ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin presided over the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) held at the Finance Division in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by 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 Economic Advisor Finance Division, Provincial Chief Secretaries, the Chief Statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation (USC), the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), and other senior officers.
The Economic Adviser Finance Division briefed the NPMC about weekly SPI which increased by 0.40% as compared to the previous week which was 0.55%. Prices of 05 items registered decline which contributed decline in the SPI by 0.12%.
During the week, prices of Potatoes declined by 0.04%, Chillies Powder 0.03%, Onion 0.02%, Wheat Flour 0.03%, and Gur by 0.0004%.
It was informed that prices of items marked decline during the week as compared to the prices for the same period in the last year.
The meeting was also informed that current prices of onion are lower as compared to three years earlier.
The NPMC was informed that prices of 23 items remained stable whereas 23 items registered a rise in prices which included Ladies Sandals 0.12%, Tomatoes 0.03%, LPG 0.16%, Eggs 0.07%, and others 0.14%.
It was further informed that fluctuations in the petroleum prices have affected the LPG prices and the rise in the ladies sandals was due to the annual increase in the prices by the manufacturing companies.
The NPMC was updated on the prices of wheat flour which marked a further decrease in the prices in the Country.
The meeting expressed satisfaction over the availability of sufficient stocks of wheat in the Country.
The meeting also discussed the sowing situation of Wheat in the Country and was informed that sowing of wheat was satisfactory in Sindh and Punjab provinces whereas sowing of Wheat in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces was affected due to the drought situation but now it is in progress and Wheat sowing targets will be completed.
The NPMC was briefed on the sugar prices in the country and was informed that prices have shown a slight increase in Rawalpindi, Karachi, and Peshawar Cities.
The meeting was apprised that the new stocks of sugar arriving in the market will ease out sugar prices.
The Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin expressed concerns on the rise of sugar prices and directed the provincial authorities to take appropriate measures to control the prices of sugar in the markets.
The Secretary NFS&R apprised the meeting on the increase in prices of chicken and eggs due to seasonal factors.
The NPMC also discussed milk prices in the Country and was informed that prices are normal across the Country.
Shaukat Tarin further directed the Ministry of NFS&R to work out a suitable plan for optimal level of milk prices in order to ensure its smooth and sustainable supply in the market.
The NPMC was briefed on the availability of essential goods at subsidized rates at the Sastaa & Sahulat Bazaars across the Country.
The finance minister commended the efforts of the government of the Punjab, Khyber Pakhtukhwa, and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazaars and also expressed satisfaction on the availability of essential items at low rates in Sastaa Bazaars in Sindh and Baluchistan.
In his concluding remarks, the finance minister underscored the efforts being made for keeping the prices of essential items in check and measures to ensure the smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the Country.