ISLAMABAD: A day after deciding to bring down prices of ‘Naan’ and ‘Roti’ to their previous rates throughout the country, the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government on Wednesday asked provincial administrations to reduce the cost of these food items to pre-June 30 levels.

The move seems to be an attempt to pacify disgruntled masses, who have been blaming the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government for hike in prices of cooking gas, fuel, electricity and food items among other things.

Currently, a piece of ‘naan’ costs Rs 12 to Rs 15 and ‘Roti’ Rs 10 to Rs 12 in different parts of Pakistan. Prior to increase in gas tariff and rates of wheat flour, the price of ‘naan’ ranged between Rs 8 and Rs 10 and ‘Roti’ Rs 7 and Rs 8.

“Prime minister Imran Khan has taken strict notice of the increase in the price of bread and ordered that previous prices of ‘naan’ and ‘Roti’ be restored. He has directed the economic coordination committee (ECC) to take measures in this regard,” said Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Khan’s special assistant on information.

Soon after Khan’s directive, the ECC on Wednesday approved measures to bring down naan/Roti prices by revising gas prices for Roti Tandoors. The ECC earmarked Rs 1.51 billion to subsidise such gas connections. Directing the provincial governments to restore the previous rates, the committee warned that the federal government would withdraw subsidy if the prices were not slashed.

According to ECC’s decision, a detailed survey of Tandoors across the country will be carried out to ensure that the benefit of revision in gas tariff is applicable to standalone Tandoors or roadside restaurants catering to the poor. No undue benefit will be passed on to the Tandoors in hotels or larger restaurants, which are to be treated as commercial gas connections.

The ECC also reviewed a report on the price of wheat. According to the report, the price has been reduced by Rs 50-60 per 40kg after a ban on its export.