Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, held a meeting with the Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, and SAPM on Food Security, Jamshed Cheema, to review the price trend of essential commodities.
SAPM on Food Security, Mr. Jamshed Cheema, briefed the Finance Minister on building strategic reserves of essential commodities, namely wheat, sugar, pulses, edible oil/ghee, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and chicken, to prevent hoarding and undue profiteering. The underlying rationale is to stabilize the prices of items of daily use. The Government will build the strategic reserves by importing 10-20 percent of the total consumption of the staple food items and supply into the market when needed to bridge the supply and demand gap. This will check the price fluctuation effectively.
In his remarks, the Finance Minister directed the concerned Ministries to accelerate the import of wheat and sugar and ensure that sufficient stocks are available for smooth supply during the current financial year. He also urged the concerned Ministries and TCP to exercise due diligence and take appropriate measures for risk hedging while floating tenders in the international market.
The Finance Minister urged the representatives of the Provincial governments to take corrective measures for reducing price differential between farm and retail prices. He emphasized the need to review the entire food value chain and ensure that the farmers get a commensurate share of the market value of their produce.
The SAPM on Food Security stated that farmers must follow the international best practices and look into alternate options for perishable commodities like Tomato puree, Onion powder, Garlic powder, etc., to meet peak demand due to seasonal variations. This will offer cost-effective products for the consumers as well.
SAPM on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretary Finance Division, Secretary M/o Industries and Production, Secretary M/o National Food Security Research, Provincial Chief Secretaries, and other senior officers participated in the meeting.
Source: Pro Pakistani