ISLAMABAD: Finance and Revenue Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has directed the provincial governments to take corrective measures and ensure supply of chicken and eggs at affordable prices throughout the country.
The finance minister said this while chairing the weekly meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) at the Finance Division on Monday.
The finance minister reiterated the government’s firm commitment to ensure the provision of essential commodities at affordable prices across the board. He urged the provincial governments and departments concerned to make coordinated efforts to keep prices of basic commodities in check.
The NPMC reviewed the weekly price trend of essential commodities, especially wheat flour, sugar, vegetable ghee, chicken and eggs.
The representatives of the Punjab and Sindh governments informed the NPMC about the increase in prices of chicken and eggs mainly due to seasonal factors.
The weekly SPI recorded a slight increase of 0.55pc, wherein prices of eight basic items registered a decline and 18 commodities remained stable during the week.
The industries & production secretary briefed NPMC about 11 most essential commodities being offered by the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) at subsidised prices across Pakistan. The USC network is playing an important role in providing essential items at discounted prices to the masses as the prices of USC are significantly low as compared to the prices prevailing in domestic markets, he added.
Meanwhile, Industries & Production Minister Hammad Azhar updated the committee that the ministry is closely monitoring the current price trend of vegetable ghee/cooking oil and taking corrective measures to ensure fair price for the consumers. He directed the provinces to expedite provision of estimates regarding sugar stock needed during the current year. The USC has already made an arrangement for import of 50,000 tonnes of sugar to ensure its availability at a discounted price, he stated.
The food secretary on the occasion apprised NPMC of the sufficient stock of wheat across the country. The NPMC noted price disparity in prices of wheat flour among provinces and directed the secretary food to coordinate with representatives of the provincial governments to ensure smooth supply of wheat at fair prices across the board.
The NPMC also directed the Pakistan Bureau of Statics (PBS) member to give a detailed briefing to the chief secretaries about the methodology of data collection across different markets in respective provinces.