Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Monday chaired the National Price Monitoring Committee meeting.
The meeting noted the price movement of essential items and observed that the prices of wheat, wheat flour, chicken, eggs, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, rice ,cooking oil, vegetable gee decreased as compared to last year while the prices of milk powder, onion, red chillies, garlic, beef, mutton and pulses increased.
The Committee noted increasing trend in some prouducts such as pulses (moong, mash, and masoor) & garlic and directed Ministry of National Food Security and Research to closely monitor the prices of these items and take measure to bring them down.
The Minister also observed that the prices of the most of the essential items like rice basmati broken, rice irri, mutton, mustard oil, banana, masoor pulse, gram pulse, potatoes, tomatoes and garlic are very high in ICT as compared to the provinces. He directed Islamabad Capital Administration to take appropriate administrative measures to check & control the price disparity with the neighboring regions.
He also directed Ministry of National Food Security and Research to analyse and monitor the export of potatoes to ensure that domestic prices are not affected.
The Minister expressed concern on the delay in import of gram pulse by TCP and Ministry of Commerce to expedite the process to arrest the price increase of the product.
The meeting was informed that the headline inflation CPI increased by 1.6% on year-on-year basis in October 2015 as compared to 5.8% in October 2014. Food inflation on YoY basis increased by 0.5% and Non-food inflation increased by 2.4% as compared to 5.2% and 6.3% respectively of last year. On month-on-month basis, it increased by 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. SPI inflation on YoY basis recorded a decline of 0.1% in October 2015 as compared to increase of 4.1% in October 2014. On MoM basis, it increased by 1.2% in October 2015 as compared to decline of 0.03% in October 2014. WPI inflation on Year on Year basis declined by 2.7 % in October 2015 as compared to increase of 1.3 % in October 2014. WPI inflation on MoM basis increased by 0.5% in October 2015 as compared to decline of 0.3% in October 2014. Core inflation increased by 3.4% in October 2015 as compared to 7.8% in the comparable month of last year. Core inflation on MoM basis increased by 0.6% in October 2015 as compared to increase of 0.7% last year.
The Committee also reviewed the findings of the CCP which suggested short term and long term recommendations for controlling prices. It was decided to hold further consultation on the recommendations.
The meeting also reviewed the regional price comparison of essential commodities among Islamabad, New Delhi and Dhaka and observed that the prices of wheat, wheat flour, chicken farm, petrol, beef, tomatoes, masoor pulse, vegetable ghee are lowest in Pakistan as compared to New Delhi and Dhaka and second lowest in eggs, red chillies, milk fresh, sugar, gram pulses, diesel, mutton, beef, potatoes and higher in DAP, tea and urea.
The provincial governments informed the meeting about their administrative measures in controlling the prices.
The Minister advised the provincial governments to play proactive role in maintaining the price stability.