ISLAMABAD: The ex-mill sugar price fell by nearly 29 per cent on Wednesday and officials in the finance ministry expressed the hope that the sweetener will see a considerable decline in the open market in a few days.
The ex-mill price in Punjab dropped to Rs103 per kg and in Karachi to Rs105 from Rs145 per kg, Spokesperson to Adviser on Finance Muzamil Aslam told Dawn.
Quoting the Punjab finance secretary, Mr Aslam said the retail price of sugar would fall further in the next few days. He said the ex-mill price in Karachi was expected to be further rationalised.
The spokesperson said sugar price at the outlets of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) was Rs85 per kg and Rs90 per kg at Sasta Bazaar.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the average minimum retail price of sugar is Rs111 per kg while the maximum price is Rs140 per kg.
Monitoring panel concerned over high prices of wheat flour in Sindh, Balochistan
Finance Secretary Yousuf Khan informed the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) that the sugar prices were falling in Punjab due to proactive measures taken by the government.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin presided over the NPMC meeting.
Mr Tarin directed the provinces to meet their stocks by immediately lifting the imported sugar and inject it into the market to bring down its prices. 30,000 tonnes of sugar has already reached Karachi port.
Read more: Sugar price sees sudden sharp rise
Muzamil Aslam said the provinces had been asked to lift sugar at Rs90 per kg. In case, sugar was not lifted by the provinces, the sweetener would be shifted to the USC for selling at subsidised rates, he said.
He said the adviser had ordered the relevant stakeholders to release 10,000 tonnes of sugar to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for stabilising the prices in that province.
The finance division said in a statement that the finance adviser commended the efforts of the representatives of the Punjab government and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, but expressed concern over high prices of wheat flour in Sindh and Balochistan as compared to other provinces.
Mr Tarin advised the chief secretaries of Sindh and Balochistan to increase the daily releases of wheat to improve supply in the markets. He reiterated the government’s firm commitment to ensure smooth supply of wheat flour across the country at official rates.
The finance secretary informed the NPMC that the prices of wheat flour remained consistent at Rs1,100 per 20 kg due to the proactive measures taken by the Punjab government and ICT administration.
He also apprised the meeting that essential commodities registered a decline in prices as compared to the same month of last year.
Mr Tarin said the government had taken several administrative and policy measures to control the prices of essential commodities.
The NPMC observed that Sasta Sahulat Bazaars in Punjab are offering essential goods at subsidised prices.
The finance secretary briefed the meeting about the weekly SPI which went up by 0.67pc. He said prices of three essential commodities registered decline whereas 20 items remained stable during the last week.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and federal secretaries attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, Adviser on Finance Shaukat Tarin met a delegation of Markazi Tanzeem-i-Tajran Pakistan headed by its President Mohammad Kashif Chaudhry at the Finance Division.
Mr Kashif highlighted the problems being faced by the business community, especially small traders, and sought support from the government to resolve their issues.
Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2021