Rising chicken, egg prices get minister’s attention

Published January 17, 2024
The per-kilogram and per-dozen rates of broiler live bird and eggs have both surged to Rs440.—Online/file
The per-kilogram and per-dozen rates of broiler live bird and eggs have both surged to Rs440.—Online/file

ISLAMABAD: The Na­tional Price Monitor­ing Committee (NPMC) on Tuesday undertook a comprehensive review of the current trends with a particular focus on surging prices of poultry products.

The NPMC meeting chaired by Caretaker Minister for Planning Sami Saeed has directed the Ministry of National Food Security to engage in discussions with the Pakistan Poultry Association to identify the underlying causes of the continuous surge in the prices of poultry products and resolve the supply issues.

The price of chicken farm broiler (live) has seen a notable increase rising to Rs440 per kg from Rs409 in the previous week. Similarly, the rate of eggs per dozen has also escalated to Rs440, up from Rs390. This marks a significant shift in the market dynamics for poultry products.

An official announcement issued after the meeting said that the minister also asked provincial governments to vigorously pursue the smooth availability of essential items, especially in Ramazan and report the demand and supply situation of specific commodities in the next meeting.

Chief Statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics Dr Naeem Uz Zafar presented an overview of the price situation in the country for the week ended on Jan 11 and apprised the meeting that the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) surged 44.2pc year-on-year and 1.4pc week-on-week.

He explained that the current spike in SPI is driven by perishable items including tomatoes and onions and poultry products like chicken and eggs.

During this week, prices of 21 items increased and those of 8 items decreased while prices of 22 items remained stable.

The minister asked about the measures taken by the provincial governments to curtail the gap between wholesale and retail prices.

In response, the representatives of the Food and Industries Depart­ments of Punjab, Sindh and KP explained that strict monitoring of prices has been ensured through heavy fines, raids and sealing of high-charging shops.

It was further added that despite supply issues of perishable items due to extreme weather conditions, the issue of climate change has become more important.

The administration of Punjab is taking measures by sensitising deputy commissioners across the province to control prices.

The minister advised PBS to present a detailed report on the active usage of the Decision Support System on Inflation (DSSI) by provincial and district authorities for price monitoring and checking profiteering and hoarding.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2024

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