The cash-strapped government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to roll back the prices of naan and roti across Pakistan, media reports said on Wednesday, amid the public discontent against rising prices of essential commodities.
Pakistan is facing a serious economic crisis with short supplies of foreign currency reserves and stagnating growth. The International Monetary Fund this month approved a USD 6 billion loan over a period of three years for Pakistan to allow the country to return to sustainable growth and improve the living standards of the people.
As Pakistan has initiated steps to implement tough economic reforms, the prices of petrol, gas and other essential food items have increased, hitting the common man.
Currently, naan is selling at Rs 12 to Rs 15 in different cities of Pakistan. However, before an increase in the gas tariff and rates of wheat flour, naan price ranged between Rs 8 and Rs 10. Similarly, roti is available at Rs 10 to Rs 12 while its previous rate was Rs 7 to Rs 8, the Dawn report said.
Taking note of the public discontent, the federal Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Khan decided on Tuesday to bring down prices of naan and roti to their previous rates throughout the country, the reports said.
Mr Khan, taking stock of the increasing prices of naan and roti, decided to take immediate steps to revert them to their original rates, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.
She said besides the Cabinet meeting the prime minister also presided over a meeting on gas tariff and rates of naan and roti.
She said the prime minister also called a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday. The meeting is aimed at reducing the gas tariff, especially for Tandoorwalas, and cutting the price of Atta (wheat flour) and duties on it.
The IMF forecasts Pakistan's economic growth will slow to 2.9 per cent this fiscal year from 5.2 per cent in 2018. In February, the State Bank of Pakistan, the country's central bank had only USD 8 billion left in foreign reserves.