ISLAMABAD: The government is likely to launch crackdown on ghee manufacturers for not passing on the impact of lower prices to local level, well informed sources told Business Recorder.
Taking serious notice of no reduction in prices of edible oil/ghee in the country despite substantial variation in prices in the international market, the prime minister has directed the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CPP) to probe the matter and submit a report to the Prime Minister Office by February 3, 2023, the sources added.
These directions were issued on January 20, 2023 during a meeting on Strategic Roadmap - agriculture sector when the issue of exorbitant prices of edible oil/ ghee came under discussion.
The meeting, sources said, was informed that prices of edible oil/ghee in the international market dropped significantly but local industry has not passed on the impact in the country.
“Oil/ghee prices remain same in the country despite significant drop in international markets, therefore, the Competition Commission of Pakistan is to probe the matter and submit to the Prime Minister Office (PMO) a report (correlating movement in international prices and highlighting factors behind variance) along with set of recommendations by February 3, 2023,” the sources added.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research is to constitute a “Committee of Experts” including relevant stakeholders to prepare policy framework required for the local production of edible oil in Pakistan.
The sources said Ministry of Industries and Production and Ministry of National Food Security and Research in coordination with the chief secretaries will prepare a report on availability of urea, diesel and seeds at the prescribed price. Furthermore, the MNFS&R in coordination with MoI&P is to prepare and share weekly progress report on the availability of fertiliser, diesel and seeds.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research is to share timelines for the rollout and implementation of Seed Traceability Action Plan by January 27, 2023.
According to sources, Secretaries of Finance Division, Ministry of National Food Security and Research and Power Division have been directed to finalise the financial proposal about solarisation of agri tube wells as an alternative to existing demand of farmers to allow subsidised electricity tariff under PMs Kissan Package by January 27, 2023. Once the proposal is approved, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Tariq Bashir Cheema will take the representatives of farmers on board for its implementation.
The Finance Division has been directed to release the funds for Government of Sindh from Account-1 for facilitation of flood affectees in Sindh.
The meeting has also taken the following decisions: (i) Minister for National Food Security & Research to coordinate with the provincial governments (Sindh and Punjab) to announce a coherent Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat crop for 2023. Furthermore, the MNFS&R to propose an independent mechanism for the determination of wheat MSP in future; (ii) Ministry of National Food Security and Research to coordinate with the Finance Division and provinces (Sindh and Balochistan) to prepare a utilisation plan of Rs 3.4 billion (allocated by the federal government for the provision of subsidised seeds in the flood-hit areas); (iii) The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been directed to provide MNFS&R district-wise disbursements data of subsidisedagri loans being offered under PM’s Kissan Package; (iv) Ministry of Industries and Production to share timelines and targets of new entrants under implementation of the import duty reduction SRO (No-2305 issued on December 28, 2022) for tractor manufacturers; (v) Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoI&B) and Ministry of National Food Security and Research to coordinate to immediately launch a media campaign about Prime Minister’s Kissan Package; (vi) The State Bank of Pakistan to instruct the participating banks to launch rigorous marketing campaign about various financing facilities being offered under the PM’s Kissan Package. Furthermore, MoI&B is to monitor the marketing campaign of banks and submit a regular progress report to the PM Office; (vii) Secretary Power Division and secretary NFS&R have been directed to coordinate to organise a workshop of relevant stakeholders to finalise the implementation modalities (financing, regulatory and administrative) proposed on the “solarisation of agriculture tube wells”; and (viii) Ministry of National Food Security and Research to invite potential foreign investors to deliberate and prepare a set of recommendation to enhance cotton crop production through GMO technology in Pakistan. The ministry will recommend participants’ names for establishing a committee to deliberate on policy decisions for setting an intervention price for oil seeds.