Price hike

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Despite the sincere efforts of the government to provide relief to the masses particularly the downtrodden segment of the society, the issue of price hike remained unbridled. The prices of the kitchen items particularly fruit and vegetables have reached a level that have become out of the reach of the common man. The government is working to investigate the reasons and factors behind the price hike of perishable items like fruit and vegetables as these items have no link with hoarding. Besides other major factor, the attack of locust swarms in the provinces of Sind, Balochistan and southern Punjab cannot be ruled out as these attacks have destroyed crops and vegetable and fruit farms in these areas. But all these factors need to be thoroughly investigated along with other factors to design policies for the control of price hike. The government is taking different measures to control prices. It took steps to improve supplies of wheat when prices went up and released 650,000 tons of wheat from public sector stocks when flour prices started going up and the move had a positive impact in the market. The government has also devised an effective mechanism to stop the smuggling of some important items from the borders to Afghanistan, Central Asian Republics and Iran. This will also have an important impact on the prices of commodities in favor of the consumers. Last week the government decided to provide Rs 6 billion to the Utility Stores Corporation to ensure availability of essential daily use items on subsidized rates. The government is also taking steps to minimize the role of middle men due to which the price of food items jumps when they reach the end consumers.
Prime Minister Imran Khan during his meeting with his economic managers on Monday ordered creation of a special cell for integrated planning on demand and supply of essential commodities to control their prices. The cell will work under the national food security and research ministry which will suggest measures for comprehensive administrative and planning on demand and supply to help keep prices under control. .

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