NPMC assured of wheat stock availability

ISLAMABAD: The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) was informed on Monday that currently sufficient stocks of wheat were available to meet existing demand across the country.

The NPMC meeting was chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, which discussed prices and supply of essential food items, according to a statement issued by the finance ministry.

The chairman held detailed discussions with the provincial chief secretaries regarding wheat supply in provinces and it was informed that at present sufficient quantity was available to meet demand.

The committee was told that prices of perishable goods as well as wheat and sugar were showing downward trend due to improvement in their supply and pricing mechanism. The committee expressed satisfaction that prices of essential items were going down, the statement added.

The finance secretary, while presenting the price trend of essential commodities, said according to the latest Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), there was a decline in prices of 13 essential commodities including, wheat flour, sugar, onion, tomato and potato, while prices of 17 commodities increased slightly. Price of 21 items remained stable.

The committee was informed that profit margins between wholesale and retail markets were also coming down.

The adviser directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to hold an emergency meeting with the Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and other stakeholders in order to review the implementation of schedule regarding offloading of wheat vessels as decided by the logistics committee.

He advised the provincial governments to strictly monitor prices of chicken and ensure a smooth supply to minimise the demand-supply gap.

The Ministry of Industries and Production was also directed to take necessary measures to control rising prices of edible oil.

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