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Tarin concerned over consistent rise in edible oil, ghee prices

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin expressed concern over the consistent rise in the prices of edible oil/ghee in domestic markets over the period of time.

In a meeting with the delegation of Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA), the finance minister urged PVMA to adopt market-based solutions and bring down prices in the domestic market in line with the international price trend.

If there is a slight dip in the international market, it must be reflected in the domestic prices so that the consumers get relief, amid the highly fluctuating edible oil market.

Finance Minister Tarin stressed the need to evaluate the whole situation rationally and urged PVMA to come up with a sustainable pricing mechanism in collaboration with the Ministry of Industries and Production and the Federal Board of Revenue.

The finance minister directed FBR chairman Asim Ahmad to assure expeditious disbursement of refunds to the importers of vegetable ghee/oil to ensure availability of funds.

Besides, he constituted a committee, comprising representatives of PVMA, secretary for Industries and Production Ministry and the FBR chairman to work out an arrangement for streamlining the collection of sales tax and a predictable pricing formula.

The PVMA chairman briefed the finance minister about the international hike in prices of palm and soyabean oils, particularly during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The international prices kept fluctuating between the range of $1,100 to $1,257/tonne and the domestic market drives rates from the prevailing international prices and the dollar value. The exchange rate also has a significant impact on edible oil prices in the country, he added.

The PVMA chairman assured full cooperation in providing maximum relief to the domestic consumers by absorbing the international pressure on prices in the edible oil sector.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, Ministry of Industries and Production secretary, FBR chairman and other senior officials participated in the meeting.

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