In a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee conducted on Wednesday 18th of September 2109, the chair of the meeting Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh took notice of the artificial hike in the prices of basic kitchen items, like wheat flour. He added that the government had banned exports in a decision taken 3 months ago and there was no shortage of wheat, yet why the prices were still rising. He added that the government would keep the ban in place. The committee also directed the provinces for recounting of the stocks of wheat present in the wheat storage facilities as there were many who disagreed with the previous stats.
Dr. Sheikh had received several reports from across the country including the federal capital regarding the increased prices of wheat. A member of the ECC said that the wheat stocks in the provinces should be rechecked. He added that the minster from Sindh had reported that 400,000 tonnes of wheat had been ‘lost to rodents’ and that claim needs to be investigated.
The meeting was also told that the government was releasing wheat to millers at Rs1375/40kg, who were buying more than their processing capacity, so they can sell the wheat later at a higher price. Some millers earned more than a million a month by just taking benefit of the price hikes, by selling just the unprocessed wheat.
Dr. Sheikh also directed to call an early meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) to access why the prices of bread in the local market were still high despite the government reversing the gas hike decision and providing a subsidy of Rs1.5 billion on gas to tandoors.