ISLAMABAD - National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Wednesday directed the ministry of industries and production to explore alternative options for import of palm and soya bean oil on lower prices in the international markets to reduce the pressure on prices in domestic market.
While reviewing the prices of edible oil, the NMPC observed that the increase in prices of edible oil in the global market especially imports from Malaysia and Indonesia has affected the local prices. The NPMC advised Ministry of Industries and Production to take measures to control the prices of edible oil in the local market by exploring alternative options for import of palm and soya bean oil on lower prices in the international markets to reduce the pressure on prices in domestic market.
Earlier, in last week, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin had claimed that prices of oil and ghee would start to decline from next month (January). The government had announced to slash the taxes and duties and oil and ghee to reduce the prices in the country. However, prices of these two commodities are still high due to the hike in international market. In last one week, prices of vegetable ghee Dalda/Habib or other superior quality 1kg pouch each has increased by 1.44 percent over the preceding week. Oil and ghee prices have shot up to Rs390 to Rs399 per kg.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue presided over the NPMC meeting held at Finance Division. The meeting reviewed the prices of daily commodities and essential food items in the country.
The Secretary Finance briefed the NPMC about the weekly SPI situation which has been decreased by 0.48% during the week under review. While reviewing the price trend of essential commodities, the secretary finance apprised that prices of 11 essential commodities registered decline whereas prices of 19 items remained stable during the last week, while prices of 21 essential commodities have shown slight upward trend, he added.
The secretary finance also apprised the meeting that prices of essential commodities, tomatoes, onion, potatoes, chicken farm, sugar, eggs, wheat flour bags, gur, garlic have registered significant decline during the week.
The secretary finance further updated NPMC that the prices of the wheat flour bags remained consistent at Rs. 1100 per 20 kg due to the proactive measures of the Punjab, KP governments and ICT administration. The daily release of wheat by all the provincial governments will further ease out wheat prices at national level. Secretary NFS & R apprised the meeting that sufficient stocks of wheat are available and market has witnessed stability due to regular and effective monitoring of wheat movement. The stocks are released accordingly.
The provincial chief secretaries also apprised that effective monitoring system has been employed to ensure that all released wheat is being converted into flour and available in market. While Chief Secretary, Sindh apprised that the price of fine wheat flour is low in Sindh as compared to other provinces.
On the consistent high price of wheat flour in Sindh, the adviser suggested for formation of effective mechanism to check the prices of wheat in Sindh province and ensure availability on government rate.
While reviewing the price of sugar in the country, the secretary finance informed that prices are decreasing in the country due to proactive measures of the government. The new stocks of sugar are arriving in the market which will further reduce the prices.
The advisor expressed satisfaction over the stability in the sugar prices in the market.
While reviewing the production of pulses in the country, it was informed prices of pulses have shown slight increase in the week under review. The adviser advised to increase the production of pulses in the country and thereby reduce the burden on imports and control the prices of pulses.
On the stock position of fertilizers, NPMC was informed that prices have begun to decrease due to taking effective administrative measures.
On the expansion of Utility Stores outlets in Baluchistan province, Secretary I & P apprised the meeting that Utility Stores Corporation has expanded its operation with opening of 21 outlets in different cities and started mobile stores in areas where these Utility Stores are not available in the province.
The NPMC observed that Sastaa & Sahulat Bazaars in Punjab, KP are offering essential goods at subsidized prices. The Adviser to the PM on Finance & Revenue commended the efforts of the government of the Punjab, KP and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazaars. The adviser expressed satisfaction on prices of commodities in Sastaa Bazars in Punjab, KP, Baluchistan and ICT and further directed to establish such bazaars in more cities to provide maximum relief to the people. In his concluding remarks, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue stated that the government is taking all possible measures to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.