ISLAMABAD: The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Shaukat Tarin, has directed the provincial governments to finalise the indicative price of sugarcane at the earliest.
The adviser was chairing a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), which was attended by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, federal secretaries, managing director (MD) Utility Stores, provincial chief secretaries, chief statistician PBS, chairperson Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), member Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), and other senior officers participated in the meeting.
The adviser on finance expressed deep concern over the significant price differential in the wheat flour prices in Sindh province as compared to the other provinces.
He directed the provincial chief secretary of Sindh to expedite the process of daily releases of wheat at the price determined by the government to ease out pressure on prices.
The adviser reiterated the firm commitment of the government to ensure smooth supply of wheat flour across the country at government-specified price.
While reviewing the price trend of basic commodities, Tarin stated that the government is taking a range of administrative, policy, and relief measures to absorb the upward pressure on prices of basic food commodities globally. The Punjab chief secretary apprised the NPMC that the crushing of sugarcane will begin by 15th November in Punjab.
The adviser on finance and revenue directed the Sindh chief secretary to ensure the crushing of sugarcane to start as soon as possible to ensure stable price of sugar across the country.
The adviser further directed all the provincial governments to finalise the indicative price of sugarcane at the earliest.
The adviser on finance and revenue directed the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to draw a province-wise comparison of weekly SPI.
The decision has been taken to analyse the price differential in SPI among provinces to differentiate the individual province’s efforts.
The Balochistan chief secretary also highlighted the need for expanding USC outlets and establishing cold storages facilities in the province.
The adviser directed the concerned ministries to coordinate with the Balochistan Government to expedite the matter.
The minister of state for information highlighted the need to increase the footfall of Saasta Bazaars, to make sure the benefit reach maximum number of people, and the adviser to the prime minister on finance directed the provincial governments to devise the strategies for the same.
In his concluding remarks, the adviser to the prime minister on finance and revenue stated that the government is taking all possible measures to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.
The secretary finance updated the NPMC that the prices of the wheat flour bags remained consistent at Rs1,100 per 20kg due to the proactive measures of the Punjab government and the ICT Administration.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021