ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin presided over the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) held at the Finance Division today. During the meeting, the finance secretary briefed that the weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) decreased by 0.59 per cent during the last week.

He briefed the participants of the meeting that the prime minister is determined to bring ease to the lives of Pakistanis. A multi-pronged approach is being followed for this purpose. Different schemes and incentives have been rolled out and many more are on the cards to uplift the lives of common people. 

The recently presented Federal Budget 2021-2022 is a practical manifestation of the pro-poor approach of the government, said the minister, all departments and organizations should contribute to uplift the lives of the underprivileged. 

National Price Monitoring Committee is a forum that actively monitors prices of essential items and ensuring its smooth supply. 

Shaukat Tarin expressed these views while chairing the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee at Finance Ministry on Monday.

 The meeting was attended by SAPM on finance and revenue, federal minister for National Food Security and Research, Finance Division secretary, all chief secretaries, Islamabad chief commissioner, representatives of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives and other relevant departments.

During the meeting, the finance secretary briefed that the weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) decreased by 0.59 per cent during the last week. A week earlier the weekly SPI declined by 0.61 per cent. It is the third consecutive week that SPI is declining. He further briefed the meeting that the prices of 09 items declined during last week. The prices of 28 items remained stable while prices of 14 items saw a slight upward trend. The meeting took stock of the strategic reserves of essential commodities and the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue issued directions to relevant departments to maintain the strategic reserves of essential commodities and ensure timely and appropriate measures to avoid any untoward situation.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin during the meeting said that National Price Monitoring Committee should adopt a comprehensive and proactive strategy to minimize the gap of prices between grower and retailers. This reduction in the gap will significantly lower the prices of essential commodities for end users. He further said that the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is an independent entity but a committee with SAPM on Finance and Revenue as chairman and consisting of representatives from all stakeholders including representatives from provinces should engage with PBS to work out further perfection in data collection mechanism of PBS wherever required.

The author is a business correspondent based in Islamabad.

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