ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin on Monday directed relevant stakeholders to review the entire supply chain from farmer to end consumer for minimising difference between wholesale and retail prices of basic commodities.
The direction came from the new finance minister with concerns on a wide range of differences in wholesale prices and retail prices at a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC).
Mr Tarin said the exercise main objective is to ensure that the farmer is paid well and consumer gets the maximum relief.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics representative briefed the finance minister about data collection methodology and updated on the recent changes incorporated to reflect price variation between wholesale and retail levels across different cities.
The finance minister emphasized the need for extending market coverage by including more cities and local areas including Ramazan Sasta/Sahulat Bazaars. The data must represent and reflect prevailing price trends accurately, he stressed.
During the meeting, the finance minister sought a briefing from the representatives of the provincial governments regarding efficacy of Ramazan Bazaars which have been set up to provide maximum relief to the masses during the holy month.
An official announcement, quoting provincial administrations, said the response has been very encouraging as people are making regular purchases and taking benefit of reduced prices of basic commodities.
Mr Tarin urged the respective provincial administrations to chalk out a firm plan for strict monitoring of prices and availability of stock of basic commodities at Ramazan Bazaars to facilitate the general public in Eid shopping which largely takes place during the last week of the holy month. He further directed the provincial governments to keep the prices of basic commodities in check during the Eid holidays.
The Managing Director of Utility Stores Corporation (USC) updated the NPMC that all basic commodities are well-stocked across the chain of USC outlets including wheat flour, sugar, ghee and pulses at subsidised prices in compliance with the directives of the Prime Minister.
He further informed that maximum buying across USC outlets takes place during the second half of the day. He requested the general public to visit Utility Stores outlets during morning hours to avoid large queues.
Mr Tarin stressed the need to ensure availability of basic commodities at USCs throughout the country.
Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2021