ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) directed provincial governments on Wednesday to take punitive measures against fertiliser hoarders and ensure the commodity’s availability at controlled rates.
On the stock position of fertilisers, the committee was informed that Punjab and Sindh governments have taken actions against hoarders. The Punjab government has established control rooms in districts to monitor the stock position of fertilisers and appropriate actions are being taken on complaints against high prices.
The NPMC meeting, chaired by Adviser on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin and attended by relevant federal secretaries and chief secretaries of provinces, reviewed the prices of everyday commodities and essential food items in the country.
Mr Tarin directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to initiate a whistleblower law against hoarders and prioritise its enforcement.
Tarin asks ministry to suggest a whistleblower law against hoarders
Secretary Finance Yusuf Khan said that sugar prices were easing in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to proactive measures taken by the government. The new stocks of sugar were arriving in the market which would further lower the prices, he said.
Mr Tarin expressed his satisfaction with the stability in sugar prices and asked the Ministry of Industries and Production to take appropriate measures for creating strategic reserves of sugar in the country for a smooth supply in the coming months.
The secretary informed the committee that the price of wheat flour remained consistent at Rs1,100 per 20kg. The daily release of wheat by provincial governments will further ease prices.
The meeting observed that an increase in edible oil price on the global market has affected local prices. However, it was informed that international prices of palm oil / soya bean would start declining from January onward and would subsequently be passed on to consumers.
On the stock position of kerosene, Mr Tarin directed the petroleum division to take measures for ensuring its availability to support the low-income segment of society.
The meeting observed that Sasta Sahulat Bazaars in Punjab and KP are offering essential goods at subsidised rates. Mr Tarin also expressed his satisfaction with the prices of commodities in similar bazaars operating in Balochistan and Sindh and directed that such bazaars should be set up in more cities to provide maximum relief to the public.
The finance secretary briefed the meeting about the weekly Sensitive Price Indicator, which has increased by 1.07pc during the week ended on Nov 18.
He informed the meeting that the prices of 10 essential commodities dropped, whereas the prices of 14 items remained stable during the week under review. Besides, the prices of essential commodities like onion, potatoes and cooking oil also registered a significant decline compared to the same period last year.
Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2021