ISLAMABAD: For providing the poor with relief, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed on Monday the concerned authorities to review prices of essential food items, and in particular reduce taxes on wheat, sugar and pulses.
The meeting was attended by the federal cabinet members including Asad Umar, Khusro Bakhtiar, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Firdous Ashiq Awan and others.
It was decided to give a tax relief on basic commodity items and the matter would be raised in the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for a decision.
The meeting sough immediate suggestions from the Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) and Punjab governments to lower the wheat rates and decided to double the wheat procurement targets for the ongoing year.
It was decided that the sugar advisory board will conduct a third party evaluation to fix sugar prices, that recently saw an unprecedented surge.
The commerce division was directed to consult with stake holders for fixing ghee prices, another basic commodity item- so that the relief of low prices in the international markets be conveyed to the masses.
The meeting decided to ensure a complete curb on smuggling of commodities’ items from eastern and western borders along with a stern action against elements involved in hoarding these items.
Speaking during the meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that a possible relief in the prices of basic commodities and bringing stability in their supply is the top priority of the incumbent government.
“Our prime focus is to provide relief to the poor segment of the society,” he said and added that they would go all out to ensure relief to the masses.
The prime minister directed the officials to ensure a proper estimate of the demand and supply and the stocks of the basic commodities. “Prior arrangements shall be made for the provision of basic commodities to the masses,” he said adding that special attention be given towards curbing smuggling and hoarding.
He also conveyed directives to the provincial governments to mull over recommendations for lowering the prices of the commodities. “A policy guideline should be issued in view of these recommendations,” he said. NNI