Finance Minister Asad Umar has directed to make market committees more proactive to play a vigilant role in effectively monitoring prices and check any hoarding across the country.
He said this while chairing a National Price Monitoring Committee meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday to take stock of supply and prices of food and pharmaceutical items .
It was agreed in the meeting to reduce price disparity among the provinces through an integrated market mechanism.
The meeting decided that laws would be reviewed to ensure that price control mechanism proactively focuses on cartelization, hoarding and undue profiteering.
It also reviewed the availability of commodities with particular reference to Ramazan.
The Utility Store Corporation assured NPMC that Government's Ramazan Package will be implemented to ensure sufficient availability of commodities at affordable prices.
The meeting agreed that Sasta bazaars, Itwar bazaars and fair price shops will be increased throughout the country to ensure sufficient availability of commodities for common man at affordable prices.
It was decided that a monthly meeting of NPMC will be held regularly to review supply and prices of all commodities and timely measures will be put in place to avoid any shortage in the country.
The committee was informed that volatility in the prices of perishable items specifically tomatoes, onions, grams and pulses were primarily due to seasonal variations which have now subsided.
The Sensitive Price Indicator, which monitors mostly kitchen items for last two consecutive weeks in March, is showing a sharp declining trend which suggests that the prices of these items in the market are on a downward trajectory.
The Prime Minister will chair a meeting to further review the supply and prices of food and pharmaceuticals in the country on Monday.
The concerned ministries will submit short and medium term policy recommendations as well as structural measures needed to ensure smooth supply and stability in the prices to the Prime Minister.