Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin led the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) at the Finance Division today to discuss the price of basic commodities.
The NPMC studied the prices of the essential commodities especially wheat flour, sugar, edible oil/ghee, pulses and chicken during the last week. While briefing the NPMC about weekly SPI, the Finance Secretary explained that a decline was witnessed in the prices of 7 basic commodities, whereas 26 items remained stable during the week under review.
The NPMC was updated about the wheat procurement drive of the Provinces and PASSCO to ensure a steady supply of wheat at fair prices during the current year by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam
He further stated that Punjab is forward as compared to other provinces in the procurement of wheat to date.
Whereas the Finance Minister directed all the Provincial Governments to ensure the daily release of wheat at subsidized rates in compliance with the commands of the Prime Minister. He strictly insisted that the representatives of the Provincial Governments confirm nonstop daily release without delay.
The Year-on-Year comparative analysis indicates that the price of Crude Oil has increased by 178 per cent in April 2021 as compared to April 2020. Similarly, the price of sugar in the international market increased by 57 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
Furthermore, international prices of Palm oil, Soybean oil, and Wheat also registered a continued upward trend which, in return has led to a sharp increase in prices of basic items in local markets.
The Chairperson, Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) presented findings before the Committee regarding the completion of a recent inquiry in the Poultry Industry. The CCP underlined some anticompetitive conduct has that led to a surge in prices of Chicken feed, which, in turn, increased prices of Chicken.
It is also to be seen that in the holy month of Ramadan, the increase in rates of basic commodities, has led to frustration and anger among the nation, the government has so far failed to control the prices.
Furthermore, the Pandemic has raised issues regarding providing basic necessities to the needy by the government, which by far has not been implemented.