Food Security Ministry directed to make strategy for enhancing potato exports

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Keeping in view the bumper crop prospects, the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin here on Wednesday directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) to make strategy for increasing the export of potatoes.

Presiding over the meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), minister also directed the ministry to set up production forecasting unit for major and minor crops for timely decision making.

According to press statement issued by the finance ministry here, Economic Adviser Finance Division briefed the NPMC about weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) which witnessed increase of 0.22% as compared to decline in previous week by 0.08%.

As many as 33 food items contributed increase in the SPI by 0.31%, whereas 18 non-food items contributed decrease of 0.09% to the SPI, it added.

NPMC was informed that prices of 12 items remained stable last week whereas that of 11 items decreased contributing decline in SPI by 1.08%.

The items which contributed in decline included electricity by 0.91%, Eggs by 0.08%, red chillies by 0.03% and others by 0.06%. while prices of 28 items slightly increased that led to increase in SPI by 1.3% which included petrol by 0.65%, chicken by 0.19%, long cloth by 0.18% and others by 0.28%.

NPMC was informed that chillies powder, eggs, electricity charges, onions, potatoes, gurr, sugar, wheat flour, LPG cylinder, pulse moong, pulse mash have shown decline in the prices during the last week. It was informed that prices of onion are lowest as compared to its prices 3 years earlier.

The NPMC was updated on the wheat flour prices in the country, the statement added.

Secretary Ministry of NFS&R informed on the stock position of wheat and further apprised on the future requirements and the strategy for sustainable availability of wheat in the country.

Tarin expressed concerns on the low daily release of wheat by the Baluchistan government and directed the provincial authorities to bring stability in the prices of Wheat flour by increasing daily release of Wheat to the flour mills.

NPMC was also apprised on the sugar prices in the country and Secretary Ministry of Industry ad Production (MoIP) briefed the meeting on the process for building strategic reserves of sugar in the country to maintain stability in prices.

On the prices of edible oil in the country, Secretary MoIP informed the meeting on available stocks of edible oil and strategy to bring in stability in its prices.

The Chair expressed concerns on the rise in the prices of edible oil and directed the ministry to expedite the action against the edible oil manufacturers to address the issue of charging higher prices from domestic consumers relative to prices in the international market.

It was further directed to increase the imports of edible oil for sustainable availability of edible oil in future. —APP

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