Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin says the government has decided to intervene in the market to partially reduce prices of essential food items, including edible oil, sugar, flour and pulses.
Tarin has said that despite a 50 percent increase in the price of palm oil in the global market, we are decreasing its price to relieve the people. The price of palm oil went up from $760 per MT to $1136 per MT but the government increased its price by the only 33 percent.
The Finance Minister told the media that inflation had increased tremendously in the world but its impact in Pakistan is very low. “We have allocated more than Rs 100 billion for targeted subsidy for 12.5 million households,” Mr Tarin said.
He said, “The government is not passing on the full impact of international commodities’ prices to the masses. The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s program was behind an increase in the inflation rate. However, inflation rate measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI) has now reduced to 8.4 percent from 9.3 percent in the last couple of years.”
He informed that after giving the relief in taxes, the government would reduce the price of edible oil and ghee by Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg, the price of sugar would be brought down to Rs 89.75 per kg and the rate of flour would be Rs 55 per kg.
He further said, “The government is also building strategic reserves of pulses and onion to help streamline prices.” While talking about the recent enhancement in the oil prices, Shaukat tarin said, “It has enhanced the prices of diesel on recommendations of OGRA by reducing its petroleum levy. The government had budgeted to collect Rs 66 billion from petroleum levy.”
However, it has not collected significant from it due to providing relief to the masses. The government has increased diesel price by only Rs 5 per liter against OGRA’s recommendation of increasing it by Rs 10 per liter, he said.
He was addressing a press conference, accompanied by Farrukh Habib, the Minister of State for information, and Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Food Security and Research on Wednesday in Islamabad.