ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday directed for a comprehensive plan to control price hike and ensuring availability of essential food items in the markets.
The prime minister issued the directives while chairing a meeting to review steps taken to control prices of essential edibles, particularly wheat and flour.
PM Khan directed for continuous monitoring of wheat and flour prices as well as improving coordination among the provinces in this regard.
The meeting expressed satisfaction over the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to release 650,000 tonnes of wheat from the stocks of Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Supplies Corporation (Passco) to the provinces.
The prime minister was informed that the government’s recent steps had impacted wheat and flour prices and the ECC decision would further improve the situation. He was also briefed about the prices of various essential commodities.
PM Khan said special focus must be given to check the prices of items in wholesale and retail markets so that profiteering and hoarding should be discouraged. The prime minister was told that the Islamabad Capital Territory administration had launched a smart phone application that allows citizens to check official prices of household items and lodge complaints against the price hike. Steps are also being taken with the consultation of provinces to implement the system in other big cities.
Punjab Information Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal apprised the prime minister that the process to establish Price Control Authority in the province was underway while various steps were being considered to keep the market committees viable for checking profiteering and hoarding.
The prime minister was also informed about progress on the implementation of government’s decision regarding axle load. He said the decision of suspending axle load condition for one year was aimed at facilitating the business community, besides controlling prices of essential edible items.
The prime minister directed his adviser on trade to ensure that the benefits of the decision must go to the people.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Planning Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, Punjab Revenue Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, Adviser on Trade Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafiz Shaikh, secretaries of various ministries and senior officials.
Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2019