Minister seeks report on inflation monitoring system

weekly inflation in Pakistan latest update

WEB DESK: Caretaker Minister for Planning, Muhammad Sami Saeed, has called upon the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to furnish a comprehensive report on the active utilisation of the Decision Support System on Inflation (DSSI).

This directive came during his chairmanship of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting, aimed at scrutinising essential commodity prices.

The DSSI, a crucial tool for monitoring the prices of edibles and combating profiteering and hoarding, includes the distinctive feature of comparing rates issued by Deputy Commissioners with those collected by the PBS on a weekly basis.

Minister Saeed, while presiding over the meeting, also directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to engage with the Pakistan Poultry Association. The objective is to identify and address supply issues related to poultry products.

In addition to this, the minister urged provincial governments and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration to ensure the smooth availability of essential items.

The emphasis is particularly on gearing up for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan. He has requested a detailed report on the demand and supply situation of specific commodities, crucial during the fasting month.

During the meeting, the Chief Statistician of PBS presented a comprehensive overview of the country’s price situation for the week ending on January 11, 2024.

The Sensitive Price Index (SPI) witnessed a 1.4 per cent increase over the previous week and surged to 44.2 per cent compared to the corresponding week of the previous year.

The Chief Statistician attributed the spike in SPI to perishable items such as tomatoes, onions, and poultry products like chicken and eggs.

He revealed that during the week, prices of 21 items increased, eight items witnessed a decrease, and prices of 22 items remained stable.

Highlighting specific fluctuations, the Chief Statistician mentioned a decline in the prices of food items such as potatoes, vegetable ghee, and sugar. Conversely, the prices of tomatoes, onions, chicken, eggs, and electricity experienced an increase.

Concerned about the widening gap between wholesale and retail prices, Minister Saeed inquired about the measures taken by provincial governments and the ICT administration.

In response, representatives from the provincial Food and Industries Departments of Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assured that strict monitoring had been implemented.

This includes imposing heavy fines, conducting raids, and sealing shops engaged in profiteering.

The NPMC meeting concluded with a commitment to continued vigilance and proactive measures to ensure price stability and curb any irregularities in the market.

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