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Dated : 16 January 2024

The Caretaker Minister for Planning development & Special initiatives Muhammad Sami Saeed on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) to review the prices of essential commodities.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of M/o NFS&R, M/o Commerce, M/o Finance, M/o Industries & Production, M/o Climate Change, Provincial Governments, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Utility Stores Corporation, PASSCO and administration of Islamabad Capital Territory.

The Chief Statistician PBS presented an overview of the price situation in the country for the week ended on 11th January, 2024 and apprised the meeting that SPI increased by 1.4% over previous week (WoW) and increased to 44.2% over corresponding week previous year. He explained that the current spike in SPI is driven by perishable items including tomatoes and onions and poultry products like chicken and eggs. During this week, prices of 21 items increased and those of 8 items decreased while prices of 22 items remained stable. Decline was observed in the prices of food items such as potatoes, vegetable ghee and sugar. The prices of tomatoes, onion, chicken, eggs and electricity observed an increase during the reference week.

The Chair asked about the measures taken by the provincial governments and ICT to curtail the gap between wholesale and retail prices. In response, the representatives of provincial Food and Industries Departments of Punjab, Sindh and KP explained that strict monitoring of prices has been ensured through heavy fines, raids and sealing of high charging shops. The ACS further added that despite supply issues of perishable items due to extreme weather conditions, the issue of climate change has become more important. Administration of Punjab is taking measures by sensitizing Deputy Commissioners across the province to control prices.

The Minister advised PBS to present a detailed report on active usage of Decision Support System on Inflation (DSSI) by Provincial / District Authorities for price monitoring and checking profiteering & hoarding.

The Minister also directed M/o NFS&R to engage with the Pakistan Poultry Association to identify and resolve the supply issues of poultry products. The Minister also asked provincial governments and administration of ICT to vigorously pursue smooth availability of essential items especially in preview of upcoming Ramadan and report demand and supply situation of specific commodities used in Ramadan upcoming meeting.