Essential commodities: NPMC takes stock of prices

ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Tuesday reviewed the prices of essential commodities and directed the relevant stakeholders to maintain a close watch on the prices of food items and proceed against those who indulge in hoarding.

The NPMC meeting was jointly chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal and Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha. The meeting was attended by the Chief Economist, Chief Statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, officers of the PBS, and other relevant stakeholders.

The minister observed that rising inflation needs to be checked to ease the burden on the common man. In this regard, it was decided that the NPMC meeting shall be held on a weekly basis in order to monitor the prices.

“Immediate measures need to be taken to control the prices of essential commodities and this is our top priority to provide maximum relief to the common man,” the minister said.

The meeting has informed that major drivers of inflation were global price hike and increase in Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants (POL) and utilities tariffs due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions. Similarly, the devaluation of Pakistan rupee also contributed to inflation.

However, hoarding also contributes which require administrative measures by the local administration.

The minister also directed the PBS to share its data analysis report in every meeting and to closely monitor the price index and to ensure the projection so a better policy could be made to overcome the future crisis.

He also directed the PBS to adopt a practice of regularly comparing the difference in wholesale and retail prices of essential food items in different districts across the country in collaboration with the province and in this regard the Ministry of Food and Industries will be engaged.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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