Advisor to PM on Finance Dr. Hafeez Sheikh failed to satisfy the answers of the journalists about price hike in the country.
ISLAMABAD:(Urdu Point/Pakistan Point News-Nov 12th, 2019) After going under pressure over issue of price hike, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered creation of a special cell to have check on demand and supply of essential commodities in various parts of the country.
According to the sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan was informed about the policy measures being taken to control sugar prices, w ith special focus on discouraging hoarding and profiteering. The PM, they said, was informed that provision of Rs6 billion to the Utility Stores Corporation approved by the prime minister would go a long way in significantly reducing the prices of essential commodities. He was also assured that sugar stocks availability was satisfactory in the market.
About provision of relief to the general masses is concerned, PM Khan was told that the governmnet was now focusing on providing every possible relief to the people as a top priority along with further strengthening economic stability and extending maximum facilitations and eases of doing business to the investors and business class.
At this, the PM directed the national food secuirty and research mininstry for establishing a special cell for formulation of integrated planning on demand and supply, with an objective of suggesting measures for comprehensive administrative and planning on demand and supply to help keep prices under control.
Later addressing a press conferencec, Advisor to PM on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said the government was not taking any measure that led to price hike and claimed credit for releasing wheat stocks in the market and for not borrowing from the State Bank or zero Currency printing over the past four months. Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran, Federal board of Revenue (FBR) chairman Shabbar Zaidi and Special Finance Secretary Omar Hameed Khan were also present there in the press conference.
The PM's aides faced tough questions regarding increase in prices of vegetables and fruits, high policy rate, black marketing and short supplies. Answering to a question , Dr. Sheikh said the discount rate setting was the role of an independent monetary policy committee that comprised renowned independent economists, adding that there were also some people who had invested their lifetime savings in banks, like pensioners, with a hope of high returns.
“Who do you think would be worried today more than the prime minister who has been given votes by the people?” said Hafeez Sheikh, adding that PM Khan was holding meeting after meeting to address the problem and asking the relevant quarters to do the needful.
He stated that the government was taking four-five instruments to control prices and the steps were being taken to improve supplies when prices went up. He also recalled that the government had released 650,000 tonnes of wheat from public sector stocks when flour prices started going up and the move had a positive impact in the market.