ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has directed the relevant departments to maintain the strategic reserves of essential commodities and taking appropriate measures in time to avoid any untoward situation.
The finance minister issued the direction, while presiding over the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), on Monday.
The finance minister said that the NPMC should adopt a comprehensive and proactive strategy to minimise the gap of prices between the grower and the retailers.
This reduction in gap will significantly lower the prices of the essential commodities for end users, he said.
Although the Federal Bureau of Statistics is an independent entity, a committee with the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue and Finance as chairman with representatives from all the stakeholders including representatives from the provinces should engage with the PBS to workout further perfection in data collection mechanism of the PBS wherever required.
Earlier, the finance minister briefed the participants of the meeting that the prime minister is determined to bring ease in the lives of the poor in Pakistan.
The meeting was informed that a multi-pronged approach is being followed for this purpose.
Different schemes and incentives have been rolled out and many more are on the cards to uplift the lives of the common people.
The recently presented Federal Budget 2021-2022 is a practical manifestation of pro-poor approach of the government.
He said that the prices of commodities of daily use have a direct impact on the lives of the common people and the NPMC is a forum, which is actively monitoring the prices of essential items and ensuring its smooth supply. The difference between wholesale and retail prices of essential items is not only huge but also varies across different cities, which requires thorough analysis.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Secretary Finance Division, all chief secretaries, chief commissioner Islamabad, representatives of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, and other relevant departments.
During the meeting, the secretary finance briefed that the weekly SPI decreased by 0.59 percent during the last week. A week earlier, the weekly SPI declined by 0.61 percent. It is the third consecutive week that the SPI is declining. He further briefed the meeting that the prices of nine items declined during the last week. The prices of 28 items remained stable, while prices of 14 items saw a slight upward trend. The meeting took stock of the strategic reserves of essential commodities and the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue issued directions to relevant departments to maintain the strategic reserves of essential commodities and ensure timely and appropriate measures to avoid any untoward situation.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021