The prices of wheat flour, sugar and onion are showing a downward trend while the prices of tomato, potato and chicken have slightly increased.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired a meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Monday. The Finance Secretary while presenting the price trend of essential commodities revealed that according to the latest SPI released by PBS, prices of vegetable ghee have remained unchanged. The committee was also informed about the price variation among the provinces and the profit margin between wholesale and the retail.
Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, Federal Secretary Finance, Federal Secretary National Food Security and Research, Secretary Industries and Production, Secretary Commerce, Chairman TCP, Chairperson CCP and Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation also participated in the meeting. The Provincial Chief Secretaries joined the meeting through video link.
Hafeez Sheikh held a detailed discussion with the provincial Chief Secretaries regarding the position of wheat and sugar stocks in the provinces. NPMC was briefed that sufficient quantities are available across the country. Adviser Finance emphasised that the provincial governments and all other concerned authorities should take immediate proactive measures to control the increase in prices.
During the meeting, Advisor Finance urged the representatives of the provincial governments to strictly monitor the difference between retail and wholesale prices in various commodities to ensure availability of the essential items for the consumers at affordable price.
Chief Secretary Sindh informed the NPMC that flour and sugar prices have declined in the province which will further stabilise in the coming weeks. He also briefed the Committee that the Sindh government has established fair price shops to provide relief to the general public. However, chicken prices are increasing and they are taking corrective measures accordingly.
Additional Chief Secretary Punjab informed the Committee that the prices of tomatoes are fluctuating due to seasonal factors but it will also stabilise in the coming weeks. He further briefed that the prices in the 360 Sahulat Bazar are low as compared to the open market. He also revealed that the government of Punjab is releasing wheat as per policy and as a result the flour prices have also stabilised.
Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa informed NPMC that they are releasing five thousand tons of wheat daily, as a result, the prices of wheat flour bag have come down by Rs. 20 to 30 in the market. It was also informed that local production of tomatoes in KP has started coming to the market; it is expected that in the coming weeks the supply of tomatoes will increase significantly which will bring a major decline in the price.
Punjab and the Sindh governments briefed the Committee about the new crushing season of sugarcane and underlined that price of sugar would be reduced further due to availability of the local produce in the coming months.
The managing director Utility Stores Corporation apprised NPMC about the sufficient stocks of sugar and wheat at the utility stores across Pakistan at a subsidised price.