Shamshad Akhtar urges provinces to stabilize prices of essential commodities


Shamshad Akhtar – the Caretaker Federal Minister for Finance – has urged provinces to play their due role in improving social services, ensuring food security, and stabilizing prices by minimizing the gap between the wholesale and retail prices of essential commodities.

According to the media reports, Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar made these remarks while speaking at a meeting held in a hybrid format with provincial finance ministers in attendance. She said policy and fiscal coordination between the federal and provincial governments is pivotal for economic prosperity and sustainable growth.

The Interim Finance Minister emphasized that there is a great deal of room for streamlining the agreements between the federal and provincial governments regarding public expenditure in order to promote efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditure and to establish priorities for the quick and painless implementation of projects under public sector development programs with a focus on social protection. She emphasized that the corrective actions taken to rationalize the public expenditure agreements between the federal and provincial governments would not only result in significant savings but would also help to improve the effectiveness and execution of the projects in the priority sectors of education and health.

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Dr. Akhtar urged the provincial governments to ensure meeting these goals in order to meet the primary budget deficit targets while educating the provincial finance ministers on the expenditure and income targets for the current fiscal year.

Senior government officials, including the Chief Minister of Sindh, the Finance Ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, the Federal and Provincial Secretaries of Finance, and the Federal Secretary of Planning, attended the meeting. The meeting’s objectives included analyzing PSDP expenditure trends, regulating the cost of necessities, raising the standard of services provided in the fields of education and health, and relieving the general people by bolstering social safety nets.

Following the devolution of authority, the summit proposed that the provinces establish priorities for the many projects sponsored by the federal government that fell under their purview. The Provinces provided assurances that initiatives are being taken to reduce costs, enhance service quality in the health and education sectors, and restructure financial discipline to fulfill budgetary goals.

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