Finance Minister urges provinces for stabilizing prices of essential commodities

Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar has urged provinces to play their due role in improving social services, ensuring food security and stabilizing prices by minimizing gap between the whole-sale and retail prices of essential commodities.

She was speaking at a meeting held in a hybrid format on Wednesday with provincial finance ministers in attendance.

The Finance Minister further said policy and fiscal coordination between the federal and provincial governments is pivotal for the economic prosperity and sustainable growth. She underscored that there is a huge potential for rationalizing the public expenditure arrangements between the federal and provincial governments for promoting efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditure, as well as prioritization for speedy and smooth implementation of the projects under public sector development programs, with emphasis on social protection.

She underlined that the corrective measures in rationalizing the public expenditure arrangements between the federal and provincial governments would not only result in substantive savings but would also contribute in improving the effectiveness and implementation of the projects in the priority sectors of education and health.

While sensitizing the provincial finance Ministers regarding the expenditure and revenue targets in the current fiscal year, Dr. Akhtar encouraged the provincial governments to ensure achieving these targets, so that the primary budget deficit targets can be achieved.

The meeting was attended by the Chief Minister Sindh, Finance Ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, besides the Federal and provincial Finance Secretaries, Federal Secretary Planning, as well as senior government officials.

The meeting was aimed at reviewing the spending patterns of PSDP, controlling prices of essential commodities, enhancing quality of services in education and health sectors and providing relief to the general public by strengthening the social safety nets.

The meeting recommended that provinces to bring forward prioritization of various projects funded by the Federal Government which falls under the ambit of the provincial subjects following the devolution of power.

The Provinces assured that efforts are underway to control prices and improve quality of service in health and education sectors and to streamline financial discipline to meet budgetary targets.

Source: Radio Pakistan