Minister calls for controlling CPI-WPI abnormal gaps to relief masses


ISLAMABAD, Sep 01 (Alliance News): Caretaker Planning Minister, Sami Saeed on Friday stressed the need for taking immediate measures to control abnormal gaps in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Wholesale Price Index (WPI) to provide relief to the masses.

The minister while chairing a meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) emphasized zero-tolerance against hoarders and profiteers, directing the Provincial governments to engage their respective Commissions, Deputy Commissioners, and Magistrates against hoarders.
Sami Saeed directed the concerned stakeholders, particularly the provincial government, to closely monitor the price index, said a news release.

Chief Economist, Dr Nadeem Javaid moderated the meeting that was attended by the Chief Statistician from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), representatives from all provinces, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Ministry of Food Security & Industries, and other relevant stakeholders.

Since the interim government came into power, the Prime Minister has focused on providing maximum relief to the common man. In this regard, several steps are being taken.
The meeting observed that the prices of a few commodities increased last week, leading to the decision to hold NPMC meetings on a weekly basis to monitor prices and provide relief to the masses.

During the meeting, PBS officials presented the price and inflation data, while representatives from Punjab, KP, Sindh, and Balochistan apprised the forum on the current production and supply of wheat, sugar, and other essential commodities, which remained satisfactory.
The Committee also directed the Provincial government to establish Sasta Bazaars to provide maximum relief to the people.

The meeting also highlighted the importance of minimizing the price difference between wholesale and retail items. Relevant stakeholders were directed to reduce this difference to maximize relief for the common man.
The NPMC meetings will take place on a weekly basis, with PBS sharing its data analysis report in every meeting.
The Committee also asked the Government of Sindh to apprise the forum regarding the wholesale and retail Price differentials in the forthcoming meeting.

The Provincial Governments to design a release strategy for the timely release of wheat to achieve the objective of price stability.
Furthermore, given the stark differences between retail and wholesale prices of essential items especially those of perishable items, Provincial Governments and ICT are required to tight price monitoring and devise mechanisms to curtail the differential in prices besides checking hoarding and profiteering activities (inflationary pressure is anticipated to spike in view of the fuel price adjustment and increasing international prices of crude oil, soya bean oil and palm oil).

The provincial Chief Secretaries were asked to participate in forthcoming meetings to make the forum more effective with desirable outcomes.


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