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Prices of tomatoes, onion reaches 3-year low: official

Vegetable exports hit record high of 82.88%

Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: The weekly SPI increased by 0.08 per cent during the week, compared with the previous week when it declined 0.50 per cent, an official said on Wednesday.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin presided over the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), where the meeting expressed satisfaction on the decline in the prices of the essential items.

During the meeting the finance division economic adviser informed the committee that 33 food items contributed to the decline in the SPI by 0.14 per cent, whereas 18 non-food items contributed increase of 0.22 per cent, and the prices of 7 items registered declined, contributing a decline in the SPI by 0.46 per cent.

The prices of tomatoes and onions in the last week were at the lowest as compared to their prices three years earlier. During the week, the prices of tomatoes declined 0.11 per cent, chillies powder 0.26 per cent, Eggs 0.05 per cent and others 0.04 per cent.

The prices of 22 items remained stable and 25 items recorded an increase, which contributed a 54 per cent increase in the SPI. The prices of potatoes witnessed an increase of 0.03 per cent, chicken 0.12 per cent, petrol 0.21 per cent and others 0.18 per cent.

The NPMC was updated on the prices of wheat flour, and the meeting expressed satisfaction on the stability in the wheat flour prices and availability of sufficient stocks of wheat in the country.

The meeting expressed concerns on the slight increase in sugar prices in various cities. The meeting was informed that the increase in sugar price was due to the disruption in the supply caused by rain and fog.

The variations in the prices of pulses were discussed during the meeting, as the committee was apprised that except the prices of moong pulse, other pulses recorded increase in their prices on the account of exchange rate variations and increase in freight charges, adding that the arrival of locally produced gram pulse in near future will ease its price.

The finance minister expressed concerns regarding the increased prices of pulses and enquired about the production trend of pulses in the world, directing the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NSF&R) to build strategic reserves of pulses considering the lowest prices of pulses in the international market.

Tarin also directed the ministry of NSF&R and provincial governments to take creative measures to ensure smooth supply of pulses at fair prices.

The committee was briefed on the availability of essential goods at subsidised rates at the Sastaa and Sahulat Bazaars across the country.

Tarin lauded the efforts of the governments of the Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazaars, while expressing satisfaction on the availability of essential items at low prices in Sastaa Bazaars in Sindh and Balochistan.

He also advised the Sindh and Balochistan governments to extend Sastaa Bazaars for the welfare of the general public.

The finance minister underscored the efforts being made for keeping the prices of essential items in check and the measures taken to ensure the smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, provincial chief secretaries, economic adviser finance division, chief statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, managing director utility stores corporation, deputy commissioner ICT and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

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