Economics & Business

Mobile courts to work as price control courts: Tarin

ISLAMABAD: Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet reviewed implementation status of its earlier decisions and expressed satisfaction over the decisions implemented, advising Ministries/Divisions to expedite implementation formalities on items reported as implementation in progress. It met under the chairmanship of Adviser to PM on Finance and Economic Affairs, Shaukat Tarin here at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

He directed to concerned organizations at Federal and Provincial Government levels to use the forum of Mobile Courts as Price Control Courts to check essential commodities price hike in order to provide relief to common man. ECC directed Ministry of Law and Justice to take necessary coordination with Federal Government and Provincial Government Organizations to provide desired lego-administrative support system to be put in place by the Mobile Courts to be used as Price Control Courts to ensure decrease in daily use items prices.

ECC reviewed Key Economic Indicators (KEI) and overall price situation in the country and noted that overall Consumer Price Index (CPI-based) inflation has registered a deceleration by 2.8% during January 2009 vs December 2008. ECC further noted that forex reserves during January 2009 stood at $ 10.138 billion that included impact of IMF’s first tranche of disbursement and other positive inflows.

ECC noted that overall workers’ remittances during July-December 2008 amounted to $ 4277.3 million showing an increase of 18.0%. ECC was informed that FBR has collected Rs.702.5 billion during first eight months of CFY (July 2008-February 2009), posting an increase of 20.0% compared with same period of last year. Foreign Direct Investment during (July-January, 2008-09) amounted to $ 2587.7 million registering a healthy growth of 1.3% compared with the last year’s period under review.

ECC was informed that as on 22 February, 2009 domestic wheat stock stood at 1.304 million tones, showing higher stock of about 0.452 million tones compared with last year. The wheat procurement target from 2008-09 crop has been fixed as 6.55 million tones. The government has decided to import 2.5 million tones of wheat in phases this year to augment domestic wheat supplies. Out of 2.5 million tones, TCP so far has imported 1.84 million tones of wheat. The remaining quantity is in the pipeline. It noted that existing sugar stock was reported to be around 1.537 million tones to supplement open market needs. ECC noted that 78 percent of planned quantity of urea (745,000 million tones) has arrived; whereas 22 percent is due to arrive at ports.

ECC was informed that inflationary pressures are likely to ease in next few months owing to sharp decline in commodity prices, particularly POL and Palm Oil. ECC advised MINFAL to work out a Crop-Production and Procurement Related Chart based on tangible forecasts anticipating additionally or shortage, enabling concerned GOP.-SANA

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Mian Ahsan Liaqat

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