ISLAMABAD       -       Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Tuesday directed the relevant stakeholders to take all requisite measures to ensure that reasonable prices of all essential items are maintained across the country with effective coordination of the provincial governments.

He made these remarks while chairing a high level meeting here at the Finance Division to evaluate the current situation of prices of essential food items in the country. The adviser was given a detailed briefing on the prices of essential items, the price trends over the years and the comparative situation of prices in the international markets. The Adviser was also briefed on the measures taken to control the price hike of essential food items and the preparations for the upcoming months including Ramazan.

In other development, a delegation of Mitsubishi Corporation called on the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh here at the Finance Division.

The delegation gave an update of their new LNG Project terminal which is under construction at Port Qasim. The delegation briefed the adviser on the status of progress on the project so far and the status of import of LNG.

The adviser appreciated the performance of the Corporation and agreed to facilitate the corporation in coordination with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Ministry of Petroleum and other stakeholders to bring in valuable investment in the country. Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry also called on the Adviser to PM on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh here at the Finance Division.

The Minister for Science and Technology discussed with the adviser details of a proposal they are preparing for the promotion of research and development in the country specifically with reference to bio-technology and chemical production the country. The proposal envisages a liaison between the business community, different universities and research institutions. The minister briefed the adviser that the proposal envisages an export value of $1.3 billion worth of chemicals that are used for different industrial purposes.

The Ministry of S&T is working on a proposal to establish Special Economic Zones to promote research in Chemicals and bio-technology, initially in some major cities of the country, said Minister for Science and Technology. The minister also stated that research and development in the field will not only boost the quality of local production but also has chances to fetch foreign exchange by export. A pilot project shall be started soon, he said

The adviser appreciated the prospects the project is likely to offer and the role of the Ministry of S&T in bringing in innovative ideas for the promotion of exports and promoting projects that will help in promotion of investment in research with commercial application. He assured the Ministry of S&T of all possible coordination and facilitation.