Sunday January 16, 2022

Govt expects downtrend in edible oil prices

January 19, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government is expecting a downtrend in edible oil prices in the domestic market due to reversal in international rates of palm oil, officials said on Monday.

The government also decided to import more wheat and sugar in a bid to stabilise the prices in the domestic market. The summaries to this effect will be tabled before the Economic Coordination Committee’s meetings in days ahead. The government will import 0.2 million tons wheat and 0.5 million tons of sugar in coming weeks.

The National Price Monitoring Committee reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar and edible oil during the week. The meeting presided over by Minister for Finance and Revenue Hafeez Sheikh.

Finance secretary briefed the meeting that weekly sensitive price indicator registered a decline of 0.22 percent and the main drivers behind decrease in sensitive price indicator are falling prices of eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, onions and chicken. Prices of 21 basic items remained stable whereas 7 items registered a decline during the week.

The ministry of food security apprised the committee that all stakeholders are on board with reference to existing position of wheat stock in the country. Food Minister Fakhar Imam assured all possible measures would be taken to ensure smooth supply of wheat across the country.

The finance minister directed the provincial governments to follow a self-sustaining model and streamline daily release of wheat to ensure steady supply in the provinces as well as districts. Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar updated the committee about the recent decline in international prices of palm oil which will eventually reduce the upward pressure on the prices of edible oil in the domestic market.

The finance minister directed the ministry of industries and production to continuously monitor stocks of sugar, its supply position in the market and prices throughout the country for the consumers.

Member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics updated the committee about the benefits of recently developed dashboard of prices of essential items and progress on its implementation in coordination with the provinces.

The price monitoring committee directed the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to provide necessary support to the provinces to make the system fully functional for vigilant monitoring of prices of essential commodities and to remove price disparity across the country.

The finance minister directed the food ministry to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to ensure smooth supply of wheat flour at reasonable rates for the general public. He also urged the provincial governments to continue taking necessary steps to ensure provision of basic items at affordable prices across the country.