ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar and edible oil during the week.

Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, chaired the meeting of the NPMC on Monday. Finance Secretary briefed the meeting that weekly SPI registered a decline of 0.22% and the main drivers behind the decrease in SPI are falling prices of eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, onions and chicken. Prices of 21 basic items remained stable whereas 07 items registered a decline during the week. 

M/o NFS&R apprised NPMC that all stakeholders are on board with reference to the existing position of wheat stock in the country. Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research assured all possible measures would be taken to ensure smooth supply of wheat across the country.

The Finance Minister directed the Provincial governments to follow a self-sustaining model and streamline the daily release of wheat to ensure a steady supply in the provinces as well as districts.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar updated NPMC about the recent decline in international prices of palm oil which will eventually reduce the upward pressure on the prices of edible oil in the domestic market.

The Finance Minister directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to continuously monitor stocks of sugar, its supply position in the market and prices throughout the country for the consumers.

Member PBS updated NPMC about the benefits of the recently developed dashboard of prices of essential items and progress on its implementation in coordination with the provinces. NPMC directed PBS to provide the necessary support to the provinces to make the system fully functional for vigilant monitoring of prices of essential commodities and to remove price disparity across the country.

The Finance Minister directed M/o NFS&R to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to ensure a smooth supply of wheat flour at reasonable rates for the general public. He also urged the Provincial governments to continue taking necessary steps to ensure the provision of basic items at affordable prices across the country.

Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Secretary M/o Industries and Production, Additional Secretary M/o NFS&R, Additional Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Chairman FBR, Member CCP, Chairman TCP, MD USC, Member IT/HRM & Member National Accounts from PBS and senior officers of the Finance Division participated in the meeting.

Hamza Habib is a senior journalist and former editor of correspondent.pk who has previously worked for leading newspapers and TV networks of the country. He mainly writes on the economy and political issues.

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