National Price Monitoring Committee Discusses Recent Trends in Essential Food Item Prices

National Price Monitoring Committee’s (NPMC) meeting was held recently under the Chairmanship of Special Finance Secretary at the Finance Division to discuss the price trend of essential food items.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the provincial governments, Islamabad Capital Territory, Ministries of Industries, Commerce, Law and Justice, Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, National Food Security & Research, Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) along with the Competition Commission of Pakistan and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

The meeting was informed that CPI inflation year on year is recorded at 8.2% in August 2020 versus 10.5% during the same month last year. The meeting also noted that average inflation during Jul-August FY 2021 also showed a declining trend and was recorded at 8.7 percent as compared to 9.4 percent in the same period last year.

The government, in consultation with all stakeholders, is proactively taking measures to control the general price of daily use items.

Provincial governments and ICT informed that they are regularly monitoring the prices and taking strict action against hoarding and undue profiteering.

The committee also discussed the price changes of essential items among the provinces/ICT and observed variations. It was decided that provincial governments should provide information regarding the flood damages of minor and major crops to MNFS&R for timely response to any shortages.

Ministries of Industries & Production and Commerce were directed to take prompt actions and provide the necessary support to facilitate the import of essential food items.

Ministry of National Food Security & Research was directed to keep an eye on the supply & demand of pulses and vegetables including tomatoes, potatoes, and onion, and take necessary measures such as timely import for the smooth availability of these items.

It was also noted that the profit margin between wholesale and retail is huge in items like Apples, Bananas, Gram Pulse, Mash Pulse, Masoor Pulse, Garlic, Tomatoes, Onions. The chairperson urged that provincial governments and ICT take corrective measures to check undue profit margin. He appreciated the PBS regarding sharing the provincial profit margin to provinces, ICT, and also directed to share the detail of provincial markets to them in order to take strict action against profiteers. The IPC was directed to coordinate in this matter so that consumers of each province may get relief to pay minimum margin.

While concluding the meeting the chairperson emphasized the provision of essential commodities at affordable prices. Provinces were asked to take strict action against hoarding, adulteration, smuggling, undue profiteering and to ensure uninterrupted supply of daily use items to masses at lower prices.

Federal Government will provide all possible cooperation in this regard for the stability of prices in the country. The Utility Store Corporation was also instructed to ensure strict control on the quality of daily use items in all outlets.

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