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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to continuously monitor stocks of sugar, its supply position, and prices in the market.

Hafeez Shaikh directed this while chairing a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Monday.

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, provincial chief secretaries, secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research, additional secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, chairman FBR, Member CCP, Member PBS, MD USC, MD PASSCO, Member National Accounts PBS, and senior officers of the Finance Division participated in the meeting.

The NPMC reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat flour, eggs, chicken, sugar and edible oil during the last week.

The finance secretary outlined the significant decline in year-on-year CPI to 5.7 percent in January 2021 as compared to 14.6 percent in January last year.

The NPMC lauded the efforts of the concerned ministries/departments and provincial governments for vigilant monitoring of the prices of essential commodities, and urged to continue the momentum to provide maximum relief to the general public.

The finance minister reiterated the firm commitment of the government to ensure provision of essential commodities at affordable prices across the board.

The secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) updated the NPMC about the current status of wheat stocks.

The wheat stock position is sufficient for the domestic consumption and average per day release by the provinces is also stable.

The NPMC directed the provincial governments to keep close watch on the prices of wheat and sugar in the market to avoid hoarding, black marketing, and smuggling to ensure uninterrupted supply at affordable prices.

The secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production updated the NPMC about the fluctuation in international prices of palm and soyabean oils which in turn, drives the prices of edible oil in the domestic market.

The ministry is closely monitoring the situation to minimise its impact on domestic prices, he stated.

The secretary further apprised the NPMC that arrangements are underway to import sugar which will ensure its smooth supply in the domestic market.

There would be increased production of sugar during the current crushing season as per the latest estimates, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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