NPMC seeks plan to end anti-market practices in sugar, poultry sectors

ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), which met with Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch in the chair on Friday, has sought an action plan from the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to check the anti-market practices in sugar and poultry sectors.

During the meeting, the CCP gave a detailed presentation on the structure of the sugar and poultry industry and their existing price mechanism. The chair directed CCP to provide an action plan with concrete recommendations to check the anti-market practices in these sectors.

The Ministry of National Food Security & Research was asked to consult the provinces and remain vigilant to control wheat/flour and sugar prices, and take immediate necessary measures to ensure the provision of these items at affordable prices.

The NPMC meeting also called for the provincial governments to provide support to market committees in collaboration with district administration, and play a proactive role in removing the price disparity among provinces.

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The meeting also discussed the price trend of essential food items. It was informed that CPI inflation year-on-year was recorded at 9.3pc in July 2020.

However, it was noted that Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which monitors the price movement of 51 essential items on a weekly basis, recorded a decline of 0.22pc for the week ended on 13th August 2020.

This was the second consecutive decline in SPI during the month of August 2020, which augurs well to tame down inflationary pressure in the country, the chair stated.

During the week, 11 items recorded a decline in their prices while 22 items remain stable.

The provincial governments and ICT informed the meeting that they are regularly monitoring the prices and taking strict action against hoarding and profiteering.

The committee also discussed the price movement of essential items among the provinces/ICT and observed variations in the price level. It was decided that all provincial governments and ICT administration will take proactive measures to control the undue hike in prices of essential items.

The Utility Store Corporation (USC) informed that it was procuring stock of commodities (pulses/rice) through open competitive bidding. The tender committee at the time of opening of bids/tenders examines the samples thoroughly so as to ensure the selection of good quality products as per prescribed specifications. Hence, the commodities procured were strictly monitored and checked randomly to ensure the provision of quality items.

The chair directed USC to further strengthen the quality control mechanism of essential items.

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