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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin Wednesday directed the chief secretary Punjab to provide sugar to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government in order to stabilise prices of sugar in the province.

While chairing a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) held at the Finance Division on Wednesday, Tarin advised the provincial representative of the Sindh Government to expedite the process of daily releases of wheat at the price determined by the government to ease out pressure on prices.

The NPMC expressed deep concern over the significant price differential in the key commodities namely, wheat flour, sugar etc in Sindh province as compared to the other provinces.

Economic Adviser Finance Division briefed the NPMC about year-on-year and month-on-month inflation indicators. There is a slight increase in year-on-year CPI equal to 9.2 percent as compared to 8.9 percent last year.

The increase in CPI is due to rise in international prices of food commodities and crude oil. The government made an all-out effort to absorb the bulk of the hike in international prices by providing direct food subsidy on wheat flour, sugar, and pulses.

The NPMC noted a significant differential in year-on-year prices of seasonal vegetables.

Tarin for allowing import of 50,000MT of sugar despite opposition

Price of onions is Rs47 per kg as compared to Rs74 per kg last year.

Similarly, price of tomatoes is Rs104 per kilo, whereas, it was Rs198 per kilo last year.

However, week-on-week increase in price of seasonal vegetables namely, potatoes, tomatoes in Punjab due to supply side disruptions caused by the dharna by the TLP. The economic adviser further updated the NPMC about the stability in prices of pulses during the week under review.

The secretary Ministry of NFS&R updated the NPMC about sufficient availability of wheat flour across the country. The stock of wheat will last longer before the arrival of the fresh crop, he added.

The NPMC urged the government of Sindh to finalise the indicative price of sugarcane at the earliest.

The NPMC observed that Sastaa Sahulat Bazaars in Punjab are offering essential goods at subsidised prices.

The adviser to the PM on finance and revenue commended the efforts of the representatives of the Punjab government and the Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through a network of Sastaa Bazaars and urged the respective provincial government to make similar requisite arrangements to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities at fair prices throughout the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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