ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin was briefed about year-on-year and month-on-month inflation indicators.
He was presiding over the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) held at the Finance Division on Wednesday.
The economic adviser of the Finance Division said there is a slight increase in the year-on-year Consumer Price Index (CPI), which stood at 9.2 per cent, compared with 8.9 per cent last year.
The increase in CPI is due to the rise in the international prices of food commodities and crude oil. The government made an all-out effort to absorb the bulk of the hike in the international prices by providing direct food subsidy on wheat flour, sugar and pulses.
The meeting noted a significant differential in year-on-year prices of seasonal vegetables. The price of onions is Rs47/kg, compared with Rs74/kg last year. Similarly, the price of tomatoes is Rs104/kilo, whereas it was Rs198/kilo last year.
However, the week-on-week increase in the prices of seasonal vegetables; potatoes, tomatoes in Punjab was registered due to the supply side disruptions caused by the political unrest.
The economic adviser also briefed the NPMC about the stability in the prices of pulses during the week under review.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research updated the meeting about sufficient availability of wheat flour across the country. The wheat stocks will last longer before the arrival of the fresh crop, he added.
The meeting expressed concern over the significant price differential in the key commodities such as wheat flour, sugar, etc, in Sindh, compared with other provinces.
Tarin advised the provincial representative of the Sindh government to expedite the process of daily releases of wheat at the price determined by the government to ease out pressure on prices.
The adviser also directed the Punjab chief secretary to provide sugar to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to stabilise the commodity price in the province.
The meeting urged the Sindh government to finalise the indicative price of sugarcane at the earliest.
The NPMC observed that Sasta Sahulat Bazaars in Punjab are offering essential goods at subsidised prices. Tarin commended the efforts of the representatives of the Punjab government and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through a network of Sasta Bazaars and urged the respective provincial government to make similar requisite arrangements to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities at fair prices throughout the country.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, federal secretaries, economic adviser finance, deputy commissioner Islamabad, provincial chief secretaries, Utility Stores Corporation managing director, chief statistician, and other senior officers participated in the meeting.