ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Ministry of National Food, Security and Research to finalise the estimates of future requirement of sugar and wheat in the country on priority basis, so that advance arrangements for availability of these commodities could be made.
The prime minister directed this while presiding over a weekly meeting to review the prices of essential commodities in the country Wednesday.
The meeting – with the objective to keep a check on the price of sugar in the light of the inquiry commission report – decided to expedite the process of installing cameras in the sugar mills.
In addition, the meeting also decided that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would provide details of sales tax collection on account of sugar to the provincial governments, so as to make the system transparent.
The meeting was told that there was 84 percent increase in sales tax collection on sugar during July- January 2020-21 due to the measures taken by the Federal Board of Revenue.
Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh informed the meeting that year-on-year basis consumer prices index (CPI) was recorded at 5.7 percent in January 2021 compared to 14.6 percent for the same period a year before.
Similarly, during July-January 2020-21, the CPI was recorded at 8.2 percent compared to 11.2 percent for the same period a year before.
The minister further stated that as per statistics there was a considerable decline in the CPI and prices of sugar, eggs and onion have declined while there was stability in the price of flour.
The meeting was also briefed about the release of government wheat.
The meeting was told about the difference between the prices of commodities in retail and wholesale markets with the contention that this simply reflects failure of market committees.
The meeting decided to abolish market committees in the two provinces where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is in power, and assigned the responsibility to district and Tehsil administrations till the new committees through a transparent system were constituted. The meeting forewarned that in case of non-implementation of price list, the relevant assistant commissioner would bear the brunt.
The prime minister directed that availability of the essential commodities at appropriate prices is priority of the government and instructed that essential commodities must be made available to the Utility Stores Corporation (USC).
The prime minister directed the chief secretaries to ensure implementation on the price list through the effective role of administration.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021