The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, chaired a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) for the review of the price trends of essential commodities during the week, here today.
The Finance Secretary briefed the attendees about the weekly Sensitive Price Index (SPI) and particularly about the decline in the prices of wheat flour, vegetables, and eggs due to the coordinated efforts of all the provincial governments.
Overall, a reduction in the prices of eight items had been registered while 24 items had remained stable during the week.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MoNFS&R) Secretary briefed the NPMC that the current stock of wheat is sufficient for domestic consumption and that the average release per day by the provinces is also satisfactory.
He remarked that a continuous decline in the prices of wheat flour had been registered owing to the improved daily release of wheat and its steady supply across the country.
The Minister of Finance praised the coordinated and consolidated efforts of the federal and provincial governments for the uninterrupted provision of wheat throughout the country.
The Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar, updated the NPMC on the significant decline in the international prices of palm oil and the soya bean which will eventually reduce the recent upward pressure on the prices of edible oils in the domestic market.
The committee directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to take necessary measures to ensure that the recent reduction in the international prices of edible oil is effectively passed on to domestic consumers.
The Minister for Industries and Production further apprised the NPMC that the retail price of sugar had declined during the week under review and would continue to decline as imported sugar will soon be available in the domestic market.
The NPMC commended the efforts of all the concerned authorities in ensuring a sufficient stock of sugar for the coming months.
A Member of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) informed the committee that the provinces are on board for the smooth implementation of the newly-developed dashboard of prices of essential items, and added that steps are being taken to make the system fully functional to monitor the disparity of prices between the provinces.
The Minister for Finance emphasized the uptake of a proactive role on behalf of all the concerned authorities to ensure the smooth provision of essential items to the general public at affordable rates.
The other attendees of the meeting were the SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, the Provincial Chief Secretaries, Secretary Commerce, the Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, the Secretary National Food Security and Research, the Additional Secretary Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives, the Chairman FBR, a Member CCP, the Chairman TCP, the MD USC, a Member PBC, and senior officers of the Finance Division.