Wednesday June 29, 2022

Whistleblower programme mulled to check hoarding of commodities

November 18, 2021
Whistleblower programme mulled to check hoarding of commodities

ISLAMABAD: The government said on Wednesday it is considering to launch a whistleblower programme that would help it snare individuals and businesses who manipulate prices through hoarding of essential commodities.

"... (The) government has firm commitment to prevent hoarding, therefore, a whistle blower against hoarders law shall be introduced and enforced soon, Shaukat Tarin, adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue, was quoted as saying in a statement issued post National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting.

Tarin presided over the NPMC meeting held while Syed Fakhar Imam, minister for National Food Security & Research , federal secretaries, chairperson Competition Commission of Pakistan, managing director Utility Stores Corporation, chairman Trading corporation of Pakistan, provincial chief secretaries, chief statistician PBS and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

NPMC reviewed prices of wheat, sugar, pulses, chicken and other essential food items in the country and discussed the weekly SPI situation which has been increased by 1.81 percent during the last week.

"While reviewing the price trend of essential commodities, the secretary finance apprised that prices of six essential commodities registered decline whereas prices of 15 items remained stable during the last week," the statement said. The secretary finance also apprised the meeting that prices of essential commodities registered decline as compared to same period last year. The prices of Moog pulse and onion have registered decline in the week.

"The NPMC also emphasised on building strategic reserves of Moong and providing incentives to farmers to produce Maash pulse domestically to lessen the import dependence," it added. The meeting observed that the prices of wheat flour bags remained consistent at Rs1,100/20 kg "due to the proactive measures of the Punjab and KP governments and ICT administration.

The adviser commended the efforts of Punjab, KP and Islamabad administration and expressed concern over the significant price difference of wheat flour in Sindh and Balochistan provinces."

He advised the provincial chief secretaries of Sindh and Baluchistan to increase daily releases of wheat to improve supply situation in the markets and make efforts to bring prices of wheat at lower level.

Sindh's chief secretary briefed the NPMC that the provincial government is taking possible measures to control the price of wheat by timely releasing the stocks.

While reviewing the price of sugar in the country, the secretary finance informed that prices are easing out in Punjab, KP and Islamabad due to start of crushing of crop of sugar and proactive measures of the government. The advisor expressed concern on the high prices of sugar at retail level in Sindh and Baluchistan despite start of crushing.

The secretary Industries and Production informed the meeting that sugar mills in Sindh and Punjab have started production, hence with arrival of new stocks of sugar in the market the prices will be lower in the coming days.

The NMPC observed that the increase in prices of edible oil in the global market has affected the local prices. Similarly, seasonal factor has affected the prices of chicken and eggs.