National Price Monitoring Committee Meeting Held Today

Islamabad: A meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee was held on 19th September, 2011 in Finance Division under the chairmanship of Secretary Finance which was attended by the representatives from the provinces of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Ministries of Planning and Development, Industries, Federal Bureau of Statistics and Competition Commission of Pakistan.

The meeting reviewed the price trend of essential food items particularly in the situation developed due to floods and rains.

The meeting noted that with the end of Ramadan and Eid season, prices of daily use items have declined and Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the week ended on 18th September, 2011 declined by 0.11%. This decline was observed since June 2011. Out of 53 items, prices of 11 items increased while prices of 13 items decreased and 20 items remained unchanged.

The committee monitored the price situation arising out of the damages caused by recent floods and rains in Sindh and examined the possibility to import items of daily use from neighbouring countries.

It was observed that in grain commodity, prices of wheat, wheat flour, rice and gram are lower as compared to India (New Delhi), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Sri Lanka (Colombo) and Afghanistan (Kabul), while in poultry commodity prices of mutton, beef and chicken are lower in Pakistan, and in vegetable commodity, prices of onion and garlic are lower, whereas, other items the price increase is very nominal.

The international food and fuel prices were also examined and noted that on year to year basis in August there was increase in prices of wheat, crude oil, palm oil, sugar, tea, rice and DAP etc, but on month to month basis there is decline in the prices of these commodities which may bring some relief in the domestic prices.

The impact of the recent floods and rains on the prices in the provinces was discussed. It was informed by the representative of KPK that there is no major impact on prices in their province which was also endorsed by the representative of Punjab and Balochistan.

However, the likely impact cannot be ignored once the supply from up country would start to cater the needs of Sindh. Some sensitive commodities such as red chillies, tomatoes and onions are grown in good quantities in Sindh and their impact on prices may come in coming weeks.

The Committee also took account of the current stock position of sugar and observed that sufficient stock is available till end of December 2011, however, in view of damages to the sugar crop in Sindh, it was stressed that a decision be taken to timely import sugar to cater the strategic reserves and Utility Store Corporation’s requirement.

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