ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has constituted a sub-committee to expedite the import of 600,000 tonnes of sugar and directed the ministry of food security to complete the procurement of wheat at the earliest.
An official announcement said the sub-committee comprising the secretary ministry of food security, secretary industries and production, chairmen of the FBR and Trading Corporation of Pakistan and a representative of the ministry of commerce to expedite import of sugar to ensure its smooth supply across the country.
While chairing the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) held at the Finance Division, Tarin stressed the importance of meaningful interventions in the market by building strategic reserves of basic commodities namely wheat, sugar, edible oil/ghee, vegetables and pulses to prevent hoarding and undue profiteering.
In this regard, the finance minister directed Secretary M/o NFS&R to work out modalities for establishing commodity warehouses, storage facilities and agri-malls on the basis of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and present a detailed proposal before the committee.
SAPM on Food Security Jamshed Cheema stated that a proposal in this regard has been finalized and would be presented shortly for approval.
Secretary M/o NFS&R updated the NPMC about the availability of sufficient stocks of wheat in the country. He also updated the committee about the efforts underway regarding procurement of wheat.
Chairman TCP apprised the NPMC about tenders floated in the international market for purchasing wheat and sugar.
The finance minister expressed satisfaction and directed to complete the procurement of Wheat and Sugar in phases, keeping in view the prevailing international prices and urged to look into financial hedging of risks with reference to import of key commodities.
Further, chairperson CCP apprised the committee about the stern actions being taken to end cartelisation in the edible oil and ghee sector to ensure fair competition throughout the country.
The NPMC also reviewed the YoY international commodity prices and noted a massive price hike in major food items. Sugar registered a 44.4 per cent increase in YoY comparison, palm oil 52.3pc, soybean oil 78.8pc and wheat 18pc, respectively.
Correspondingly in the country, sugar registered an increase of 19.33pc, edible oil 27.25pc, vegetable ghee 29.40pc and wheat 11.77pc, respectively. The government absorbed the pressure by giving subsidies and importing staple food items in order to provide maximum relief to the consumers.