ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Monday reviewed prices of essential food items and directed departments concerned to continue reviewing rates to ensure availability of cheaper products for end consumers.
The NPMC meeting chaired by Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh also directed the Ministry of Industries (MoI) to ensure the price decline of goods in the international market is passed on to end consumers.
Federal Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar, Special Assistant on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood and provincial chief secretaries among others attended the meeting.
Briefing the committee, MoI said current wheat stocks were sufficient for domestic consumption and average per day release by the provinces was also satisfactory. The prices of wheat flour registered a continuous decline due to improved release of wheat (per day) and there was a steady supply across the country, the ministry further claimed.
Dr Shaikh lauded the coordinated and consolidated efforts of the federal and provincial governments for uninterrupted provision of wheat throughout the country.
Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar updated NPMC about the significant decline in the international prices of palm oil and soyabean which will eventually reduce the recent upward pressure on the prices of edible oil in the domestic market.
The committee directed the MoI to take necessary measures to ensure that the recent reduction in international prices of edible oil is passed on to the domestic consumers effectively.
The minister apprised the NPMC that retail price of sugar has witnessed a decline during the week under review and would reduce further as imported sugar would be available soon in the domestic market. The NPMC appreciated the efforts of all relevant authorities to ensure sufficient stock of sugar in the coming months.
The average retail price of sugar inched up to Rs100 per kg from Rs75 per kg in the first week of December. Currently, the retail price of the sweetener is hovering between Rs90-100 per kg in major cities despite the start of the crushing season.
The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet decided last week to allow import of 500,000 tonnes white sugar as well as 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar for millers to avert the anticipated shortage of sugar at the end of the current season due to non-availability of carryover stocks.
Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2021