ISLAMABAD (our reporter):- The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) was told by the high officials that the prices of essential items in Pakistan are the lowest in the region.
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin presided over the meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), held at the Finance Division on Monday.
Federal Minister for Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Mr. Farrukh Habib, Secretary M/o Industries and Production, Secretary Ministry of National Food Security & Research, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Economic Advisor Finance Division, Member PBS, MD Utility Stores Corporation, Chairperson CCP, Chairman TCP, Member Customs FBR, Addl. Deputy Commissioner ICT and other senior officers participated in the meeting.
Economic Adviser Finance Division briefed the NPMC about weekly SPI which witnessed decrease by 0.08% as compared to increase of 1.35% in the previous week, 33 food items contributed decrease of 0.07%, whereas 18 non-food items contributed decrease of 0.01% to the SPI.
NPMC was informed that prices of 21 items remained stable in the last week. Whereas prices of 14 items decreased contributing decline in SPI by 0.43%. The items shown decline in prices of Tomatoes by 0.24%, Potatoes by 0.04%, Onions by 0.04% and other by 0.11%. While prices of 16 items increased that contributed increase in SPI by 0.35% which included Garlic by 0.04%, Chicken by 0.20%, Banana by 0.03% and others by 0.08%.
NPMC was informed that there was healthy decline in prices of daily commodities during the last week including prices of Pulses, Tomatoes, Chillies Powder, Potatoes, Onions, Eggs, Sugar, Gur, Wheat Flour bag. The meeting was apprised that prices of Eggs have witnessed decline for the last five weeks consecutively.
The Chair also observed hike in the price of milk in Sindh province and directed provincial authorities to take appropriate measures to ensure stability in the price of milk.
NPMC was updated on the prices of wheat flour and was informed that there is decline in the Wheat flour prices in the country and sufficient stocks are available. The Secretary NFS&R gave a presentation on the existing available stocks and eventual demand of Wheat. The Chair directed Ministry of NFS&R to work out a plan for future requirement of Wheat considering actual data on production and consumption of Wheat in the country.
NPMC also discussed sugar prices in the country and was apprised that a slight decrease in the sugar prices have been witnessed in the last week. Further, the Chair directed Ministry of Industries and Production to expedite the process for building strategic reserves of sugar in the country to maintain stability in prices in future.
The NPMC was briefed on the availability of essential goods at subsidized rates at the Sastaa & Sahulat Bazaars across the country and the meeting expressed satisfaction on providing essential items at discounted rates at the Sastaa Bazaars.
The NPMC was also briefed on the comparison of daily commodities’ prices in Pakistan with regional countries India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It was witnessed that prices of daily commodities in Pakistan are the lowest in the region.
In his concluding remarks, the Finance Minister underscored the efforts being made for keeping the prices of essential items in check and measures to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.