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April 6, 2021

NPMC asks provinces to ensure steady sugar prices

Business

April 6, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Monday asked provincial governments to ensure steady prices of sugar in the market and timely completion of wheat procurement.

The NPMC meeting was briefed about the sufficient stock of wheat across the country. The overall release position by the respective provinces was also reviewed during the meeting. Minister for Finance, Revenue, Industries and Production Hammad Azhar chaired the NPMC meeting.

Taking stock of the situation, the finance minister directed the representatives of the provincial government to take appropriate measures for keeping prices of the wheat flour bags in check. The NPMC urged the provinces to take all possible measures to ensure smooth supply of wheat at fair prices across the board. “Controlling inflation is the top most priority of the government,” Azhar said. He emphasised the need for coordinated and consolidated efforts by all concerned to provide essential items to the general public at fair prices. The committee asked the provincial governments to ensure timely completion of wheat procurement and supply of basic commodities at discounted prices through Ramazan sahulat bazaars to provide maximum relief to the consumers.

All the four provinces briefed the finance minister about their on-going wheat procurement plans. The finance minister reviewed the procurement plans of the provinces and issued strict directions to assure that the wheat must be procured in a smooth and timely manner in coordination with all federal and provincial organisations. He expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made and initiatives taken by the provincial governments.

The committee was told about weekly sensitive price indicator, which decreased 0.43 percent whereas prices of 12 basic commodities registered a decline and 24 items remained stable during the week under review. The Punjab government updated the committee about setting up Ramzan/sahulat bazaars for providing essential commodities at subsidized rates during Ramazan.

The committee was also briefed about the measures being taken to ensure availability of basic need items at subsidised prices under the Ramazan relief package through chain of outlets across the country. Utility Stores Corporation was directed to ensure uninterrupted supply of basic commodities during Ramazan.

The finance minister sought details from the provincial food secretaries regarding prevailing sugar prices in respective markets and directed to strictly monitor the prices of sugar at retail levels to ensure steady supply and counter price disparity effectively. The committee was updated about slight decrease in international prices of sugar which will reduce the upward pressure on sugar prices in domestic markets.