Hafeez Shaikh orders to minimize profit on commodities in retail market

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Monday chaired a meeting of the national price monitoring committee, where it was briefed that the prices of 10 essential commodities have witnessed a decline.

The meeting was also attended by Industries Minister Hammad Azhar, SAPM on Revenue Waqar Masood, and officials from finance, national food security, industries and commerce, PASCO, Utility Stores Corporation, and others besides participation from provincial chief secretaries.

The secretary of the finance department said that the price of 10 basic commodities including flour, sugar, onion, tomatoes, and chicken have witnessed a decline. The price of 11 commodities witnessed an increase while the prices of 30 items remained unchanged, the meeting was briefed.

Hafeez Shaikh expressed his satisfaction over the decline in prices of more commodities as compared to October and directed the officials to lower the profit margin in the retail market to further bring down the prices.

“It is our responsibility to ensure commodities at lower prices,” he said adding that the provincial governments should also ensure easy availability of essential commodities.  The secretary of National Food Security also briefed the meeting over updates on the import of wheat.

It is pertinent to mention here that weekly inflation for the combined group during the period ended on November 26 recorded a decrease of 0.92 percent due to a decline in prices of essential food items, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data on November 28.

The Sensitive Price Index (SPI) is calculated on the basis of the prices of 51 essential items collected from 50 markets in 17 cities of the country.