Islamabad: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin said Wednesday that the government was taking all possible measures to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.
The adviser was presiding over the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting, according to press statement issued by the finance ministry here.
The Adviser expressed satisfaction on prices of commodities in Sastaa Bazars in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and Islamabad Capital Territory and further directed to establish such bazaars in more cities to provide maximum relief to the people.
He commended the efforts of the government of the Punjab, KPK and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazaars.
The Advisor expressed satisfaction over the stability in the sugar prices in the market.
He also advised Ministry of Industries and Production to take measures to control the prices of edible oil in the local market by exploring alternative options for import of Palm and Soya bean oil on lower prices in the international markets to reduce the pressure on prices in domestic market.
On the consistent high price of wheat flour in Sindh, the Adviser suggested for formation of effective mechanism to check the prices of wheat in Sindh province and ensure availability on government rate.
Meanwhile, the committee reviewed the prices of daily commodities and essential food items in the country.
Secretary Finance briefed the NPMC about the weekly SPI situation which has been decreased by 0.48 percent during the week under review.
While reviewing the price trend of essential commodities, the Secretary Finance apprised that prices of 11 essential commodities registered decline whereas prices of 19 items remained stable during the last week, while prices of 21 essential commodities have shown slight upward trend, he added.
The Secretary Finance also apprised the meeting that prices of essential commodities tomatoes, onion, potatoes, chicken farm, sugar, eggs, wheat flour bags, gur, garlic have registered significant decline during the week.
The secretary further updated NPMC that the prices of the 20kg wheat flour bag remained consistent at Rs. 1100 due to the proactive measures of the Punjab, KP governments and ICT administration.
The daily release of wheat by all the provincial governments will further ease out wheat prices at national level.
Meanwhile, Secretary NFS & R apprised the meeting that sufficient stocks of wheat were available and market has witnessed stability due to regular and effective monitoring of wheat movement, and release of stocks accordingly.
The Provincial Chief Secretaries also apprised that effective monitoring system had been employed to ensure that all released wheat was being converted into flour and available in market.
On the occasion, Chief Secretary, Sindh apprised that the price of fine wheat flour was low in Sindh as compared to other provinces.
While reviewing the price of sugar in the country, the Secretary Finance informed that prices were decreasing in the country due to proactive measures of the government.
The NPMC was informed that new stocks of sugar are arriving in the market which would further reduce the prices. The Advisor expressed satisfaction over the stability in the sugar prices in the market.
While reviewing the prices of edible oil, the NMPC observed that the increase in prices of edible oil in the global market especially imports from Malaysia and Indonesia has affected the local prices.
While reviewing the production of Pulses in the country, it was informed prices of pulses have shown slight increase in the week under review, on which Tarin advised to increase the production of pulses in the country and thereby reduce the burden on imports and control the prices of pulses.
On the stock position of fertilizers, NPMC was informed that prices have begun to decrease due to taking effective administrative measures.
On the expansion of Utility Stores outlets in Baluchistan province, Secretary I & P apprised the meeting that Utility Stores Corporation has expanded its operation with opening of 21 outlets in different cities and started mobile stores in areas where these Utility Stores are not available in the province.
The NPMC observed that Sastaa & Sahulat Bazaars in Punjab, KP were offering essential goods at subsidized prices.
Among others, the meeting was attended by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R), Syed Fakhar Imam; Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Farruk Habib; Secretaries Finance, Industries, NFS& R, Additional Secretary Commerce, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Chief Statistician PBS, Chairman TCP, MD Utility Stores Corporation, Deputy Commissioner ICT and other senior officers participated in the meeting.