Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Finance & Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez sheikh urges all the stakeholders to take drastic measures to curb inflation, while chairing The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting on Monday.
Advisor Finance expressed confidence that effective and well-concerted actions will help in controlling the menace of inflation, shared Ministry of Finance via a retweet from Radio Pakistan.
National Food Security Minister Syed Fakhar Imam, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant to PM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, secretaries of NFS&R, planning, industries & production divisions, chief secretaries of Punjab, Sindh, Khuber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, Competition Commission of Pakistan chairperson and representatives of Utility Stores Corp and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics were also present at the meeting.
According to officials of the concerned ministries, reasons behind the price hike included gap in supply and demand due to climatic factors, upward trend in international prices and increased profit margin between wholesale and retailers, particularly in metropolitan areas. There was a general consensus that recent rains and Covid-19 have further aggravated the situation.
NPMC also reviewed the timeline for import of wheat and sugar to meet domestic demand for the same.
The finance adviser was briefed that the total public sector procurement for wheat through government-to-government and the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) is equal to 1.8 million tons based on the demand estimates provided by the provinces and PASSCO. It was also stated that sufficient sugar stocks are available in the country till Nov 2020.
Moreover, Hafeez Shaikh directed the Utility Stores Corp to streamline the availability of essential items in order to provide maximum relief to the lowest strata of the society.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet shared on Saturday, “Starting Monday in coming week, our govt will use all the resources at the disposal of the state to bring down food prices.”
He assured nation the causes of price hike are being examined, whether the shortage is resulted by genuine causes or simply due to hoarding mafias.
He also hinted at international rise in prices for palm oil and lentils to be a plausible reason.
“From next week we will have our strategy in place & action will begin using all state organisations & resources to bring down food prices,” he concluded.