The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Tuesday directed the relevant stakeholders to maintain a close watch on the prices of food items and proceed against those who were indulged in hoarding.
The committee met here with Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal and Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha in chair, which was also attended by the Chief Economist, Chief Statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and other relevant stakeholders and reviewed prices of essential commodities. The minister observed that rising inflation needed to be checked to ease the burden on the common man. In this regard, it was decided that NPMC meeting shall be held on a weekly basis in order to monitor the prices.
“Immediate measures need to be taken to control the prices of essential commodities and this is our top priority to provide maximum relief to the common man,” the minister remarked. The meeting was informed that major drivers of inflation were global price hike and increase in POL and utilities tariffs due to International Monetary Fund conditions. Similarly, devaluation of Pakistani rupee also contributed to the inflation. However, hoarding also contributed which required administrative measures by local administration.
The minister also directed Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to share its data analysis report in every meeting and to closely monitor the price index and to ensure the projection so a better policy could be made to overcome the future crisis. He also directed the PBS to adopt a practice of regularly comparing the difference in wholesale and retail prices of essential food items in different districts across the country in collaboration with the province and ministries of food and industries.