ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has expressed concerns on the rise of sugar prices and directed the provincial authorities to take appropriate measures to control the hike in rates of sugar.
In this regard, the weekly meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), which met on Wednesday to review the prices, was informed the prices of sugar have shown increase in Rawalpindi, Karachi, and Peshawar cities.
The meeting was apprised that the new stocks of sugar arriving in the market will ease out sugar prices.
The meeting was also informed about the increase in the prices of chicken and eggs and stated the increase in these prices was due to seasonal factor.
The meeting was updated on the prices of wheat flour and was informed that the prices of wheat and flour have marked a further decrease.
Upon this, the meeting expressed satisfaction over the availability of sufficient stocks of wheat in the country. The meeting also discussed the sowing situation of wheat in the country and was informed that sowing of wheat was satisfactory in Sindh and the Punjab provinces, whereas, sowing of wheat in Balochistan and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces was affected due to the draught situation. However, now it is in progress and wheat sowing targets will be completed.
The NPMC also discussed milk prices in the country and was informed that prices are normal across the country.
The finance minister further directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to workout suitable plan for optimal level of milk prices in order to ensure its smooth and sustainable supply in the market.
The NPMC was briefed on the availability of essential goods at subsidised rates at the Sastaa and Sahulat bazaars across the country.
The finance minister underscored the efforts being made for keeping the prices of essential items in check and measures to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.
Earlier, the economic adviser Finance Division briefed the NPMC about weekly inflation –the SPI – which increased by 0.40 percent as compared to the previous week, which was 0.55 percent.
He told the meeting that prices of five items registered decline, which contributed decline in the SPI by 0.12percent.
During the week, prices of potatoes declined by 0.04percent, chillies powder 0.03 percent, onion 0.02 percent, wheat flour 0.03 percent, and Gur by 0.0004 percent.
It was informed that the prices of items marked decline during the week as compared to the prices for the same period in the last year.
The meeting was also informed that current prices of onion are lower as compared to three years earlier.
The NPMC was informed that prices of 23 items remained stable, whereas, 23 items registered rise in prices.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, secretary Ministry of NFS&R, secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, economic advisor Finance Division, provincial chief secretaries, chief statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), managing director Utility Stores Corporation, deputy commissioner ICT, and other senior officers.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021