November 21, 2013
National Price Monitoring Committee meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar; Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatisation here on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by the representatives from the provinces of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhthunkhwa, Islamabad Capital Territory, and Ministries of Industries and Production, Law, Justice and Human Rights, Commerce and Textile Industry, National Food Security and Research, Inter Provincial Co-ordination, Cabinet Division, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Federal Board of Revenue and Utility Stores Corporation.
The meeting decided to constitute a committee to examine the difference in cost of imported urea/DAP as compared to neighbouring countries and present a report in the next meeting. Dar urged the provincial governments to share information among themselves and share best practices to maintain stability in prices of essential items in particular so that the budget of the common man was not affected.
The Finance Minister directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to prepare the estimates of production and consumption of major food items and other essential crops and come up with a policy with in 10 days to assure supplies of essential food items so that the supply chain is maintained through out year and policy intervention if required can be taken well in time to check any impact on prices.
He said that price stability of essential items is top most priority of the government, adding provinces should play a proactive role to maintain price stability and make best efforts to provide relief to the common man in all areas. This is a collective responsibility of federal and provincial governments to check any undue increase in prices and ensure smooth supply of essential items.
The Finance Minister appreciated the efforts of the provincial governments for taking measures for price monitoring, but also urged for effective implementation in controlling and checking undue price rise. Dar appreciated a proposal of Ministry of National Food Security and Research for promoting kitchen gardening and tunnel farming and desired that it be replicated by all provinces so that it benefits household at large.
The meeting reviewed the inflationary trend of various indicators including the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Food, Non-Food, Wholesale Price index (WPI), Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) and Index of 28 selected essential items. The NPMC was informed that inflation measured by CPI was recorded at 9.1 percent during October 2013, similarly SPI and WPI also reported at 10.5 percent and 9.8 percent respectively, whereas inflation in Food item is reported at 9.8 percent, Non-Food 8.6 percent and Core at 8.4 percent.
The SPI for the week ended on November 13, 2013 recorded an increase of 0.46 percent due to rise in prices of 21 commodities, while prices of eight items decreased and prices of 24 items remained stable as compared to last week ended on November 07, 2013. The meeting also noted that prices of tomatoes, onion and potatoes were rising due to supply disruption but now due to improvement in supply of these commodities the prices are witnessing declining trend which will further ease in coming days. The meeting also discussed the stock position of wheat, sugar, and other essential items and expressed satisfaction on the stock position.-PR
Courtesy Business Recorder