Provincial governments directed to keep roti prices in check

ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Thursday directed provincial governments to take ‘immediate and strict’ measures to ensure the fair price of roti for public.

The committee said subsidy of Rs1.5 billion provided to ‘Roti Tandoors’ has not been translated into provision of cheap roti to common man.

The committee met under the chairmanship of special finance secretary to deliberate upon the prices of essential food and non-food items and stock of supply of the essential items. Representatives from the provincial governments, Islamabad capital territory (ICT), cabinet division, ministries of food security and research, industries, commerce, planning development and reform, Federal Board of Revenue, Inter-Provincial Coordination, CCP, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and Utility Stores Corporation attended the meeting.

“Profit margin between wholesaler and retailer is huge,” an official statement quoted the NPMC as saying. “Therefore the provincial governments should take concrete steps to check undue profit margins for the benefit of the common man.”

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) briefed that a committee had been constituted to execute the recommendations of Competition Commission of Pakistan to check cartelisation, profiteering and monopolistic practices in order to control the price hike. 

Utility Stores Corporation was also directed to explore the possibility of establishing its outlets in ‘sasta bazars’ to ensure provision of non-perishable items to far-flung areas of the country.

ICT administration was advised to present a concrete plan of price monitoring mechanism and measures to remove disparity in prices in the capital area.

NPMC directed the FBR to take immediate steps to control smuggling in the country, which is creating distortions in the supply and prices of the commodities.

Sindh government informed that it has developed a tab for its Chief Secretary under ‘Sindh Performance Management System’ for price control functions. All district officers are required to update the actions taken by them to control the prices in their areas.

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