Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Industries and Production, Muhammad Hammad Azhar, chaired the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) held at the Finance Division today.
The NPMC reviewed the price trend of essential commodities, especially wheat flour, sugar, vegetable ghee, chicken, and eggs, during the last week. The Secretary of Finance briefed the Committee about weekly SPI, which decreased by 0.43 percent, whereas prices of 12 basic commodities registered a decline and 24 items remained stable during the week under review, he added.
The Secretary M/o NFS&R briefed the Committee about the sufficient stock of wheat across the country. The overall release position by the respective Provinces was also reviewed during the meeting.
Taking stock of the situation, the Finance Minister directed the representatives of the Provincial Government to take appropriate measures for keeping prices of the wheat flour bags in check. The NPMC urged the provinces to take all possible measures to ensure a smooth supply of wheat at fair prices across the board.
All the four Provinces briefed the Finance Minister about their ongoing wheat procurement plans. The Finance Minister reviewed the procurement plans of the Provinces and issued strict directions to assure that the wheat must be procured in a smooth and timely manner in coordination with all Federal and Provincial organizations. He expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made and initiatives taken by the Provincial Governments in this regard.
The Punjab government updated the Committee about setting up Ramzan/Sahulat Bazaars for providing essential commodities at subsidized rates during the Holy month. The Committee directed the representatives of the Provincial governments to ensure the provision of basic commodities at discounted prices through Ramadan/Sahulat Bazaars to provide maximum relief to the consumers in compliance with the directives of the Prime Minister.
The MD USC also briefed the Committee about the measures being taken to ensure availability of basic need items at subsidized prices under the “Ramadan Relief Package” through a chain of outlets across the country. The Finance Minister directed MD USC to ensure uninterrupted supply of basic commodities at Utility Stores outlets during Ramadan.
The Finance Minister sought details from the Provincial Food Secretaries regarding prevailing sugar prices in respective markets and directed to strictly monitor the prices of sugar (at retail levels) to ensure steady supply and counter price disparity effectively. The Additional Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production updated the Committee about a slight decrease in international prices of sugar which will reduce the upward pressure on sugar prices in domestic markets.
The Finance Minister stated that controlling inflation is the topmost priority of the Government and emphasized the need for coordinated and consolidated efforts by all concerned to provide essential items to the general public at fair prices, he concluded.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, SAPM on Revenue, Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretary Finance Division, Secretary M/o NFS&R, Additional Secretary M/o Industries and Production, senior representatives of the Provincial governments, MD Utility Stores Corporation, Member CCP, MD PASSCO and senior officials of the Finance Division participated in the meeting.