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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin Wednesday directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to formulate strategy for smooth supply of wheat in future after considering available stock position as well as consumption and future requirement of wheat.

Weekly, the NPMC meeting presided over by the finance minister on Wednesday was briefed by the economic adviser, Finance Division, about weekly and monthly inflation.

On CPI Inflation, the meeting was informed that commodities such as households, transportation, restaurant, energy items, and hotel services have registered increase in the prices on year-on-year basis. The NPMC was informed that chillies powder, potatoes, onions, eggs, chicken, sugar, etc have declined during the last week.

The NPMC was updated on the prices of wheat flour and was informed that there is stability in the wheat flour prices in the country and sufficient stocks are available.

The meeting discussed sugar prices in the country and was apprised that a slight decrease in the sugar prices have been witnessed in the last week. Further, the chair directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to expedite the process for building strategic reserves of sugar in the country to maintain stability in prices in future.

The NPMC was also briefed on the prices of pulses in the country. It was informed that the prices of moong have significantly decline as compared to last year.

Pulses: demand-supply gap being met through imports

The finance minister further directed the Ministry of NFS&R and the provincial governments to expedite the investigation into the undue profit margin in perishables, specially onions, tomatoes and potatoes and control price hike in these items.

On the prices of edible oil in the country, the secretary Ministry of I&P informed the meeting that appropriate strategy is being chalked out against the edible oil manufacturers to address the issue of charging higher prices from domestic consumers relative to prices in the international market. The meeting also discussed the fertiliser situation in the country and directed the Ministry of NFS&R to formulate strategy in consultation with the provincial governments for giving adequate relief to the growers.

The meeting also discussed the prices of daily commodities available at the Utility Stores and directed the USC to inform the masses on any variations in the prices and availability of commodities well in time.

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.

The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Secretary Minister of Industries and Production, Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research, provincial chief secretaries, economic advisor Finance Division, Member PBS, MD Utility Stores Corporation, chairperson CCP, chairman TCP, Member Customs FBR, Addl Deputy Commissioner ICT, and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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