ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam on Monday briefed the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) about the current status of wheat stocks across the country and assured that all possible measures will be taken to ensure uninterrupted supply of wheat at affordable prices.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) informed the NPMC that they prepared dashboard system of prices of essential food items with the purpose to monitor the prices and could take out timely decision in close coordination among the center and provinces.
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Hafeez Sheikh chaired the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC).
Minister for Industries and Production, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Secretary Industries and Production, Chairman FBR, Member CCP, Chairman TCP, MD PASSCO, MD USC, Member IT & Member National Accounts from PBS and senior officers of the Finance Division participated in the meeting.
The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar, eggs and edible oil. Secretary Finance briefed NPMC that prices of wheat and eggs have registered downward trend due to coordinated and consolidated efforts of the Provincial governments. The Finance Minister directed the Provincial governments and relevant departments to continue momentum of strict price monitoring for provision of basic items at affordable prices across the country. Minister for Industries and Production apprised NPMC that production of sugar is likely to increase this year due to improved sugarcane crushing activity and would eventually release pressure on upward price trend. Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar also briefed NPMC about the steps being taken to control the prices of edible oil/ghee.
The representative from the Punjab government briefed that a strict action has been taken against the role of middlemen in sugarcane market as directed by NPMC. He informed that prices of sugar are currently stable in the province. However, in some areas marginal hike is observed due to fog and weather conditions. Minister for Industries and Production appreciated the efforts of the Punjab government in minimizing the role of middlemen.
Member PBS presented before NPMC a live dashboard of prices of essential items for comparative analysis which will be helpful in monitoring prices of essential items across major cities and markets in real time. The system is prepared by PBS to monitor food prices and figure out price fluctuations for timely decision making and smooth coordination among Provincial governments and departments concerned.
The finance minister lauded the mechanism for effective price monitoring and sound decision making. NPMC directed PBS to hold a meeting with Provincial governments to remove price disparity in essential items and urged the provinces to draw maximum benefit from the newly developed system.
Source: The News