The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) reviewed the prices of essential commodities on Friday and directed the relevant stakeholders to maintain food prices to provide relief to the common man. The NPMC meeting was chaired by the Caretaker Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Muhammad Sami Saeed. Chief Economist, Dr Nadeem Javaid moderated the meeting. Meeting was attended by the Chief Statistician from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), representatives from all provinces, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Ministry of Food Security & Industries, and other relevant stakeholders. Since the interim government came into power, the Prime Minister has focused on providing maximum relief to the common man. In this regard, several steps are being taken. The meeting observed that the prices of a few commodities increased last week, leading to the decision to hold NPMC meetings on a weekly basis to monitor prices and provide relief to the masses. “Immediate measures need to be taken to control abnormal gaps in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and wholesale price index (WPI),” remarked the Caretaker Planning Minister, Sami Saeed, during the NPMC meeting. During the meeting, PBS officials presented the price and inflation data, while representatives from Punjab, KP, Sindh, and Balochistan apprised the forum on the current production and supply of wheat, sugar, and other essential commodities, which remained satisfactory. The Minister emphasized zero tolerance against hoarders and profiteers, directing the Provincial governments to engage their respective Commissions, Deputy Commissioners, and Magistrates against hoarders. The Committee also directed the Provincial government to establish Sasta Bazaars to provide maximum relief to the people. The meeting also highlighted the importance of minimizing the price difference between wholesale and retail items. Relevant stakeholders were directed to reduce this difference to maximize relief for the common man. The NPMC meetings will take place on a weekly basis, with PBS sharing its data analysis report in every meeting. The Minister directed the concerned stakeholders, particularly the provincial government, to closely monitor the price index. The Committee also asked the Government of Sindh to apprise the forum regarding the whole sale and retail Price differentials in forthcoming meeting. The Provincial Governments to design release strategy for timely release of wheat to achieve the objective of price stability. Furthermore, given the stark differences between retail and wholesale prices of the essential items especially those of perishable items, Provincial Governments and ICT are required to tight the price monitoring and devise mechanism to curtail the differential in prices beside check on hoarding and profiteering activities (inflationary pressure is anticipated to spike in view of the fuel price adjustment and increasing international prices of crude oil, soya bean oil and palm oil). The provincial Chief Secretaries were asked to participate in forthcoming meetings to make the forum more effective with desirable outcome.