PM reiterates commitment to broaden Pak-Egypt relations

PM directs to ensure sufficient availability of essential items


Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Tarek Dahroug called on Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad today (Wednesday).


Prime Minister reaffirmed commitment to expand Pakistan-Egypt relations in diverse fields including high-level exchanges, trade and economic cooperation and education and culture.


Prime Minster Imran Khan has directed administration of Utility Stores Corporation to ensure sufficient availability of essential items.


He was chairing a weekly review meeting in Islamabad today (Wednesday) regarding prices of essential items and their availability across Pakistan.


The Prime Minister said ensuring availability of essential items on affordable rates is top priority of the government.


He advised the Ministry of National Food Security to complete the estimates of kitchen items like wheat and sugar, while keeping future needs of the country at the earliest so that advance arrangement can be ensured.


He directed all provincial chief secretaries to ensure implementation on the price list of daily, which requires an active and effective role of the administration. He said prompt action should be taken against officers in case of any negligence.


Briefing the meeting about Consumer Price Index, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that CPI was recorded as 5.7 percent in January this year, which was 14.6 percent during the last year. He said prices of sugar, eggs, and onions witnessed downward trend, while rates of wheat flour remained stable.


The meeting was informed that difference between wholesale and retail prices shows failure of market committees. Keeping this in view, the meting decided to immediately dissolve existing market committees in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is in power, and their responsibilities will be assigned to concerned district and tehsil administration till constitution of new committees comprising competent people through a transparent process.


The meeting also decided that action will be taken against the concerned Assistant Commissioner upon failing in strict enforcement of price lists.


The meeting held detailed discussion on the steps taken in light of the sugar inquiry committee and to control prices of the sweetener.  It was decided that installation of cameras in sugar mills should be expedited. Besides, the Federal Board of Revenue will provide detail of the tax collected from sugar mills to provincial governments to make the tax collection mechanism transparent. The meeting was apprised that an 84 percent surge has been witnessed in sugar sales tax collection in the current fiscal year as a result of effective measures taken by the FBR.


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