ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday announced that it would pass on the benefit of reduced international oil prices to consumers ‘in due course’ and as per mechanism already being followed by it.
The announcement was made by Ministry of Finance after a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet which also set up an inter-ministerial Monitoring Group for procurement of wheat at a minimum support price of Rs1,400 per 40kg. The ECC meeting was presided over by Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.
The ECC discussed falling prices of oil in international market and its impact on the national economy and “announced the benefit of the reduced oil prices in the global market would be passed on the consumers in Pakistan in due course.”
The ECC formally fixed the minimum support price of wheat at Rs1,400 per 40 kg. It was reported that a total of 8.25m tonnes of wheat would be procured this year at an estimated cost of about Rs289bn.
Total estimate for wheat crop was 27 million tonnes. Of this, Punjab’s wheat procurement bill was estimated at Rs157bn, Passco’s Rs63bn, Sindh’s Rs50bn, KPK’s Rs15.75bn and Balochistan’s Rs3.5bn.
That would mean that about 60pc (16.2m tonnes of wheat) would be retained by the growers while 10.8m tonnes would be available to the market including 25m tonnes by the public sector and remaining 2.55mtonnes by the private sector.
The ECC also approved the Annual Report of Competition Commission of Pakistan for financial years ended 2015, 2016 & 2017, and asked the CCP to give a detailed presentation on overall scope of its work with regard to its mandated role to ensure fair competition in different sectors of economy.
Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2020