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Hafeez Sheikh directs provinces to ensure uninterrupted wheat, sugar supply at fair prices

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Monday chaired the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) here in Islamabad.

The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar and edible oil. The finance secretary briefed about the decline in the Consumer Price Index recorded at 8% in December 2020 as compared to 12.6% in December 2019 as a positive outcome of vigilant monitoring under NPMC on regular basis.

The NPMC noted a significant decline in food inflation as urban food inflation declined by 2.1% and rural declined by 3.4% on a Month-on-Month basis. NPMC was also informed that there is a decline in weekly Sensitive Price Index by 0.7%. Prices of 10 essential food commodities were reduced notably tomatoes, onions, potatoes and chicken.

The Chair noted that the prices of essential items have started showing declining trend which is a positive outcome of vigilant monitoring under NPMC on weekly basis.

The finance minister directed the chief secretaries to regulate smooth supply of wheat throughout the province by increasing daily release, if needed, and submit a comprehensive report in the next NPMC accordingly.

The Chair urged the Provincial Secretaries to check the possibilities of hoarding and black marketing especially wheat and sugar to ensure uninterrupted provision at fair prices.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar, updated the NPMC about measures being taken to further reduce the prices of sugar and edible oil in consultation with stakeholders.

The chair directed to constitute a committee, headed by the Minister for Industries and Production, with Secretary MNFS&R and stakeholders concerned as its members to come up with a concerted course of action in this regard.

The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textiles & Investment Abdul Razak Dawood also appreciated the measures being taken to further reduce the prices of sugar and edible oil.

The meeting stressed the need for effective functioning of all federal and provincial authorities to monitor the demand-supply position across the country for the provision of daily use items to the general public at affordable rates.

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