Sunday November 28, 2021

Industries ministry asked to offset imported inflation impact

December 15, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday asked the ministry of industries to take measures to mitigate the impact of increase in international prices of vegetable ghee on domestic market, while reiterating improved vigilance from provincial authorities to curb poultry price hike.

Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh lauded the efforts of the ministries/department and the provincial governments for keeping the prices of essential commodities in check. He urged the provincial governments to ‘strictly’ monitor the prices of chicken and ensure smooth supply to minimise the gap in supply and demand.

Shaikh was addressing a meeting of the national price monitoring committee. Provincial authorities were also asked in the previous meetings to control prices of chicken that had more than doubled in a couple of months. They were advised to tackle price disparity in wholesale and retail markets.

Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Waqar Masood, secretaries of ministries of food security and research, industries and production, the provincial chief secretaries, Utility Stores Corporation managing director and other officials attended the meeting.

The meeting was informed about increase in the price of vegetable ghee due to spike in international prices. Ministry of industries and production was asked to look into upward pricing trend in the international market and take necessary steps to minimise its impact on domestic prices.

The committee held a detailed discussion with secretary of food security ministry, and the provincial chief secretaries regarding position of wheat and sugar stocks in the provinces. The meeting was informed that sufficient stocks of wheat are available across the country. The committee directed the officials to meet Kashmir’s demand of additional quantity of wheat. Provision of wheat to Utility Stores Corporation, and the formal approval would be granted as per the summary moved by the ministry of food security in the next meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet.

The national price monitoring committee reviewed the availability of essential commodities namely wheat, flour, sugar, tomatoes, onions, vegetable ghee and chicken. The committee was informed there had been a consistent decline in prices for the last three weeks.

The weekly sensitive price index data showed that prices declined 0.3 percent in the last week, notably in essential food commodities including sugar, onions, potatoes, rice and pulses. This is due to improved availability of wheat, sugar, and vegetables due to imports by government and private sector, according to the officials.