Strict actions ordered to check poultry price hike

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday took cognizance of price hike of poultry products, directing administrations to take ‘strict’ action against unfair market practices.

The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting, presided over by finance secretary, was told that a recent cabinet meeting took notice of the price hike in poultry sector. The meeting discussed the matter in details with all stakeholders and examined the demand and supply dynamics of poultry products.

Provincial governments and Islamabad administration were directed to take strict actions where undue price hike is being made and urged to take comprehensive measures for smooth supply of poultry products.

Representatives from the provincial governments, Islamabad capital territory, ministries of industries, interior, planning, development and special initiatives, national food security and research, Federal Board of Revenue, Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics attended the meeting.

The meeting also directed the CCP to share their findings related to poultry sector with provincial government and Islamabad capital administration to streamline the recent spike in the prices of poultry sector and play proactive role to control the spike in prices.

NPMC also directed the food ministry to make necessary coordination and consultation with provincial governments in a more vigilant way on the prices of wheat and wheat flour and take immediate measures to ensure smooth supply. The meeting was advised that all relevant authorities along with provincial governments should monitor the provision of essential food items at affordable prices and remove the price disparity and keep an eye on undue profit margin as in some cases higher profit margin was also observed. The provincial governments and Islamabad administration said they would take strict measures to minimise undue profit margin.

The meeting further discussed the price trend of essential food items. It was informed that consumer price index (CPI) inflation was recorded at 8.2 percent in May 2020 over May 2019 and July-May CPI inflation on average reached to 10.9 percent. Sensitive price indicator, which monitors the price movement of 51 essential items on weekly basis, recorded an increase of 0.05 percent for the week ended on 11 June, 2020. During the week, 10 items recorded decline in their prices, while 22 items remain stable. The last week, ended on 4 June 2020, recorded a decline of 0.42 percent.

“Inflation has been continuously declining trend since January 2020 due to policy, administrative and relief measures of the federal and provincial governments,” a finance ministry’s statement said. “Government is proactively taking measures to control the general price level of daily use items at federal, provincial and district levels.”

The meeting was told that price trend in international market is on a declining trend, which would augur well for the domestic prices in near future.

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