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Finance Ministry Concerned About Increase in Sugar Prices

National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) of the Ministry of Finance has expressed concerns about the marginal increase in sugar prices across various cities during a recent meeting. Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, presided over the meeting held at the Finance Division.

The meeting was informed that the increase in price was due to disruption in the supply caused by rain and fog.

NPMC was updated on the prices of wheat flour and the meeting expressed satisfaction on the stability in the wheat flour prices and availability of sufficient stocks of wheat in the country.

The committee was also apprised of the variations in the prices of pulses, and it was informed that except for the prices of Moong pulse, there was an increase in the prices of other pulses, mainly due to exchange rate variations and increase in freight charges. Further, the arrival of locally produced stock of Gram pulse in near future will ease its price.

Economic Advisor Finance Division apprised the NPMC on weekly SPI, which increased slightly by 0.08 percent in the week as compared to the previous week where it decreased by 0.50 percent.

The committee was informed that 33 food items contributed to a decline in the weekly SPI by -0.14 percent, whereas 18 non-food items contributed an increase of 0.22 percent. Prices of seven items registered a decline, which contributed decline in the weekly SPI by 0.46 percent. During the week, prices of tomatoes declined by 0.11 percent, chili powder by 0.26 percent, eggs by 0.05 percent, and others by 0.04 percent.

NPMC was informed that prices of 22 items remained stable and 25 items registered an increase in prices, which contributed to an increase in the SPI by 0.54 percent. Prices of potatoes increased by 0.03 percent, chicken by 0.12 percent, petrol by 0.21 percent, and others increased by 0.18 percent.

It was informed that prices of tomatoes and onion in the last week were at the lowest as compared to their prices three years earlier. The meeting expressed satisfaction with the decline in the prices of the essential items.

The Finance Minister expressed concerns about the increase in the prices of pulses and enquired regarding the production trend of pulses in the world. He directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MoFS&R) to build strategic reserves of pulses, considering the lowest prices of pulses in the international market. He also directed the MoFS&R and provincial governments to take creative measures to ensure a smooth supply of pulses at fair prices.

The NPMC was briefed on the availability of essential goods at subsidized rates at the Sastaa & Sahulat Bazaars across the country. Finance Minister, Shaukat Tarin, lauded the efforts of the Government of the Punjab, KP, and Islamabad Administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazaars and also expressed satisfaction with the availability of essential items at low rates in Sastaa Bazaars in Sindh and Baluchistan. He also advised the Government of Sindh and Baluchistan to establish Sastaa Bazaars for the welfare of the general public.

In his concluding remarks, the Finance Minister underscored the efforts being made for keeping the prices of essential items in check and measures to ensure a smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.

Federal Minister for Industries & Production, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Economic Advisor Finance Division, Chief Statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation, Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad, provincial chief secretaries, and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

Source: Pro Pakistani