NPMC mulls over food inflation

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday – October 13, 2020
ISLAMABAD: At a meeting of national price monitoring committee (NPMC), on Monday, it was stated by the concerned ministries that the reason behind the price hike of essential perishable commodities include gap in supply and demand due to climatic factors, upward trend in international prices and increased profit margin between wholesale and retailers particularly in metropolitan areas.

According to a press release, the adviser to prime minister on finance and revenue (A-PM-FR) Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the NPMC meeting to review the prices of essential perishable commodities, at the finance division, in the federal capital.

There was a general consensus that recent rains and COVID-19 (coronavirus) have further exasperated the situation.

The NPMC deliberated upon increase in the prices of wheat, sugar and perishable items namely tomatoes, onions, potatoes and chicken and discussed corrective measures to provide relief to the end consumers.

A-PM-FR Shaikh, urged all the stakeholders to take drastic measures to curb inflation. In this regard, the role of district market committees was emphasised to curb price variation effectively.

The chief secretaries were directed to minimise price disparity by streamlining the release of wheat at regular intervals to avoid profiteering.

The NPMC also reviewed the timeline for import of wheat and sugar to meet domestic demand for the same.

A-PM-FR Shaikh was briefed that the total public sector procurement for wheat through government to government (G2G) and Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) is equal to 1.8 MT based on the demand estimates provided by the provinces and Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO).

It was also stated that sufficient sugar stocks are available in the country till Nov 2020.

A-PM-FR Shaikh directed the Utility Stores to streamline the availability of essential items in order to provide maximum relief to the lowest strata of the society. He expressed confidence that effective and well-concerted actions by the provincial governments and the concerned ministries will help in controlling the menace of inflation.

The meeting was attended by national food security and research (NFSR) minister Syed Fakhar Imam, adviser to prime minister (PM) on commerce (A-PM-C) Abdul Razaq Dawood, adviser to PM on institutional reforms (A-PM-IR) Ishrat Hussain, special assistant to PM on revenue (SAPM-R) Waqar Masood, NFSR secretary, planning secretary, industries and production secretary, chief secretaries from Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan along-with competition commission of Pakistan (CCP) chairperson and representatives from the Utility Stores and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).