New sugar arrivals are expected to lower prices

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has expressed concern over rising sugar prices and called on provincial authorities to take appropriate action to control rising sugar levels.

In this regard, the weekly meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), which met on Wednesday to review prices, was informed that sugar prices have increased in the cities of Rawalpindi, Karachi and Peshawar.

The meeting was informed that new stocks of sugar entering the market will lower sugar prices.

The meeting was also informed about the increase in the prices of chicken and eggs and said that the increase in these prices was due to a seasonal factor.

The meeting was updated on the prices of wheat flour and was informed that the prices of wheat and flour have marked a further decline.

Thereupon, the meeting expressed satisfaction with the availability of sufficient stocks of wheat in the country. The meeting also discussed the situation of wheat sowing in the country and was informed that sowing of wheat was satisfactory in Sindh and Punjab provinces, while sowing of wheat in Balochistan and Khyber provinces. Pakhtunkhwa were affected due to the drought situation. However, it is now underway and the wheat planting targets will be met.

The NPMC also discussed milk prices in the country and was informed that prices are normal across the country.

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The Minister of Finance further requested the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to develop an appropriate plan for an optimal level of milk prices in order to ensure its regular and sustainable supply in the market.

The NPMC has been informed of the availability of essential commodities at subsidized rates in Sastaa and Sahulat bazaars across the country.

The Minister of Finance underlined the efforts made to control the prices of basic necessities and the measures aimed at ensuring a regular supply of basic necessities throughout the country.

Earlier, the Finance Division’s economic adviser informed the NPMC about weekly inflation – the SPI – which rose 0.40% from the previous week, which was 0.55%.

He told the meeting that the prices of five items registered a drop, which helped the SPI drop 0.12%.

During the week, potato prices fell by 0.04%, chili powder by 0.03%, onions by 0.02%, wheat flour by 0.03%, and Gur of 0.0004%.

It has been informed that the prices of the marked items are going down during the week compared to the prices for the same period last year.

The meeting was also informed that current onion prices are lower than three years earlier.

The NPMC was informed that the prices of 23 items remained stable, while 23 items recorded price increases.

The meeting was attended by Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, State Minister of Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, Secretary of the Ministry of NFS & R, Secretary of the Ministry of l Industry and Production, Economic Advisor Finance Division, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Chief Statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), General Manager of Utility Stores Corporation, ICT Deputy Commissioner and other senior officials.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

Rachel J. Bradford