The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, chaired a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) via video link in which it reviewed the price trends of essential commodities.
The meeting was attended by the Minister for Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar. The senior representatives of the provincial governments, the ICT Administration, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MoNFS&R), the Utility Stores Corporation, the Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), and the Pakistan Customs and Cabinet Division were also among the attendees.
The Adviser on Finance and Revenue praised the provincial governments’ efforts to control the prices of wheat through better supplies, and directed them to take action against the hoarders of essential food items to maintain stabilized prices of essential items across the country.
He also briefed the attendees about the prices of thirteen essential items that had registered a decline and about the prices of twenty-one items that have remained stable.
While presenting the price trend of essential items across the country, the Secretary Finance remarked that the weekly Sensitive Price Index (SPI) had declined by 0.23 percent on 3 December 2020, as compared to the previous week.
The Adviser expressed his satisfaction with the declining trend of the prices of wheat and sugar in the markets and stated that due to the tireless efforts of the government, their prices had considerably decreased during the last week.
The Secretary Finance also informed the attendees that there has been an increased supply of wheat to the mills across the country, reaching around 44,000 MT per day. He added that the mills involved in malpractices are to be strictly dealt with.
He further stated that the rising trend in the prices of chicken and meat is due to the changes in the demand and supply factors as the demand fell due to the ongoing pandemic. He added that the government has directed the chicken and meat producers to reduce their prices to reasonable levels, and that the provincial governments are onboard for a consolidated response.
The Minister for Industries and Production informed the NPMC that the supply of sugar across the country has increased and that there is a consistent decrease in its price. He added that the Ministry of Industries and Production will take up the requirements of the wheat and sugar for the Utility Stores Corporation with the Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation Ltd. (PASSCO) and the TCP to ensure their uninterrupted supply at reasonable prices.
The Adviser also directed the Logistics Committee constituted by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to apprise him of the supply of wheat and sugar within Pakistan on a regular basis and whenever needed. He also assured it that he will provide his complete cooperation to resolve difficulties during the course of the business.