Prices of essential commodities witnessed significant decline in last ten days: Azhar

: Hammad Azhar

ISLAMABAD: Minister of Industries and Production Muhammad Hammad Azhar has said that owing to the government’s strategies, the prices of essential commodities, including sugar, wheat and flour had witnessed a significant decline over the last ten days across the country.

While addressing a press conference along with Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar after the meeting of Federal Cabinet, chaired by PM Imran Khan, he said according to the latest data issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, there was a reduction in the prices of wheat flour, sugar and onions.

Hammad Azhar said that due to the import of around 125,000 tons of sugar a decline of Rs. 10 to 12 per kg at the ex-mill price of sugar had been witnessed in the last ten days.

The imported sugar was being provided at the rate of around Rs. 81 per kg at facilitation centers in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, whereas the commodity was being made available at Rs. 68 per kg at 4000 Utility Stores outlets across the country, he added.

He said the KP authorities were releasing 5,000 tonnes of wheat on a daily basis, owing to which the prices of flour bags have come down Rs20-Rs30 in the market.

Azhar said that as per the prediction of market experts the price of sugar would further decline in the open market at wholesale and retail levels due to increased supply of the commodity and competition.

On this occasion, Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar said that the price of wheat flour was also showing a declining trend for the last ten days bringing down the prices of the commodity from Rs. 2,400 to Rs. 2,200 per 40 kg.

There was a shortage in wheat production due to untimely rains and bad weather conditions, wheat was being imported to overcome the deficiency of around 2.2 million metric tons, he added.

The minister said that the government had also augmented the support price for wheat and fixed the new rate at Rs. 1,650 per 40 kg to ensure due to return to farmers of their produce.

They urged provincial governments to strictly monitor the difference between retail and wholesale prices in various commodities to ensure the availability of essential items for consumers at affordable prices.