mills Association Sindh Circle Chaudhry Ansar Javed said that the flour mills in Karachi, Mirpur Khas and Hyderabad region will halt their operations if their demands were not accepted by the government. The government will be responsible for the flour crisis in the province, he warned.Flour mills association had declared that they could not provide flour at Rs32 per kilogram to the consumers if they would purchase wheat from the government on Rs28 per kg. However, in the evening, the Sindh Food Department accepted the demands of the flour mills and reduced the wheat price from earlier Rs28.50 per kg, announcing the new price Rs28-per kg (100 kg wheat for Rs2800) for flour mills.Later, the flour mills have also withdrawn their call of halting wheat grinding operations in the mills.DEPARTMENTAL RESERVATIONS IMPEDE FUNDS TO EXCISE DEPT: Provincial Finance Ministry declined to pay the Rs500 million ahead of the issuance of new numberplates to the Sindh Excise and Taxation Department because of the departmental reservations.According to the details, Finance Ministry had announced to give Rs500 million for the embossed number plates of motorbikes and four wheel vehicles last year. It was decided when the excise department urged the finance ministry to compensate the expenses of motorbike number plates and newly registered vehicles. Finance ministry assured department of excise for giving rupees 500 million but ministry have suddenly decline to pay the amount.Ministry shown reservation over the corrupt practices including the hiring of the contractual employees of six month period and employees deputed on deputation form different department were dealing the new vehicles registration counter. Sources privy to the matter revealed that finance department seeking assurance for the proper utilisation of money and urged to flash out the contractual employees and those holding important posts on deputation and politically influential.Sources pointed out that finance ministry have also citing the previous corruption record of motor vehicle department of rupees 450 million. Director General Excise and Taxation Shoaib Siddique did not attend the phone when contacted for comments.