Govt vows to control rising commodities’ prices

-PM directs strict action against hoarders
-Blames Sindh for hike in flour price
-Orders organized efforts to bringing down skyrocketing prices

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday approved proposed measures aimed at controlling rising prices of basic commodities’ in the country.
The meeting headed by the prime minister mulled over measures to reduces prices of wheat, sugar, and other essential commodity items. The meeting was attended by members of the economic team, federal ministers, Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and provincial chief secretaries.
Imran Khan approved the proposed measures for bringing down the prices during the meeting besides also directing strict action against hoarders and those jacking up prices unnecessarily.
During the first phase of the meeting, the situation pertaining to the availability and price of wheat in Pakistan was mulled over besides also discussing the province-wise need of the basic food commodity. The prime minister was briefed over measures taken by the public and private sector to import wheat in the country.
Speaking during the meeting, the premier said that they would take all-out measures to ensure a reduction in prices of essential commodity items.
It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Monday said that his government will use all the resources at disposal of the state to bring down skyrocketing prices of essential food items in the country.
According to the details, the government has decided to use all resources against inflation in the country. PM Imran Khan has decided to once again use the services of volunteers of Tiger Force for the identification of hoarders and consultations with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs (SAPM) Usman Dar have been completed.
Meanwhile, Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz on Tuesday held the Sindh government responsible for the recent surge in flour prices in the country.
Addressing a press conference following a federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad today, Shibli Faraz said the prices of flour shot up after the Sindh government ill intentionally halted the release of wheat in the market. The minister maintained that the provincial government compelled the people to buy flour at higher rates.
“Sufficient stock of the commodity is present in the country to meet requirements of the people,” Shibli Faraz said, adding that public and private sectors were allowed to import wheat, which has arrived in the country and more is coming in.
Responding to a question, Shibli Faraz said the federal government has evolved a comprehensive mechanism to bring down prices of essential items and their sufficient availability in the country.
The minister also dispelled the impression that Roosevelt Hotel in New York owned by Pakistan International Airlines has been sold out. He said Pakistan has acquired complete ownership of the hotel by paying off its liabilities of about $1,28,000. He said there is no plan to sell Roosevelt Hotel as it is a national asset.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a federal cabinet meeting on Tuesday which decided to table a bill on rationalizing top leadership expenditure in Pakistan. The cabinet session discussed at length the expenses incurred on the exchequer for livelihoods of the premier and the president and decided to formulate the expenditure via parliamentary legislation.
PM Imran Khan noted that expenses of top leadership should be reasonable as he delegated the task of laying out the bill to Special Assistant to PM (SAPM) on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan. Mooting on the subject, the briefing in the session today stated that one of the former leaders spent Rs800 million merely on the facade of their house which was incurred on the national exchequer. The PM noted that the income of the country people should justify the expenditure spent on the livelihoods of prime ministers and presidents.
Making an analogy to elucidate the matter, PM Khan said we cannot impose on the people of Pakistan the expenditure of leadership expenses which the British Prince cannot afford.
Following up with the decision the PM advised SAPM Awan and federal education ministers Shafqat Mehmood to track the expenditures of former premiers and presidents for the record. He asked them to furnish the track of whatever expenses were incurred on the national kitty on the account of leadership.
According to the details, the premier stated that the expenses of a poor country leadership should be in accordance with the income of its people and not too grand.