ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh chaired the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) in Islamabad on Monday.
The NPMC reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar, eggs, and edible oil.
The Secretary Finance Kamran Ali Afzal briefed the NPMC that prices of wheat and eggs have registered a downward trend due to coordinated and consolidated efforts of the provincial governments.
The Finance Minister directed the provincial governments and relevant departments to continue the momentum of strict price monitoring for the provision of basic items at affordable prices across the Country.
The Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research (MNFS&R) Syed Fakhar Imam briefed the NPMC about the current status of wheat stock across the country and assured that all possible measures will be taken to ensure an uninterrupted supply of wheat at affordable prices.
The Minister for Industries & Production Hammad Azhar apprised the NPMC that the production of sugar is likely to increase this year due to improved sugarcane crushing activity and would eventually release pressure on the upward price trend.
Hammad Azhar also briefed the NPMC about the steps being taken to control the prices of edible oil/ghee.
The representative from the Punjab government briefed that strict action has been taken against the role of middlemen in the sugarcane market as directed by the NPMC. He informed that prices of sugar are currently stable in the province; however, in some areas marginal hike is observed due to fog and weather conditions.
The Minister for Industries & Production appreciated the efforts of the Punjab government in minimizing the role of middlemen.
The Member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) presented before the NPMC a live dashboard of prices of essential items for comparative analysis which will be helpful in monitoring prices of essential items across major cities and markets in real time.
The system is prepared by PBS to monitor food prices and figure out price fluctuations for timely decision making and smooth coordination among Provincial governments and departments concerned.
The Finance Minister lauded the mechanism for effective price monitoring and sound decision making.
The NPMC directed the PBS to hold a meeting with the provincial governments to remove price disparity in essential items and urged the provinces to draw maximum benefit from the newly developed system.