Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin said on Wednesday that the government was taking all possible measures to ensure a smooth supply of essential commodities across the country.
The adviser was presiding over the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting, according to a press statement issued by the finance ministry.
The Adviser expressed satisfaction with 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 the 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 at lower prices in the international markets to reduce the pressure on prices in the domestic market.
On the consistently high price of wheat flour in Sindh, the Adviser suggested the formation of an effective mechanism to check the prices of wheat in Sindh province and ensure availability at the 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 a slight upward trend, he added.
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 a significant decline during the week.
The secretary further updated NPMC that the prices of the 20kg wheat flour bag remained consistent at Rs1100 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 the national level.
Meanwhile, Secretary NFS & R apprised the meeting that sufficient stocks of wheat were available and the market has witnessed stability due to regular and effective monitoring of wheat movement, and release of stocks accordingly.
Provincial chief secretaries also apprised that an effective monitoring system had been employed to ensure that all released wheat was being converted into flour and available in the 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 of finance informed that prices were decreasing in the country due to proactive measures of the government. NPMC was informed that new stocks of sugar are arriving in the market which would further reduce the prices. Advisor expressed satisfaction over the stability in the sugar prices in the market.
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