News Desk |
The National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting was informed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 5.60 percent during Jul-September Fiscal Year 2018-19 compared to 3.39 percent of the same period last year. The Core inflation has increased by 8.0 percent in September 2018 as compared to 5.4 percent in the comparable month of last year.
The trend is alarming and signals a rising inflation in coming months. The committee observed the rising SPI trend over the last six weeks. The Weekly SPI which monitors the price movement of 53 essential items recorded an increase of 3.65 percent on 11th October 2018. The significant impact came from the increase in gas prices by 15.45 percent over the previous week.
The District Government will launch a campaign as and when necessary to stop hoarding of commodities for price manipulation.
The meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee was held on Wednesday at the Finance Division. Special Secretary Finance chaired the meeting. The chairman informed the forum that there is a lot of flux that characterizes the world economy at present; emerging markets are facing uncertainty. Their currencies have devalued significantly.
The Federal Reserve is raising the interest rate. After seeing a decade long zero rates it has surged 2.5 percent which is pushing dollar relative to other currencies. Oil prices have crossed $85 barrel and are estimated to hit $90.The rising inflation is a challenge. He urged the provincial governments to adhere to strict price monitoring and remain vigilant that no supply disruption of commodities in the markets takes place.
The main reason for the rise is the increase in international crude oil prices. A combination of factors– such as strong domestic demand, which is also visible from pressure on an external and fiscal side, the possible lagged impact of recent upward adjustment in gas prices, exchange rate depreciation– is contributing to the recent pickup in inflation.
The meeting also reviewed the prices of essential items in sasta bazaars and open markets and noted that the prices were significantly lower in sasta bazaars as compared to open markets. The chairman emphasized that in case if the provincial governments and other stakeholders see any shortage of essential consumer items they should immediately report to the NPMC so that the federal government takes appropriate measures. He also asked the Competition Commission of Pakistan to remain vigilant that no cartelization takes place.
It was also emphasized that Provincial Governments and ICT administration to extend the coverage of sasta or Sunday bazaars so that common man may get the commodities at a reasonable price.
The Provincial Governments will fully activate price monitoring and control mechanism at a district level and below to ensure price stability. The Provincial Governments and Federal Government will ensure the adequate supply of commodities to avoid supply disruption and consequent price hike.
The District Government will launch a campaign as and when necessary to stop hoarding of commodities for price manipulation. In case of any expected shortfall in the production of agriculture commodities, the relevant forum will be intimated for taking necessary action.
The provinces should focus on oilseed crops and pulses cultivation to reduce the import bill. It was also emphasized that Provincial Governments and ICT administration to extend the coverage of sasta or Sunday bazaars so that common man may get the commodities at a reasonable price.
The meeting was attended by the representatives from the Provinces of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Islamabad Capital Territory, Ministries of Industries, Law and Justice, Commerce, National Food Security and Research, Planning Development and Reforms, Inter-Provincial Coordination, Statistics Division, Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Utility Stores Corporation and Federal Board of Revenue.