Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh chairs meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee
Islamabad, January 04, 2021 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, chaired the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) today. 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 M/o NFS and R, Special Secretary Commerce, Chairman FBR, Additional Secretary Planning Development and Special Initiatives, Member CCP, Chairman TCP, MD PASSCO, MD Utility Store Corporation, Member National Accounts and senior officers of the Finance Division participated in the meeting.
The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar and edible oil. Finance Secretary briefed about the decline in Consumer Price Index recorded at 8% in December 2020 as compared to 12.6% in December 2019 as a positive outcome of vigilant monitoring under NPMC on regular basis. The NPMC noted significant decline in food inflation as urban food inflation declined by 2.1% and rural declined by 3.4% on Month-on-Month basis. NPMC was also informed that there is a decline in weekly Sensitive Price Index by 0.7%. Prices of 10 essential food commodities were reduced notably tomatoes, onions, potatoes and chicken.
The Chair noted that the prices of essential items have started showing declining trend which is a positive outcome of vigilant monitoring under NPMC on weekly basis. 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 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.
The Chair directed to constitute a Committee, headed by the Minister for Industries and Production, with Secretary MNFS and R and stakeholders concerned as its members to come up with a concerted course of action in this regard. The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textiles and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood also appreciated the measures being taken to further reduce the prices of sugar and edible oil. The Chair 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.
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