Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh expressed relief over the declining trend in prices of wheat flour, sugar, onions and tomatoes as compared to October 2020.

The Adviser virtually chaired a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), where they reviewed the price trend of essential commodities. The Finance Secretary, while presenting the price trend of said commodities, revealed that according to the latest Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI ) released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), there is a decline in the prices of 10 essential commodities like wheat flour, sugar, onions and chicken while the prices of 11 commodities have increased slightly.However, the price of 30 items has managed to remain stable.

During the meeting, the Finance Advisor insisted on the need to take necessary administrative measures to reduce high profit margin between wholesale and retail levels.

”It is our responsibility to ensure availability of the essential items for the consumers at affordable prices,” he said.

The Chair held a detailed discussion with Provincial Chief Secretaries, regarding the position of wheat and sugar stocks in the provinces, which stated that at present, sufficient quantities are available to meet existing demand. The Finance Advisor urged the provincial governments to ensure a smooth supply of essential items.

The Secretary at National Food Security and Research presented a brief update on the import of wheat, during the meeting. The Logistics Committee played a key role in resolving issues related to wheat and sugar stocks among provinces, he pronounced.

The Ministry of Industries & Production will take up the requirement of wheat and sugar for Utility Stores Corporation (USC) with Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation (PASSCO) and Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) immediately.

The Chair appreciated the efforts being taken by federal ministries, provincial governments and other relevant stakeholders for price control. He added that the same momentum must be maintained to provide maximum relief to the general public. Moreover, he stressed that provincial governments should devise a plan to ensure the smooth supply of perishable items to avoid any undue price hike.

The Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Special Assistants to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, Federal Secretary Finance, Federal Secretary National Food Security and Research, Secretary Industries and Production, Secretary Commerce, Chairman TCP, MD PASSCO, Chairperson CCP and Manager Utility Stores Corporation also participated in the meeting. The Provincial Chief Secretaries joined the meeting through video link.

Hamza Habib is a senior journalist and former editor of 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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