PM for taking all measures to check prices of essential items; strict action against hoarders, profiteers

ISLAMABAD, Oct 13 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday called for taking all possible administrative measures to check the prices of basic essential goods and commodities, and ensure strict action against the hoarders and profiteers.

He was presiding over a high-level meeting here regarding the prices and availability of basic essential commodities, particularly wheat and sugar.

Federal ministers Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Senator Shibli Faraz, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Syed Fakhar Imam and Ali Ameen Gandapur, advisors Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Abdul Razzak Dawood and Dr Ishrat Hussain, special assistants Dr Shehbaz Gill, Muhammad Usman Dar and Dr Waqar Masood, State Bank Governor Dr Reza Baqir and senior government officials attended the meeting.

Punjab Food Minister Abdul Aleem Khan and Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal, and provincial chief secretaries joined the meeting through video link.

The prime minister, on the occasion, also approved the proposed administrative measures to check the prices of essential items.

During the first part of meeting, besides the details of availability of wheat in the country as well as the prices of wheat and flour in different provinces, the schedule of wheat import by the public and private sectors to meet the future requirements was also presented.

The detailed schedule of tenders at public level and government-to-government import of the wheat was also presented during the meeting.

The meeting was presented a report based on the information of Tiger Force and independent sources about the prices of wheat and wheat flour in different parts of the country.

It was briefed in detail about the administrative measures being taken to check hoarding and ensuring to keep the prices of wheat at appropriate levels.

The meeting was briefed about the new administrative measures, including the introduction of comprehensive system regarding the credible estimates of demand and supply of basic essential items, steps to check the difference of prices at the levels of wholesale dealers and retailers, elimination of market exploitation, hoarding, smuggling and speculation along with further strengthening and making the monitoring system more effective.

It was apprised of the situation of release of wheat by the Punjab government on daily basis.

It was told that the Sindh government would start releasing of wheat from October 16.
The meeting decided that the Punjab government would further enhance its daily basis release of wheat so as to ensure its ample supply.

During the second part of the meeting, the participants were briefed about the availability of sugar, its import and prices. The meeting was told that as compared to the current prices, the imported sugar would be available to the masses at lower rates.

The meeting was told that in Punjab, the sugarcane crushing season would start from November 10. The available stocks, import of sugar and the early start of crushing season would not only help augment the availability of sugar in the market but would also reduce the prices.