Finance Minister notes declining trend in prices of essential items

ISLAMABAD, Jan 04 (APP):Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Monday noted that the prices of essential items had started showing declining trend which he said was a positive outcome of vigilant monitoring under NPMC on weekly basis.

Chairing the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) here, he stressed the need for effective functioning of all federal and provincial authorities to monitor the demand supply position across the country for provision of daily use items to general public at affordable rates.

He emphasized an increased coordination among Federal and Provincial authorities to identify demand supply gaps and take immediate remedial measures to ensure
uninterrupted supply of items of daily use at affordable prices.

The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar and edible oil, according to press statement issued by the Finance Ministry.

Finance Secretary briefed about the decline in Consumer Price Index recorded at 8 percent in December 2020 as compared to 12.6 percent in December 2019 as a positive outcome of vigilant monitoring under NPMC on regular basis.

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The NPMC noted significant decline in food inflation as urban food inflation declined by 2.1 percent and rural declined by 3.4 percent on Month-on-Month basis. NPMC was also informed that there was a decline in weekly Sensitive Price Index by 0.7 percent.

Prices of 10 essential food commodities were reduced notably tomatoes, onions, potatoes and chicken.

The NPMC observed price variation in wheat flour in Sindh and Balochistan Provinces which was reflected in PBS data.

The Finance Minister directed the Chief Secretaries to regulate smooth supply of wheat throughout the province by increasing daily release, if needed, and submit a comprehensive report in the next NPMC accordingly.

The Chair urged the Provincial Secretaries to check the possibilities of hoarding and black marketing especially wheat and sugar to ensure uninterrupted provision at fair prices.
Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar, updated the NPMC about measures being taken to further reduce the prices of sugar and edible oil in consultation with stakeholders.

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The Chair directed to constitute a committee, headed by the Minister for Industries and Production, with Secretary MNFS&R and stakeholders concerned as its members to come up with a concerted course of action in this regard.

The advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textiles and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood also appreciated measures being taken to further reduce the prices of sugar and edible oil.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Minister for Industries and Production, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textiles and Investment, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Secretary Ministry of National Food

Security and Research, Special Secretary Commerce, Chairman FBR, Additional Secretary Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Member CCP, Chairman TCP, MD PASSCO, MD Utility Store Corporation, Member National Accounts and senior officers of the Finance Division.