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Govt taking steps to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities: Tarin

Shaukat Tarin

Image : File

ISLAMABAD: The government is taking all possible measures to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country, a senior official said.

Presiding over the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin expressed satisfaction on the prices of commodities in Sasta Bazaars in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad Capital Territory and directed to establish such bazaars in more cities to provide maximum relief to the people.

He commended the efforts of the government of Punjab, KP and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted rates through arranging Sasta Bazaars.

The adviser expressed satisfaction over the stability in the sugar prices in the market and 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 soyabean oil on lower prices from the international markets to reduce the pressure on the prices in the domestic market.

On the consistent high price of wheat flour in Sindh, Tarin suggested for formation of an effective mechanism to check wheat prices in Sindh and ensure availability on the government rate.

Meanwhile, the committee reviewed the prices of daily commodities and essential food items in the country.

The finance secretary briefed the NPMC about the weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) situation, which has decreased 0.48 per cent during the week under review.

Reviewing the price trend of essential commodities, the finance secretary apprised that prices of 11 essential commodities registered a decline, whereas the prices of 19 items remained unchanged last week, while the prices of 21 essential commodities have shown slight upward trend, he added.

The finance secretary also apprised the meeting that the prices of essential commodities; tomatoes, onions, potatoes, chicken farm, sugar, eggs, wheat flour bags, gur and garlic have registered a significant decline during the week.

The prices of the 20kg wheat flour bag remained the same at Rs1,100/40kg bag 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, the finance secretary said

Meanwhile, the National Food Security and Research secretary 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.

The provincial chief secretaries also apprised that an effective monitoring system has been implemented to ensure that all released wheat was being converted into flour and available in the market.

The Sindh chief secretary apprised the meeting that the price of fine wheat flour is low in Sindh, compared with other provinces.

Reviewing the sugar price in the country, the finance secretary informed that the prices were decreasing in the country due to proactive measures taken by the government.

The NPMC was also informed that the new stocks of sugar are arriving in the market, which would further reduce the prices.

Tarin expressed satisfaction over the stability in the sugar prices in the market.

Reviewing the prices of edible oil, the NMPC observed that the increase in prices of edible oil in the global market, especially imports from Malaysia and Indonesia has affected the local prices.

Reviewing the production of pulses, it was informed that the prices of pulses have shown slight increase in the week under review, on which Tarin advised to increase the production of pulses in the country and; thereby, reduce the burden on imports and control the prices of pulses.

On the stock position of fertilisers, the NPMC was informed that the prices have started declining due to taking effective administrative measures.

On the expansion of Utility Stores Corporation outlets in Balochistan, the industries secretary said that the USC has expanded its operation with the opening of 21 outlets in various cities and started mobile stores in areas where these utility stores are not available.

The NPMC observed that Sasta and Sahulat Bazaars in Punjab, KP were offering essential goods at subsidised prices.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) Syed Fakhar Imam; Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib; Commerce additional secretary; provincial chief secretaries, PBS chief statistician; TCP chairman; Utility Stores Corporation managing director; ICT deputy commissioner; and other senior officers.

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