ISLAMABAD-Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal Wednesday directed Ministry of Industries to ensure the reduction of Rs20 per kg in the prices of Ghee/edible oil within the next one month.

The minister for planning, development and special initiatives issued these directives while chairing a meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee yesterday in Islamabad to assess the implementation status of the decisions taken in the previous NPMC meeting. Chief Economist Dr. Nadeem Javaid, officials from Ministry of Finance, line ministries, FBR, Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan, PASSCO, and representatives of provincial governments attended the meeting.

The minister, in the light of the recent floods that took toll on the staple food commodities including wheat, potatoes, tomatoes and other crops, reviewed the measure taken by the concerned departments and the subsequent impact on the trend in prices of essential items. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) presented the report on Sensitive Price Index (SPI). It was reported that prices of 10 essential items including electricity, tomatoes, LPG cylinder, banana, garlic, pulse masoor, cooking oil etc have been reduced during the last one week. The report on commodities with increased prices including wheat was also presented. The estimate taken from various provinces covering 17 cities was also discussed in the meeting. It is to be noted that Sensitive Price Index (SPI) is computed on weekly basis to assess the price movement of essential commodities at shorter interval of time to review prices situation in the country. 

Competition Commission of Pakistan submitted analytical review on the profiteering phenomena all over the country. The minister directed to discourage the undue profiteering by retailers and to take concrete measures in this regard. There is huge gap in the prices of wholesale and retail markets. Minister also directed the provincial governments and Islamabad Administration to make concerted efforts to mitigate the profit margins between the wholesale and retail prices of the essential items. The planning minister directed provincial administration to strictly monitor profiteering while also directed to take all the associations in the loop to transfer relief to the people at large. Ministry of Industries apprised that there is a significant decline in the palm oil prices in the international market. However, the impact of the sharp decline in international market will be passed on with a lag in the local market. Minister directed Ministry of Industries to ensure the deceleration in the prices of Ghee/edible oil by Rs.20 within the next one month.