Islamabad—A meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) under the Chairmanship of Secretary Finance reviewed the prices and supply trend of essential food items. It was noted that Sensitive Price Indicator which monitor the prices of 53 items based on the survey of 17 cities and 53 markets experiencing a downward trend during the last four consecutive weeks.
The SPI of the week ended on 8th December witnessed – 0.14 % change over previous week and 5.24 % change over corresponding week of 2010-11. Decrease in the prices of sugar by 5.36 %, onion 5.24%, chicken farm 2.03%, garlic 1.30%, rice irri-6 1.07%, rice basmati broken 0.23% red chillies 0.27% was noted.
It was also observed that there are significant differences in prices of vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, onions and garlic among the provinces. Such as prices of tomatoes in Punjab is Rs.50 per kg, KPK Rs.24-48 per kg, Sindh Rs.60 per kg, Balochistan Rs. 60-65 per kg. Potatoes in Punjab is Rs.34 per kg, KPK Rs.20-30 per kg, Sindh Rs.15 per kg, Balochistan Rs.20-23 per kg. Onion in Punjab is Rs.41 per kg, KPK Rs.44 per kg, Sindh and Balochistan Rs.30 per kg. Garlic in Punjab is Rs.104 per kg, KPK Rs.100-120 per kg, Sindh Rs.80 per kg and Balochistan Rs.110-120 per kg.
The meeting also compared regional prices which suggested that in Pakistan the prices of gram pluse, sugar, beef, chicken farm are lower than India, Bangladesh, Colombo, Kabul; while prices of wheat floor, rice, mutton, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, red chilies and tea are higher. The committee also observed declining trend of international food prices and noted that during July – November, 2011 the prices of sugar, wheat, tea, palm oil, soybean oil have declined by 14.9, 8.5, 10.6, 3.2 and 9 %, respectively which may bring some respite in domestic prices.
The Chairman advised the concerned authorities to keep record of imports of essential food items and monitor their demand and supply to address any shock in the market prices and also instructed the provincial governments and otherstakeholders to strengthen the institutional arrangements and collaboration with their Statistical Departments in pricemonitoring.