Centre to keep check on food prices

ISLAMABAD – The federal government is working to devise a comprehensive and effective strategy to keep permanent check on inflation and food prices, said Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz yesterday.

Briefing the media here following the meeting of federal cabinet, Shibli Faraz said that the cabinet discussed in detail and looked into the measures to reduce prices of the commodities.

He said that the government has been employing means and soon the prices of commodities will witness reduction.

The information minister also said that in coming days, the prices of food commodities will be reduced permanently and inflation issue will be settled.

Stock of wheat is sufficiently available in the country, said the information minister. He also added that in current year due to torrential rains, wheat crop in KP got damaged to a larger extent; however, wheat reserves are available to meet needs of the people of Pakistan.

Commenting on the rising prices of wheat in Sindh, the information minister said that the provincial government did not release wheat stock in time in the market, which led to soaring wheat prices.

Commenting on the Roosevelt Hotel issue, he said the government has paid all outstanding dues relating to this hotel including pending salaries to staff and other debts.

He said that the government has not yet decided to sale out the hotel.

Talking about the opposition’s upcoming rallies, the minister said the opposition’s processions will not make any difference. He said majority of opposition leaders are facing corruption cases.

The information minister said that the opposition’s alliance is meant to save their looted money and for that matter they are using Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

He said that Opposition forces are employing Maulana Fazlur Rehman for their manouvering and will cheat him as opposition had cheated him last year.

The information minister said that sons of Nawaz Sharif are in London and Nawaz Sharif is inciting people of Pakistan to come to roads.

He said that Opposition parties are playing for their vested interests to pressurise the government.

World economies got shattered during the Covid-19 pandemic but Pakistan despite all odds and difficulties is moving towards stability. He also added that the government is working for economic stability of the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is monitoring the prevailing situation and devising an effective mechanism to reduce prices of commodities permanently.

The information minister also refuted the news regarding increase in prices of gas. He said that in winter season, gas prices will not be enhanced. Gas provision to industrial sector will continue on different rates during the coming winter season.

Earlier, the federal cabinet lauded the role of Punjab government and law enforcement agencies for arresting the mastermind of Motorway rape case.

The cabinet was also briefed on the needs of gas during the winter season and capacity of gas terminal as well as progress for installation of new gas terminal.

The cabinet was briefed that work for installation of new gas terminal is under process. The cabinet said that work on new gas terminal should be ensured keeping in view the needs of gas for winter season.

The meeting also briefed on the National Information Technology Board regarding introducing of 43 new services for citizens at their doorstep.

The cabinet meeting was also briefed on encroachments. The cabinet reiterated that action should be taken against all on equal footings to remove encroachments and to avail possession from greenbelts.

The federal cabinet was briefed that Roosevelt Hotel was facing financial damages and if the government had not taken a timely decision on the very national asset, Pakistan could be deprived of this asset.

The cabinet was also briefed on the progress of Utility Stores Corporation and it was informed that sales of USC increased upto seven percent.

It was also informed that the USC loss has decreased from Rs8.7 billion to Rs2.3 billion.

Chairman Utility Stores Corporation also informed the cabinet meeting that sugar at Rs68/kg is available at Utility Stores Centres.

The federal cabinet also approved budget estimates for CDA for 2019-20 and 2020-21.

The federal cabinet also reviewed expenditures disbursed in connection with the camp offices for former president and former prime minister.

The information minister said that the camp offices were the culture of Nawaz Sharif who used to deploy 752 police officials at his camp offices.

The cabinet with the approval of Prime Minister Imran Khan fixed expenditures for camp offices and following the amendments in concerning laws, president and prime minister will be allowed to have one camp office.

Prime Minister Imran said that expenditures for camp office should be fixed and any additional burden should not be put on national exchequer.

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