Price monitoring committee says prices of perishables on downtrend after 'seasonal fluctuation'

April 04, 2019

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Committee was informed that SPI trends show downward trajectory in prices of everyday items. — APP/File
Committee was informed that SPI trends show downward trajectory in prices of everyday items. — APP/File

The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) reported on Thursday that a recent spike in the prices of perishable goods was primarily due to seasonal variations, the impact of which is now subsiding.

An NPMC meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar and attended by members of relevant federal ministries and provincial departments, was held to review prices of perishable and non-perishable food items, particularly 28 essential kitchen items.

The committee was informed that the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) — which monitors mostly kitchen items — has shown a sharp declining trend, which suggests that the prices of these items in the market are on a downward trajectory.

The meeting also decided that a strong forecasting mechanism will be put in place to ensure the availability of essential food items for the upcoming three to six months at any given point in time.

It was also decided that a monthly meeting of NPMC will be held regularly to review supply and prices of all commodities and timely measures will be put in place to avoid any shortage in the country.

The finance minister issued directions for the market committees to be made more proactive in order for them to play a vigilant role in the effective monitoring of prices and to keep hoarding in check across the country.

The meeting also reviewed the availability of commodities with Ramazan around the corner.

The Utility Stores Corporation assured the NPMC that the government’s Ramazan Package will be implemented to ensure sufficient availability of commodities at affordable prices.

The meeting was also told that the prime minister will chair a meeting to further review the supply and prices of food and pharmaceuticals in the country on Monday, April 8.