Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin presided over the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC).
Economic adviser finance division briefed the NPMC about weekly SPI which witnessed a decrease by 0.06 per cent as compared to previous week which was 0.43 per cent. 33 food items contributed an increase of 0.05 per cent, whereas 18 non-food items contributed a decrease of 0.11 per cent to the SPI.
Prices of 07 items fell which contributed to a decline in SPI by 0.59 per cent. The items which showed decline included chicken by 0.27 per cent and other by 0.35 per cent. While prices of 24 items increased, that contributed to an increase in SPI by 0.53 per cent which included tomatoes by 0.22 per cent, garlic by 0.01 per cent, petrol by 0.16 per cent and others by 0.14 per cent. Prices of perishable items like tomatoes increased due to rain in the country.
NPMC was updated on the prices of wheat flour and was informed that there was stability in the wheat flour prices in the country. However, the slight variation in the wheat flour prices was due to the disruption in the supply caused by rain and fog.
The meeting discussed the stock position of wheat in the country and was informed that sufficient stocks of wheat are available.
NPMC also discussed sugar prices in the country and directed the ministry of industries and production to expedite the process for building strategic reserves of sugar in the country and maintain stability in prices.
On the prices of pulses, NPMC was informed that prices of moog pulse have shown stability while prices of gram, mash and masoor pulses have registered an increase due to less production of these pulses in the world, variations in the exchange rate and increased freight charges.
Finance Minister expressed concerns on the difference in retail and wholesale prices of pulses in the country and directed the ministry to investigate and take appropriate action against the exploiters to maintain stability in the prices of imported pulses.
Prices of edible oil in the country came under discussion in the meeting. NPMC showed concerns on the increase in the prices whereas the international market has witnessed a dip in the prices of edible oil and directed the ministry to formulate strategy and explore alternate options for import of edible oil to reduce the prices in the country.
In his concluding remarks, the Finance Minister underscored the efforts being made for keeping the prices of essential items in check and measures to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.