PM directs measures to stabilize prices of basic essential items

PM calls for early finalization of policy to uplift SMEs sector


ISLAMABAD, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday ordered the provincial Chief Secretaries to ensure all possible administrative measures to stabilize the prices of basic essential items particularly to check the illogical difference of prices at wholesale and retail levels.

As the prices of basic essential items hit the common man, the present government’s foremost priority was to protect them, he added.

The Prime Minister was presiding over a meeting held here to review demand and supply as well as the prices of basic essential items.

Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin, Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Advisor to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib, Special Assistants to PM   Dr. Shehzab Gill, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and Secretaries of the relevant ministries. While Provincial Chief Secretaries and senior officers attended the meeting via video-link.

The Prime Minister said that as mere action against the officers of administration was not enough, results of the administrative steps should be seen so that masses get relief.

He directed to ensure comprehensive planning and timely measures keeping in view the future needs of sugar and wheat.

The Prime Minister was presented a comparative review of the prices of basic essential items across the country with particular focus on the prices at wholesale and retail levels.

The meeting was briefed in detail about the existing sugar and wheat stocks in the country and the measures being taken to cater to the future requirements.

The meeting was also briefed about the steps being taken to bring about a significant reduction in the prices of edible oil.

Chief Secretary Punjab briefed the meeting about administrative measures taken for stabilization of prices in the province.

The meeting was told that action was being taken against the officers not fulfilling their responsibilities with regard to stabilization of prices.

Besides the suspension of 07 Assistant Commissioners and 02 Secretaries of Market Committees so far, warning has also been issued to 02 Deputy Commissioners, it was told.

The Prime Minister was told that in order to reduce the prices of edible oil, dialogue with the relevant stakeholders had entered the final stages, as a result of which the price of edible oil was expected to drop by Rs 10 to RS 15 per kg.

Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday while calling the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) the most crucial component of national economy, called for early finalization of a proposed policy for the sector’s uplift.

The Prime Minister, chairing a review meeting for promotion of SMEs, said the incumbent government was specially facilitating the sector as it was neglected in the past. Federal ministers Shaukat Fayaz Tarin and Khusro Bakhtiar, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razzak Dawood, Special Assistant to PM Dr Shahbaz Gill, and senior officials attended the meeting. State Bank Governor Raza Baqir joined via video link. The prime minister instructed for provision of incentives and loans under the government’s Ease of Doing Business policy.

Secretary Industries and Production Division briefed the meeting on the contours of the proposed SMEs policy.

It was told that the SMEs contributed to 40% of country’s GDP and that the sector was being extended tax relief.

The federal secretary told the meeting that the federal cabinet had already approved an action plan for uplift of the SMEs sector. The SMEs linked with the IT sector were being given special incentives, he added

Moreover, the SMEs would also be given loans under the State Bank’s supervision.

The meeting was told that all stakeholders had been consulted to remove all lacunae from the proposed policy.

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