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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh Monday directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to take necessary measures to ensure that the recent reduction in international prices of edible oil is passed on to the consumers.

The minister stated this during the weekly meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) met to review the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar and edible oil during the week.

The finance secretary briefed the meeting about the weekly SPI and decline in prices of wheat flour, vegetables and eggs due to coordinated efforts of all the provincial governments across the country.

On the whole, prices of eight items registered decline, whereas 24 items remained stable during the week.

The secretary, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, briefed the NPMC meeting that the current stock of wheat is sufficient for the domestic consumption and average per day release by the provinces is also satisfactory.

The prices of wheat flour registered a continuous decline due to improved release of wheat (per day) and its steady supply across the country, he outlined.

The finance minister acknowledged the coordinated and consolidated efforts of the federal and provincial governments for uninterrupted provision of wheat throughout the country.

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

The meeting directed the Ministry of Industries for taking necessary measures to ensure that the recent reduction in international prices of edible oil is passed on to the domestic consumers effectively.

The Minister for Industries and Production further apprised the NPMC that retail price of sugar has witnessed a decline during the week under review and would reduce further as imported sugar would be available soon in the domestic market.

The NPMC appreciated efforts of all relevant authorities to ensure sufficient stock of sugar in the coming months.

Member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) informed the Committee that provinces are on board for smooth implementation of newly-developed dashboard of prices of essential items.

Steps are being taken to make the system fully functional for monitoring price disparity across the provinces, he added.

The finance minister emphasized proactive role on behalf of all authorities concerned to ensure smooth provision of essential items at affordable rates to the general public.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, provincial chief secretaries, secretary commerce, secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, secretary National Food Security and Research, additional secretary Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives, chairman FBR, Member Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), managing director (MD) Utility Stores Corporation (USC), member PBC and senior officers of the Finance Division participated in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021