Govt taking measures to control prices of essential items: Tarin

Written by The Frontier Post

ISLAMABAD (APP): Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin Wednesday said the government was taking measures to keep prices of the essential items in check.
He was presiding over a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) held here.
Economic Adviser Finance Division briefed the Committee about weekly Sensitive Price Index (SPI) which increased by 0.40% as compared to previous week which was 0.55%. Prices of 05 items registered decline which contributed decline in the SPI by 0.12%.
During the week, prices of potatoes declined by 0.04%, chilli powder 0.03%, onion 0.02%, wheat flour 0.03% and gur by 0.0004%. It was informed that 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 which included ladies sandals 0.12%, tomatoes 0.03%, LPG 0.16%, eggs 0.07% and others 0.14%.
It was further informed that fluctuations in the petroleum prices have affected the LPG prices and the rise in the ladies sandals was due to the annual increase in the prices by the manufacturing companies.
The NPMC was updated on the prices of wheat flour which marked a further decrease in the prices in the country.
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 Punjab provinces whereas sowing in Baluchistan and KP provinces was affected due to the drought situation but now it was in good progress and wheat sowing targets will be completed.
The NPMC was briefed on the sugar prices in the country and was informed that prices have shown slight 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 Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin expressed concerns on the rise of sugar prices and directed the provincial authorities to take appropriate measures to control the prices of sugar in the markets.
The Secretary NFS& R apprised the meeting on the increase in prices of chicken and eggs due to seasonal factor.
The NPMC also discussed milk prices in the country and was informed that prices are normal across the country.
The Finance Minister further directed Ministry of NFS&R 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 subsidized rates at the Sastaa & Sahulat Bazaars across the country.
The Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin commended the efforts of the government of the Punjab, KP and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazaars and also expressed satisfaction on the availability of essential items at low rates in Sastaa Bazaars in Sindh and Baluchistan.
In his concluding remarks, 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.
Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, Secretary M/o NFS&R, Secretary M/o Industries and Production, Economic Advisor Finance Division, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Chief Statistician PBS, MD Utility Stores Corporation, Deputy Commissioner ICT and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

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