The Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has instructed the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives (M/o PD&SI) and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to propose effective measures for reducing the prices of essential goods.

On May 8, 2023, the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives provided the ECC with an overview of the price statistics for essential and non-essential food items. It was highlighted that the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) is calculated on a weekly basis to monitor the price fluctuations of essential commodities more frequently and assess the overall price situation in the country.

The SPI consists of 51 essential items collected from 50 markets across 17 cities in Pakistan. For the week ending on May 4, 2023, the SPI increased by more than 1.05 percent compared to the previous week and by 48.35 percent compared to the previous year. During that week, the prices of 30 items rose, 9 items experienced a decrease, and 12 items remained unchanged.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has proposed a set of measures to address inflation and reduce prices in the country. One of the recommendations is to regularly convene meetings of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) to review the prices of essential commodities.

It was emphasized that a diligent follow-up on the decisions made by the committee is necessary to ensure their effective implementation. In response, the ECC has instructed the relevant stakeholders to conduct consultations and prepare a comprehensive presentation for the ECC, outlining the causes of price hikes in essential commodities and suggesting viable measures to lower their prices.

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