Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has stressed that provincial governments should follow a self-sustaining model and streamline daily release of wheat to ensure steady supply in provinces as well as districts.

He made the remarks during a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Monday.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research apprised NPMC that all stakeholders were on board with reference to the existing wheat stock position in the country. The federal minister for national food security and research assured the meeting that all possible measures would be taken to ensure smooth supply of wheat across the country.

NPMC also reviewed the price trend of essential commodities, especially wheat, sugar and edible oil during the week.

The finance secretary briefed the meeting that the weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) registered a decline of 0.22% and main drivers behind the decrease were falling prices of egg, tomato, potato, onion and chicken.

Prices of 21 basic items remained stable whereas seven items registered a decline during the week.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar updated NPMC about the recent decline in international prices of palm oil, which would eventually ease the upward pressure on prices of edible oil in the domestic market.

The finance minister directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to continuously monitor stocks of sugar, its supply in the market and consumer prices throughout the country.

Meanwhile, members of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) informed the committee about benefits of the recently developed dashboard of essential item prices and progress on its implementation in coordination with the provinces.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2021.

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