ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh has directed the provincial governments to continue momentum of strict price evaluation for provision of basic items to masses at affordable prices.
He was chairing a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Monday and reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar, eggs and edible oil.
Federal Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar, Minister for National Food Security & Research Fakhar Imam, Special Assistant on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood also attended the meeting.
Secretary Finance Kamran Afzal briefed the NPMC that prices of wheat and eggs have registered downward trend due to coordinated and consolidated efforts of the provincial governments. However, the finance minister asked for further strict action.
Mr Imam briefed NPMC about the current status of wheat stock across the country and assured that all possible measures will be taken to ensure uninterrupted supply of wheat at affordable prices.
The industries minister apprised the committee that production of sugar is likely to increase this year due to improved sugarcane crushing activity and would eventually release pressure on upward price trend. He also briefed on the steps being taken to control the prices of edible oil and ghee.
The representative from the Punjab government briefed that strict action has been taken against the role of middlemen in sugarcane market as directed by NPMC. The provincial government representative said that prices of sugar are currently stable in Punjab, however, in some areas marginal hike is observed due to fog and weather conditions.
Member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics presented before NPMC a live dashboard of prices of essential items for comparative analysis which will be helpful in monitoring prices of essential items across major cities and markets in real time.
Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2021