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National price monitoring body mulling options for cheaper edible oil imports

National price monitoring body mulling options for cheaper edible oil imports

ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) has started deliberations on various options for imports of edible oil at low prices.

Finance Adviser Shaukat Tarin convened the NPMC meeting on Wednesday.

Chairman of Trading Corporation of Pakistan Syed Rafeo Bashir Shah gave a presentation on the various options for the availability of imports of edible oil at low prices to the committee.

An official announcement said the meeting deliberated in detail on consumption pattern of branded and unbranded edible oil. The meeting also noted the price difference between both the categories and was directed to remove the anomalies to ensure the supply of edible oil at reasonable prices.

Secretary Finance Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh updated the NPMC meeting that the prices of the wheat flour bags remained consistent at Rs1,100 per 20 kg due to the proactive measures of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments as well as the Islamabad Capital Territory administration.

The daily release of wheat by all the provincial governments will further ease out wheat prices at a national level. However, by-products of wheat especially bread of all varieties posted an increase despite government claim that wheat prices remain stable.

Mr Tarin appreciated the efforts of Sindh government and stressed ensuring the availability of wheat flour at government prices in Karachi and Hyderabad.

While reviewing the price of sugar in the country, secretary finance informed the committee that the prices were decreasing. “New stocks of sugar are arriving in the market which will further reduce the prices,” he added.

Mr Tarin expressed satisfaction over the stability in the sugar prices in the market. He also apprised the meeting that prices of essential commodities tomatoes, potatoes, chicken farm, sugar, wheat flour bags have registered a significant decline during the week.

The meeting was informed that prices of pulses had shown a slight increase in the week under review. The finance adviser directed the Ministry of National Food Security & Research to monitor the movement of international prices of pulses and accordingly plan imports to avoid price hikes in the country.

The NPMC also reviewed milk prices in the country and observed variations in milk prices across the country. The adviser directed all the provincial chief secretaries to keep a check on the undue price hike of milk.

Mr Tarin briefed the NPMC about the weekly SPI situation which decreased by 0.07 per cent during the week under review. While reviewing the price trend of essential commodities, secretary finance apprised that prices of nine essential commodities registered decline whereas prices of 23 items remained stable during the last week. Prices of 19 essential commodities showed a slight upward trend, he added.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2021

Source: Dawn News

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