ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin presided over the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting held at Finance Division in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, the Secretary Finance, the Secretary Industries & Production, the Secretary National Food Security& Research (NFS& R), the Additional Secretary Commerce, Provincial Chief Secretaries, the Chief Statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), the Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation (USC), the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), and other senior officers participated in the meeting.
The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) reviewed the prices of daily commodities and essential food items in the Country.
The secretary finance briefed the NPMC about the weekly Sensitive Price Index (SPI) situation which has been decreased by 0.48% during the week under review.
While reviewing the price trend of essential commodities, the secretary finance apprised that prices of 11 essential commodities have registered a decline and prices of 19 items have remained stable during the last week while prices of 21 essential commodities have shown a slight upward trend.
The secretary finance also apprised the meeting that prices of essential commodities tomatoes, onion, potatoes, chicken farm, sugar, eggs, wheat flour bags, gur, and garlic have registered significant decline during the week.
The secretary finance further updated the NPMC that the prices of the wheat flour bags remained consistent at Rs 1,100 per 20 kg due to the proactive measures of the Punjab, KPK governments, and ICT administration.
The daily release of wheat by all the provincial governments will further ease out wheat prices at the national level.
The secretary NFS & R apprised the meeting that sufficient stocks of Wheat are available and the market has witnessed stability due to regular and effective monitoring of wheat movement. The Stocks are released accordingly.
The Provincial Chief Secretaries also apprised that an effective monitoring system has been employed to ensure that all released Wheat is being converted into flour and available in the market.
While the Chief Secretary Sindh apprised that the price of fine wheat flour is low in Sindh as compared to other provinces.
On the consistently high price of wheat flour in Sindh, the adviser suggested for the formation of an effective mechanism to check the prices of wheat in Sindh province and ensure availability on the government rate.
While reviewing the price of sugar in the Country, the secretary finance informed that prices are decreasing in the country due to proactive measures of the government.
The new stocks of sugar are arriving in the market which will further reduce the prices.
The Adviser on Finance Shaukat Tarin expressed satisfaction over the stability in the sugar prices in the market.
While reviewing the prices of edible oil, the NMPC observed that the increase in prices of edible oil in the global market especially imports from Malaysia and Indonesia has affected the local prices.
The adviser advised the Ministry of Industries and Production to take measures to control the prices of edible oil in the local market by exploring alternative options for import of palm and soya bean oil on lower prices in the international markets to reduce the pressure on prices in the domestic market.
While reviewing the production of Pulses in the country, it was informed prices of Pulses have shown a slight increase in the week under review.
Shaukat Tarin advised to increase the production of pulses in the Country and thereby reduce the burden on imports and control the prices of pulses.
On the stock position of Fertilizers, the NPMC was informed that prices have begun to decrease due to taking effective administrative measures.
On the expansion of Utility Stores outlets in Balochistan province, the secretary I & P apprised the meeting that the USC has expanded its operation with the opening of 21 outlets in different cities and started mobile stores in areas where these Utility Stores are not available in the province.
The NPMC observed that Sastaa & Sahulat Bazaars in Punjab and KPK are offering essential goods at subsidized prices.
The finance and revenue adviser commended the efforts of the government of the Punjab, KPK, and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazaars.
The adviser expressed satisfaction on prices of commodities in Sastaa Bazars in Punjab, KPK, Balochistan, and ICT and further directed to establish such bazaars in more cities to provide maximum relief to the people.
In his concluding remarks, Shaukat Tarin said that the government is taking all possible measures to ensure a smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the Country.