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Food Security Ministry Directed To Make Strategy For Enhancing Potato Exports

ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view the bumper crop prospects, the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin here on Wednesday directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) to make strategy for increasing the exports potatoes.

Presiding over the meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), minister also directed the ministry to set up production forecasting unit for major and minor crops for timely decision making.

According to press statement issued by the finance ministry here, Economic Adviser Finance Division briefed the NPMC about weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) which witnessed increase of 0.22% as compared to decline in previous week by 0.08%.

As many as 33 food items contributed increase in the SPI by 0.31%, whereas 18 non-food items contributed decrease of 0.09% to the SPI, it added.

NPMC was informed that prices of 12 items remained stable last week whereas that of 11 items decreased contributing decline in SPI by 1.08%.

The items which contributed in decline included electricity by 0.91%, Eggs by 0.08%, red chillies by 0.03% and others by 0.06%. while prices of 28 items slightly increased that led to increase in SPI by 1.3% which included petrol by 0.65%, chicken by 0.19%, long cloth by 0.18% and others by 0.28%.

npmc was informed that chillies powder, eggs, electricity charges, onions, potatoes, gur, sugar, wheat flour, LPG cylinder, pulse moog, pulse mash have shown decline in the prices during the last week. It was informed that prices of onion are lowest as compared to its prices 3 years earlier.

The NPMC was updated on the wheat flour prices in the country, the statement added.

Secretary Ministry of NFS&R informed on the stock position of wheat and further apprised on the future requirements and the strategy for sustainable availability of wheat in the country.

Tarin expressed concerns on the low daily release of wheat by the Baluchistan government and directed the provincial authorities to bring stability in the prices of Wheat flour by increasing daily release of Wheat to the flour mills.

NPMC was also apprised on the sugar prices in the country and Secretary Ministry of Industry ad Production (MoIP) briefed the meeting on the process for building strategic reserves of sugar in the country to maintain stability in prices.

On the prices of edible oil in the country, Secretary MoIP informed the meeting on available stocks of edible oil and strategy to bring in stability in its prices.

Finance Minister expressed concerns on the rise in the prices of edible oil and directed the ministry to expedite the action against the edible oil manufacturers to address the issue of charging higher prices from domestic consumers relative to prices in the international market.

It was further directed to increase the imports of edible oil for sustainable availability of edible oil in future.

NPMC was informed that there was stability in moong prices and witnessed less prices as compared to its prices in the last year.

The committee was informed that there is no shortage of fertilizers in the country, on which it directed MoIP to formulate strategy to rationalize the prices of fertilizers in the light of decision to provide subsidized supply of gas to the fertilizer manufacturers and for providing adequate relief to the growers.

The meeting was also apprised on the wholesale and retail prices of daily commodities in the country and it was informed that decrease has been witnessed in the wholesale and retail prices of various items in the last week.

Slight increase has been witnessed in the whole sale and retail prices of potatoes and onions which was attributed to the increase in the transportation charges.

The Chair further directed provincial authorities to take measures to reduce the wholesale and retail price gap in both commodities.

The NPMC also discussed the stock position of POL in the country and expressed serious concerns on the low stocks of HSD and directed the Petroleum Division to take cognizance of the issue and ensure smooth availability of POL in the country.

The NPMC was briefed on the availability of essential goods at subsidized rates at the Sastaa & Sahulat Bazaars across the country.

Finance Minister appreciated the efforts of the government of the Punjab, KP, Baluchistan and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazaars.

In his concluding remarks, the finance minister underscored the efforts being made for keeping the prices of essential items in check and measures to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.

Source : A P P

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