The inflation is on a decline due to improved availability of wheat, sugar, and vegetable imported by the government and private sector.
Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh chaired a meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Monday. The NPMC reviewed the availability of essential commodities namely wheat, flour, sugar, tomato, onion, vegetable ghee and chicken. Finance Secretary apprised NPMC that there has been a consistent decline in prices for the last three weeks. The weekly SPI data showed that prices declined by -0.3% in the last week, notably in essential food commodities including sugar, onion, potato, rice and pulses.
Secretary industries and production briefed that the slight increase in the price of vegetable ghee is due to spike in international prices. Finance Minister directed M/o Industries and Production to look into upward pricing trend in the international market and take necessary steps to minimize its impact on domestic prices, he concluded.
The Chair lauded the efforts of the concerned ministries and the provincial governments for keeping the prices of essential commodities in check. During the meeting, the Finance Minister urged the provincial governments to strictly monitor the prices of chicken and ensure smooth supply to minimize the gap in supply and demand.
Dr Hafeez also held a detailed discussion with secretary of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R), and the provincial chief secretaries regarding the position of wheat and sugar stocks in the provinces.
Secretary MNFS&R briefed the NPMC that sufficient stocks of wheat are available across the country. The Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) Government has demanded additional quantity of wheat which will be fulfilled in time, he assured. The Finance Minister also approved the provision of wheat to USC, and the formal approval would be granted as per the summary moved by the MNFS&R in the next ECC meeting.