Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin chaired the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) at the Finance Division today.
While briefing the NPMC about the weekly SPI, the Finance Secretary apprised that the SPI decreased by 0.63% on 27th May 2021. The prices of 10 items declined and 29 items remained stable during the week under review.
The Finance Secretary also briefed that computing on Month on Month basis, there was only 0.1% increase in CPI inflation in May 2021. The average (July-May) CPI inflation remained 8.8% whereas it was 10.9% last year during the same period, he added.
The Finance Minister appreciated the efforts of the Provincial governments and Federal Ministries/Organizations for making an effort towards controlling inflation to provide relief to the masses by easing out inflationary pressure.
During the meeting, the progress on the earlier decisions of the NPMC forum was also reviewed. It was emphasized that the Ministry of National Food Security & Research will assume the primary role in raising the production of essential imported food items including edible oil and pulses. The Ministry of National Food Security & Research also reaffirmed its resolve to build reserves of essential food items in partnership with the Provinces.
Ministry of Industries and Production briefed the NPMC that there is considerable progress on the issue of determining the ex-mill price of sugar in consultation with the Provincial Governments and the Ministry will come up with the final position on the issue shortly.
PBS gave a detailed Presentation on gap analysis of the prices of essential food items in different markets across the country. NPMC observed that the prices are higher in the Federal Capital. The chair issued directions to the Capital Administration to control the prices of essential items in the Federal Capital and present a detailed report on the measures taken in the next week’s meeting.
Chief Secretary Punjab informed the NPMC that MD PASSCO has been facilitated as per the directions of the Chair to meet wheat procurement targets of the PASSCO.
PBS also shared data on the difference between wholesale and retail prices and the interpretation of price variations. The NPMC was also briefed on the intervention of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) in mitigating the inflationary pressure. The Finance Minister directed the Utility Stores Corporation to proactively make arrangements for the provision of a smooth supply of all essential items in the country to control prices of essential items. It will help to ease out the life of the common man in the country.
The Chair, in his concluding remarks, appreciated the efforts of all those who are working towards controlling the prices of essential items and making lives easier for the masses as it is the most important priority of the current government.
Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) briefed the Chair on the strict action being taken against profiteers in the poultry market and the resultant decline in the price of chicken in the country. CCP briefed that their action will continue until the prices are normalized. The Finance Minister appreciated the efforts of the CCP and said that their active actions against unfair practices in the markets will bring maximum relief to the common man.
SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretary Finance Division, Secretary M/o NFS&R, Chief Secretaries of the Provincial Governments, Member PBS, Chairperson CCP, MD Utility Stores Corporation and other senior officers of various Ministries participated in the meeting.