The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) has directed the provinces to address the differences in prices of edible oil and ensure the commodity’s supply at reasonable rates.
The NPMC meeting, presided over by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin, held at the Finance Division on Wednesday, reviewed the prices of daily commodities and essential food items in the country.
Secretary Finance, Secretary Industries & Production, Secretary NFS& R, Additional Secretary Commerce, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Chief Statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation, and other senior officers attended the meeting.
Following a detailed presentation of Chairman TCP on various options available for imports of edible oil at low prices, the meeting deliberated on the consumption pattern of branded and unbranded edible oil. It also noted the price difference between both categories. It directed the provinces to remove the anomalies to ensure the supply of edible oil at reasonable prices.
Secretary Finance briefed the NPMC on the weekly sensitive price indicator (SPI) situation which decreased by 0.07 percent during the week under review. He said the prices of nine essential commodities registered a decline whereas the prices of 23 items remained stable during the last week, adding that the prices of 19 essential commodities showed a slight upward trend.
Secretary Finance also apprised the meeting of the prices of essential commodities including tomatoes, potatoes, chicken, sugar, and wheat flour bags, saying that they registered a significant decline during the week. He said the prices of the wheat flour bags remained consistent at Rs. 1,100 per 20kg due to the proactive measures of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments and the ICT administration. The daily release of wheat by all the provincial governments will further ease out wheat prices at the national level, he asserted.
Shaukat Tarin appreciated the efforts of the Sindh government and stressed ensuring the availability of wheat flour at government prices in Karachi and Hyderabad.
On the prices of sugar in the country, Secretary Finance said the prices were decreasing and new stocks of sugar were arriving in the market which would further reduce the rates. The Advisor expressed satisfaction over the stability in the sugar prices in the market.
Reviewing the production of pulses in the country, the meeting was informed that the prices of pulses showed a slight increase in the week under review. The Advisor directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to monitor the movement of international prices of pulses and accordingly plan imports to avoid price hikes.
NPMC also reviewed milk prices and observed variations across the country. The Advisor directed all the provincial Chief Secretaries to keep a check on the undue price hike of milk.
In his concluding remarks, the Advisor stated that the government was taking all possible measures to ensure a smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.