ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar on Thursday directed to make market committees more proactive to play a vigilant role in effectively monitoring prices and check any hoarding across the country.
He said this while chairing a National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting in Islamabad to take stock of supply and prices of food and pharmaceutical items.
The meeting reviewed prices of perishable and non-perishable food items, particularly 28 essential kitchen items.
According to a statement released from the ministry, It was agreed in the meeting to reduce price disparity among the provinces through an integrated market mechanism.
The meeting decided that laws would be reviewed to ensure that price control mechanism proactively focuses on cartelization, hoarding and undue profiteering. It also reviewed the availability of commodities with particular reference to Ramazan.
The Utility Store Corporation assured NPMC that government’s Ramazan package would be implemented to ensure sufficient availability of commodities at affordable prices.
The meeting agreed that ‘Sasta bazaars’, ‘Itwar bazaars’ and fair price shops will be increased throughout the country to ensure sufficient availability of commodities for common man at affordable prices.
The statement further read that It was decided that a monthly meeting of NPMC will be held regularly to review supply and prices of all commodities and timely measures will be put in place to avoid any shortage in the country.
The committee was informed that volatility in the prices of perishable items specifically tomatoes, onions, grams and pulses were primarily due to seasonal variations which have now subsided.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will chair a meeting to further review the supply and prices of food and pharmaceuticals in the country on Monday.
The concerned ministries will submit short and medium term policy recommendations as well as structural measures needed to ensure smooth supply and stability in the prices to the prime minister in the next meeting.
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