ECC struggles to lower prices of essentials
ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has directed Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives (M/o PD&SI) Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to suggest viable measures to lower prices of essential items.
On May 8, 2023, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives briefed the ECC about the price statistics of essential and non-essential food items. It was noted that Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) was computed on weekly basis to assess the price movement of essential commodities at shorter interval of time in order to review the price situation in the country.
It was stated that SPI comprised 51 essential items collected from 50 markets in 17 cities of the country. SPI for the week ended on May 4, 2023 increased by over 1.05 per cent over the previous week and 48.35 per cent over previous year. During the week, price of 30 items had increased, 9 items decreased and 12 items remained unchanged.
The forum was briefed about the position of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It was highlighted that inflation in the country had increased, considerably.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) suggested measures required to be taken to lower inflation in the country. It was suggested that the meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) should be held regularly to review the prices of essential commodities in the country. Further, rigorous follow-up of the decision of the Committee is required to be taken to ensure their implementation.
It was informed that the government of Punjab had notified more than 300 sites for “Sasta Bazaar” to effective monitoring of essential commodities.
After detailed discussion on the summary presented by M/o PD&SI/ PBS titled “price statistics of essential and non-essential food items”, the ECC directed that after consultations with all concerned, to make a detailed presentation to the ECC on price hike or essential commodities with reasons and viable measures requited to be taken to lower the prices of the essential items.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023