- Underlying rationale is to stabilise the prices of items of daily use
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin Monday directed the concerned ministries to accelerate the import of wheat and sugar and ensure that sufficient stocks are available for smooth supply during the current financial year.
Tarin held a meeting with the Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam and SAPM on Food Security Jamshed Cheema to review the price trend of essential commodities.
SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, secretary Finance Division, secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, secretary Ministry of National Food Security Research, provincial chief secretaries and other senior officers participated in the meeting.
SAPM on Food Security Jamshed Cheema briefed the finance minister on building strategic reserves of essential commodities namely wheat, sugar, pulses, edible oil/ghee, tomatoes, onion, garlic and chicken to prevent hoarding and undue profiteering.
The underlying rationale is to stabilise the prices of items of daily use.
The government will build the strategic reserves by importing 10-20 percent of the total consumption of the staple food items and supply into the market when needed in order to bridge the supply and demand gap.
This will check the price fluctuation effectively.
The finance minister directed the concerned ministries to accelerate the import of wheat and sugar and ensure that sufficient stocks are available for smooth supply during the current financial year.
He also urged the concerned ministries and the TCP to exercise due diligence and take appropriate measures for risk hedging, while floating tenders in international market.
The finance minister urged the representatives of the provincial governments to take corrective measures for reducing price differential between farm and retail prices.
He emphasised the need to review the entire food value chain and ensure that the farmers get a commensurate share of market value of their produce.
The SAPM on Food Security stated that farmers must follow the international best practices and look into alternate options for perishable commodities like tomato puree, onion powder, garlic powder etc to meet peak demand due to seasonal variations. This will offer cost-effective products for the consumers as well.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021