Food Ministry asked for better coordination to avoid wheat shortage

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Thursday reviewed the prices of essential commodities and directed the Ministry of National Food Security and provincial governments to ensure inter-provincial coordination to avoid shortage of daily commodities particularly wheat before the holy month of Ramzan.

“The Ministry of Food Security is responsible for inter-provincial coordination in order to avoid any shortage of wheat before Ramzan,” said Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, while chairing the NPMC meeting.

The meeting was attended by the chief economist, Chief Commissioner, Islamabad, representatives from all provinces, the Federal Board of Revenue FBR, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics PBS and Ministry of Food Security and Industries. The food secretaries of all the provinces were directed to hold a meeting immediately with the Ministry of Food to review the progress of wheat across the country and to ensure its smooth production and supply, said the minister.

During the meeting, the PBS officials gave a presentation on price monitoring and inflation while representatives from Punjab, KP, Sindh and Balochistan apprised the forum about the current production and supply of wheat and sugar. The minister directed the stakeholders concerned to closely monitor the price index and to ensure the forecasting for preventing any disruption in Ramzan.

Prof. Iqbal also directed officials to take stern action against those involved in market hoarding and there should be zero tolerance against hoarders. He also instructed the officials to ensure the supply of essential commodities keeping in view the increased demand in the month of Ramzan. The PBS was directed to submit a report of essential commodities, keeping in view the trends of the last three years so that the supply side could be managed accurately, he said.

During the meeting, the minister also expressed concerns over the increased prices of essential commodities in the federal capital.

“There should not be too much difference between the prices of wholesales and retail items,” he remarked while directing the Chief Commissioner to deploy assistant commissioners in respective areas for controlling the prices.

“Immediate measures need to be taken to control the prices of essential commodities and this is our top priority to provide maximum relief to the common man,” said the minister. (APP)