Sunday, January 16, 2022

Pakistan bans food exports: Tarin

Minister of Revenue and Finance Shaukat Tarin has asked the Ministry of Commerce to put an export ban on critical food goods in order to keep inflationary pressure on food prices under control.

The meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), held in the Finance Division, was chaired by the federal minister, who instructed the Ministry of Commerce to streamline the process of banning the export of perishable products in consultation with the Ministry of Food Security and Research for the next three months to ensure that such products are available to local consumers at a reasonable cost.

Due to seasonal fluctuations as well as Afghanistan’s quickly changing situation, the decision was made to deploy more troops there.

At the moment, according to Finance Minister Tarin, global inflation in food commodities is a global phenomenon. The government has implemented a number of measures to alleviate the impact of the international price increase on staple food goods, including the provision of subsidies in order to provide the greatest possible assistance to consumers.

He went on to say that the government is fully aware of its responsibility to maintain a smooth supply of critical commodities throughout the country and that it takes that role very seriously.

Earlier, the finance secretary updated the committee on the 0.07 percent fall in the weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) inflation rate, which was reported earlier.

Global food and gasoline prices have increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and this has had an impact on the prices of key food commodities all across the world.

He went on to say that the ongoing rise in international food prices is having an impact on domestic pricing because Pakistan is a net importer of staple food commodities such as wheat, sugar, edible oil, and pulses, among other things.

The finance minister expressed pleasure with the release of wheat by the Punjab government at the government-specified rate, which is lowering the price of wheat flour bags in the province, after taking stock of the situation.

Provincial chief secretaries from Sindh, Balochistan, and KP have been asked to accelerate the process of releasing wheat at the price established by federal authorities after all necessary processes have been completed.

The finance minister reaffirmed the government’s solid commitment to ensuring a continuous supply of wheat flour throughout the country at the pricing set by the government in his speech.

The managing director of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) informed the committee about the progress made in automating processes and integrating them with the Ehsaas data system in order to develop a mechanism for providing direct subsidies to beneficiaries who meet the eligibility criteria.

He also gave a presentation to the group about the installation of a point of sale. To meet the deadline, the finance minister asked the USC official to complete the entire automated procedure by December 2021.

A member of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) gave a detailed presentation on the collecting of prices across different cities/markets in order to construct the weekly SPI figures.

Following discussions on issues such as ensuring that the PBS’s data collection reflects the current trend in prices for everyday items such as Saasta Sahulat Baazars for extensive and accurate calculation, the meeting directed the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Food Security to convene consultative sessions with provincial chief secretaries, the Secretary for the Ministry of Industries and Production, and the Chief Commissioner of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

During a discussion on the present increase in the international prices of food commodities, the meeting noted that due to global supply bottlenecks, the current increase in the international prices of food commodities may continue to be strong in the months to come.

The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, the Minister of State for Information, Farrukh Habib, the SAPM on Food Security, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, the Finance Division, the Ministry of Industries and Production secretaries, the additional secretary commerce, provincial chief secretaries, the Chief Commissioner Islamabad, the Chief Statistician PBS, the Managing Director of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC), the CCP chairperson, the Member of the Federal Board

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