PM directs for all-out steps to curb prices of commodities

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the concerned authorities to take all possible administrative steps to bring down the prices of basic commodities.
The Prime Minister issued these directions here on Tuesday while chairing a high-level meeting on prices and availability of basic commodities, especially wheat and sugar.
The Prime Minister said that strict action should be taken against hoarding and profiteering.
The meeting discussed the availability of wheat in the country, the prices of wheat and flour in different provinces, the schedule of wheat imported by the government and the private sector and its arrival in the country to meet the future needs.
A report on wheat and flour prices in different parts of the country from Tigers Force and independent sources was presented to the meeting.
The meeting was informed about the daily release of Wheat from Punjab. It was also informed that Sindh will start its release till 16th of this month.
To ensure the appropriate supply of Wheat in the country, the forum decided to increase the per day release of Wheat from Punjab.
Regarding supply of sugar, the meeting was informed that the imported sugar will be available to masses at lesser rates. It was also informed that the crushing season will begin from 10th of next month in Punjab.
The Prime Minister approved the proposed administrative measures to control rising prices of basic commodities in the country.
The meeting was attended by members of the economic team, federal ministers, governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and provincial chief secretaries.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Prime Minister on Monday last said that his government will use all the resources at disposal of the state to bring down skyrocketing prices of essential food items in the country. Imran Khan also decided to once again use the services of volunteers of Tiger Force for the identification of hoarders.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Shibli Faraz has said that the government has evolved a comprehensive mechanism to bring down prices of essential commodities and ensure their sufficient availability across the country.
Briefing the media persons here on Tuesday about the decisions taken during the meeting of the federal cabinet, the information minister said that this issue will be resolved soon.
Shibli Faraz said that sufficient stock of wheat is present in the country to meet requirements of the people whereas public and private sectors had been allowed to import the commodity and sufficient stock has arrived in the country and more is coming.
He held the Sindh government responsible for the recent surge in flour prices in the country. He said the prices of flour shot up after the Sindh government ill-intentionally halted the release of wheat in the market. The minister maintained that the provincial government compelled the people to buy flour at higher rates.
He welcomed the recent decision of the Sindh government to release wheat as the step will help control prices of the vital staple food of the people.
Rejecting the impression that Pakistan International Airlines’ Roosevelt Hotel in New York has been sold out, the minister said that Pakistan has paid the liabilities of the hotel worth US $128,000 and acquired full ownership. He said the cabinet was informed that PIA has successfully increased its revenue.
Replying to a question, the minister said that Tiger Force comprises volunteers who play their role in times of need. He regretted the opposition’s criticism on the Tiger Force.
Responding to a question, Faraz said that any gathering of the opposition is not a worrisome matter for the government and “we are busy in our routine activities.”
He said that rejected politicians with no future are trying to hide their corruption; hence, they do not want a stable government and economic development in Pakistan.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the federal cabinet meeting on Tuesday which decided to table a bill on rationalising the top leadership’s expenditure.
The cabinet session discussed at length the expenses incurred on the exchequer for livelihoods of the premier and the president and decided to formulate the expenditure via parliamentary legislation.
The Prime Minister noted that expenses of top leadership should be reasonable as he delegated the task of laying out the bill to Special Assistant to PM (SAPM) on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan.
Following up with the decision, the PM advised SAPM Awan and Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood to track the expenditures of former premiers and presidents for the record. He asked them to furnish the track of whatever expenses were incurred on the national kitty on the account of leadership.
According to the details, the premier stated that the expenses of a poor country’s leadership should be in accordance with the income of its people and not too grand. – TLTP

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