NPMC takes notice of wheat flour price disparity: Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Monday noted disparity in prices of wheat flour in provinces and directed the secretary food to coordinate with representatives of the provincial governments to ensure smooth supply of wheat at fair prices across the country.

Prices of chicken are not coming down in the domestic market as prices of feed went up from Rs1,800 to nearly 4,000 per bag and the prices of medicine also increased manifold, according to a farmer. Out of Rs30,000 to Rs40,000 chicks, the successful rate of survival stands at just Rs12,000 per shed so the price of chicken comes close to Rs200 to Rs210 per kg live chicken. How you can imagine the prices of chicken will come down in the domestic market?

According to official press statement, Minister for Finance and Revenue Hafeez Shaikh chaired the weekly meeting of the NPMC at the finance division. Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Special Assistance to the Prime Minister on Revenue Waqar Masood, members of Competition Commission of Pakistan and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, managing directors of Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation and Utility Stores Corporation and senior officials of the finance division also participated in the meeting.

NPMC reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat flour, sugar, vegetable ghee, chicken and eggs during the last week. The weekly sensitive price indicator recorded a slight increase of 0.55 percent whereas prices of eight basic items registered a decline and 18 commodities remained stable during the week under review.

Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production briefed NPMC about 11 most essential commodities being offered by the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) at subsidised prices across the country. The network of USC is playing an important role in providing essential items at discounted prices to the masses as the prices of USC are significantly low as compared to the prices prevailing in domestic markets, he added.

Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said the ministry is closely monitoring the current price trend of vegetable ghee/cooking oil and taking corrective measures to ensure fair price for the consumers.

Azhar directed the provinces to expedite provision of estimates regarding sugar stock needed during the current year. The USC has already made an arrangement for import of 50,000 tons of sugar to ensure its availability at a discounted price, he stated.

Food security secretary apprised NPMC about the sufficient stock of wheat across the country. The NPMC directed member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to give detailed briefing to the chief secretaries about the methodology of data collection across different markets in respective provinces. The underlying rationale is to work out a national average of prices of basic commodities which reflects the situation on ground accurately. The representatives of the Punjab and Sindh governments informed the NPMC about the increase in prices of chicken and eggs due to seasonal factors. The NPMC directed the provincial governments to take corrective measures and ensure supply of chicken and eggs at affordable prices throughout the country.

The finance minister reiterated the firm commitment of the government to ensure provision of essential commodities at affordable prices across the board. He urged the provincial governments and departments concerned to make coordinated efforts to keep prices of basic commodities in check.

Courtesy The News INTL Wheat Flour Price in Pakistan

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