Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) today.
The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) reviewed the price trend of the essential commodities namely wheat flour, sugar, tomatoes, onions, vegetable ghee, potatoes, and chicken on weekly basis. The Finance Secretary while presenting the price trend of essential commodities informed that according to the latest SPI released by PBS, there is a decline in the prices of 10 essential commodities, for instance, wheat flour, sugar, onions, tomatoes and chicken while the prices of 11 commodities have increased slightly.
The price of 30 items remained stable. Adviser Finance expressed satisfaction over the declining price trend in wheat flour, sugar, onion, and tomatoes as compared to October 2020.
During the meeting, Adviser Finance urged the need to take necessary administrative measures to reduce the high-profit margin between Wholesale and Retail levels. It is our responsibility to ensure the availability of the essential items for the consumers at affordable prices, he stressed.
The Chair held a detailed discussion with the Provincial Chief Secretaries regarding the position of wheat and Sugar stocks in the Provinces and it was informed that at present, sufficient quantities are available to meet existing demand. Adviser Finance emphasized the provincial governments to ensure a smooth supply of essential items.
Secretary National Food Security and Research presented a brief update on the import of wheat during the meeting. The Logistics Committee played a key role in resolving issues related to wheat and sugar stocks among provinces, he underlined.
Provincial governments and USC should reassess their import requirements for wheat and sugar and take up with the Ministry of NFS&R accordingly and the matter may be placed before ECC for approval. M/o Industries & Production will take up the requirement of wheat and sugar for USC with PASSCO & TCP immediately.
The Chair appreciated the efforts being taken by all the Federal Ministries, Provincial Governments and other relevant stakeholders for price control. He added that the same momentum must be maintained to provide maximum relief to the general public. He also stressed that Provincial governments should work out a plan to ensure a smooth supply of perishable items to avoid any undue price hike.
Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, Federal Secretary Finance, Federal Secretary National Food Security and Research, Secretary Industries and Production, Secretary Commerce, Chairman TCP, MD PASSCO, Chairperson CCP and Manager Utility Stores Corporation also participated in the meeting. The Provincial Chief Secretaries joined the meeting through video link.