Hafeez Shaikh for provision of basic commodities at fair prices

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has reiterated the government’s commitment to provide maximum relief to the general public through provision of basic commodities at fair prices.

He said this while chairing the weekly meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) at the Finance Division.

Overall, the NPMC reviewed the weekly price trend of essential commodities, especially wheat flour, sugar, tomatoes, vegetable ghee, chicken and eggs. It was observed that the weekly Sensitive Price Index (SPI) recorded a decrease of 0.57pc, wherein prices of seven basic items registered a decline while 18 commodities remained stable.

The overall release position of wheat was reviewed during the meeting. The committee directed the food secretary to hold a meeting with chief ministers of all provinces to keep a check on the prices of wheat flour to avoid any artificial price hike. The finance minister directed the secretary to ensure the smooth supply of wheat at affordable prices across the country.

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The Ministry of Industries and Production updated the committee that the sugarcane crushing season has ended, and that the overall production remained higher as compared to last year. The finance minister directed provincial governments and other stakeholders to provide estimates regarding additional demand for sugar to the Ministry of Industries & Production for effective planning during the current year.

Industries and Production Minister Hammad Azhar apprised the forum that the ministry was already working on various measures for the provision of ghee/oil at reasonable prices. Moreover, the Utility Stores Corporation would ensure the availability of ghee at a subsidized price under the “Ramadan Relief Package” through its chain of outlets during the holy month, he added.

The finance minister appreciated the provision of basic items by the USC outlets at subsidized rates and directed MD to ensure the availability of essential items at respective outlets across the country.

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