NPMC blames rains, COVID-19 for higher inflation rate.

ISLAMABAD -- National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Monday has blamed the recent rains and COVID-19 for the higher inflation rate in the country beside other issues.

Finance Adviser, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired a meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) to review the prices of essential perishable commodities, which was held at Finance Division. Inflation rate has increased in the country due to the surge in prices of food commodities. Pakistan's headline national inflation has accelerated faster than expected to 9.04 percent in September 2020 mainly due to higher food prices in the country. Price of wheat flour and sugar is increasing rapidly in the country. Flour price is around Rs70 to Rs75 per kg and sugar price is in the range of Rs90 to Rs105 in different parts of the country. Similarly, prices of vegetables are also showing upward journey.

The NPMC deliberated upon increase in the prices of wheat, sugar and perishable items namely tomatoes, onions, potatoes and chicken and discussed corrective measures to provide relief to the end consumers. It was stated by the concerned Ministries that the reasons behind the price hike include gap in supply and demand due to climatic factors, upward trend in international prices and increased profit margin between wholesale and retailers particularly in metropolitan areas. There was a general consensus that recent rains and COVID-19 have further aggravated the situation.

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Abdul Hafeez Shaikh urged all the stakeholders to take drastic measures to curb inflation. In this regard, the role of district market committees was emphasised to curb price variation...

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