The federal government has issued an order to control the prices of 50 items including sugar, wheat, milk, meat and pulses in the country and to stop profiteering and hoarding. The Ministry of Industries and Production, after the approval of the federal cabinet, issued a notification of Order 2021 under the Price Control, Profiteering and Prevention of Stockpiling Act, 1977, which will come into force immediately.
Under the order, the powers of the controller general have been given to the provincial secretaries of industry, the concerned secretaries in the federation, the Islamabad’s secretary home and the concerned deputy commissioners. The authority to set sugar and wheat prices has been given to the secretary and the Federal Ministry of National Food Security.
The secretary of the concerned ministry or division at the federal level will have the power to fix the prices of 15 items including edible oil, tea, meat, cement, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, tractors, fruit juices, beverages, face masks, oxygen cylinders and hand sanitisers. Similarly, the power to fix the prices of 33 items including milk, onions, tomatoes, pulses, meat, eggs, bread, bread and salt has been given to the secretary industry at the provincial level while to the extent of Islamabad to the home secretary and the concerned deputy commissioners will have these powers.
According to the notification, the controller general of prices will also have the authority to summon records of monthly or timely reports from importers, dealers and producers. The controller general will have the power to search and enter suo motu, within the limits of the trade association. The controller general has also been given the power to seek records from the FBR, SECP and the Competition Commission for assistance and pricing.
Kamran Nazir Malik is a law graduate and master in Economics. He is associated with TLTP News Wire Service as correspondent since 2018.