Provinces, ICT asked to step up efforts against profiteering

NPMC observes variation in prices of essential items across the country

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance on Monday urged the provincial governments and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration to take corrective measures to check undue profit margins.

The meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), chaired by the special finance secretary at the Finance Division, was held to discuss the price trend of essential food items.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the provincial governments, ICT, ministries of industries, commerce, law & justice, planning, national food security, inter-provincial coordination (IPC) along with Competition Commission of Pakistan and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

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The meeting was informed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation was recorded at 8.2pc in August 2020, as against 10.5pc in the same month last year. The meeting further noted that average inflation during July-August FY2021 also showed a declining trend and it was recorded at 8.7pc during the period under review as compared to 9.4pc in the same period last year. 

The provincial governments and ICT admin informed the meeting that they were regularly monitoring the prices and taking strict action against hoarding and undue profiteering. The government, in consultation with all stakeholders, was taking proactive measures to control the general price level of daily use items at all levels, they claimed.

The committee also discussed the price movements of essential items among the provinces/ICT and observed variations in the price levels.

It directed the provincial governments to provide information regarding flood damages of minor and major crops to MNFS&R for timely response to any shortages. The ministries of industries & production and commerce were directed to take prompt actions and provide necessary support to facilitate the import of essential food items.

The Ministry of National Food Security & Research was asked to keep an eye on the supply & demand of pulses and vegetables including tomatoes, potatoes and onion and take necessary measures such as timely import for the smooth availability of these items.  

The Utility Store Corporation was also instructed to ensure strict control on the quality and prices of daily use items in all their outlets.

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