NPMC Continues to Repeat Its Order of Reducing Edible Oil Prices

The prices of edible oil in the country came under discussion in the meeting and the NPMC was concerned about the increase in the prices as the international market has had a dip in the prices of edible oil.

This was revealed by the Economic Adviser of the Finance Division during the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) that was chaired by the federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin.

The committee also directed the MoIP to formulate a strategy and explore alternative options for the import of edible oil to reduce the prices in the country.

The Sensitive Price Index (SPI) also was decreased by 0.06 percent compared to the previous week when it stood at 0.43 percent.

A brief from the Finance Division revealed 33 food items have contributed an increase of 0.05 percent while 18 non-food items contributed to a decrease of 0.11 percent to the SPI. The NPMC was informed that there is a decline in the SPI for the third time since 31 December 2021.

The prices of seven items fell during the previous week, and this contributed to the decline in the SPI by 0.59 percent. These items were chicken (by 0.27 percent) and other goods by (0.35 percent). Meanwhile, the prices of the 24 items that contributed to the increase in the SPI by 0.53 percent are tomatoes (by 0.22 percent), garlic (by 0.01 percent), petrol (by 0.16 percent), and others (by 0.14 percent). The rise in the prices of perishable items like tomatoes has been credited to the rain in the country.

The NPMC was updated on the prices of wheat flour and was informed that the prices of wheat flour were stable in the country. However, the slight variation in its prices was due to the disruption in the supply caused by rain and fog.

The meeting entailed a discussion on the stock position of wheat in the country and the attendees were informed that sufficient stocks of wheat are available. Minister Tarin expressed his satisfaction with the availability of sufficient stocks of wheat and directed the Ministry of National Food Security & Research (NFS&R) to formulate a strategy to optimally maintain the strategic reserves of wheat in the country to meet any difficult situation in the future.

The NPMC also discussed Pakistan’s sugar prices and directed the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) to expedite the process for the building of strategic sugar reserves and the maintenance of the stability of their prices.

Regarding pulses, the NPMC was briefed that the prices of moong have been stable while those of gram, maash, and masoor have increased due to their decreased production worldwide, variations in the exchange rate, and increased freight charges.

Minister Tarin was interested in the difference in the retail and wholesale prices of pulses in the country and directed the Ministry of NFS&R to investigate and take appropriate action against exploiters to maintain stability in the prices of imported pulses.

The NPMC was also briefed on the availability of essential goods at subsidized rates at the Sasta & Sahulat Bazaars across the country.

In his concluding remarks, Minister Tarin underscored the efforts being made to keep the prices of essential items in check and the measures to ensure a smooth supply of essential commodities throughout Pakistan.

The meeting was attended by the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, the Secretary of the MoIP, the Secretary of the Ministry of NFS&R, the provincial Chief Secretaries, the Economic Advisor of the Finance Division, a Member of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the Managing Director of the Utility Stores Corporation, the Chairperson of the Competition Commission of Pakistan, the Chairman of the Trading Cooperation of Pakistan, a Member of Customs Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), and other senior officers.