ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Monday presided over the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) in Islamabad which reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar, and edible oil.
The Finance Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal briefed about the decline in Consumer Price Index (CPI) which was recorded at 8% in December 2020 as compared to 12.6% in December 2019 as a positive outcome of vigilant monitoring under the NPMC on regular basis.
The NPMC noted the significant decline in food inflation as urban food inflation declined by 2.1% and rural declined by 3.4% on a month-on-month basis.
The NPMC was also informed that there is a decline in the weekly Sensitive Price Index (SPI) by 0.7%. The prices of 10 essential food commodities were reduced notably tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and chicken.
The federal minister noted that the prices of essential items have started showing a declining trend which is a positive outcome of vigilant monitoring under the NPMC on weekly basis.
Abdul Hafeez Sheik emphasized an increased coordination among Federal and Provincial authorities to identify demand-supply gaps and take immediate remedial measures to ensure an uninterrupted supply of items of daily use at affordable prices.
The NPMC observed price variation in wheat flour in Sindh and Balochistan Provinces which was reflected in PBS data.
The finance minister directed the Chief Secretaries to regulate the smooth supply of wheat throughout the province by increasing daily release, if needed, and submit a comprehensive report in the next NPMC accordingly.
Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh urged the Provincial Secretaries to check the possibilities of hoarding and black marketing especially wheat and sugar to ensure uninterrupted provision at fair prices.
The Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar updated the NPMC about measures being taken to further reduce the prices of sugar and edible oil in consultation with stakeholders.
The federal minister for finance & revenue directed to constitute a Committee, headed by the minister for industries and production with the Secretary at the Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFS&R) and stakeholders concerned as its members to come up with a concerted course of action in this regard.
The Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Textiles & Investment Abdul Razak Dawood also appreciated the measures being taken to further reduce the prices of sugar and edible oil.
The adviser stressed the need for the effective functioning of all federal and provincial authorities to monitor the demand-supply position across the Country for the provision of daily use items to the general public at affordable rates.
The meeting was attended by the Minister for Industries & Production Hammad Azhar, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, the Provincial Chief Secretaries, the Secretary Planning Development & Special Initiatives, the Secretary Industries & Production, the Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Additional Secretary at the Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFS&R), the Joint Secretary Commerce, the Chairperson Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), the Chairman Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), the Managing Director PASSCO, the Managing Director Utility Store Corporation (USC), the Member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), and Senior Officers of the Finance Division.