ISLAMABAD: Due to the increase in food inflation, the average monthly inflation rate as per the consumer price index (CPI) remained at 8.7 percent during July-April, 2013-14 against 7.7 percent during the same period in the last fiscal year.
The Economic Survey 2013-14, which was launched on Monday, has shown that the food inflation on average basis in July-April, 2013-14, is estimated at 9.3 percent and non-food at 8.2 percent, as against 7.1 percent and 8.2 percent in the corresponding period last fiscal. However, due to certain measures taken by the government the CPI food items have shown a declining trend in prices of gram pulse, mash pulse, vegetable ghee, cooking oil and mustard oil.
Whereas, the core inflation has declined on average basis during July-April, 2013-14, at 8.3 percent against 9.9 percent during last year, the finance minister said, while launching the survey report, that during the first half of current fiscal year, the State Bank of Pakistan reversed its policy stance from accommodative to tight. The Economic Survey said that the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) during July-April, 2013-14, on annual average basis has recorded an increase of 8.3 percent against 7.9 percent last year.
It may be noted that present trend of inflation has the combined impact of the increase in GST and reduction in subsidies on fuel and electricity prices. The government figures suggest that since the impact of adjustment has already been realised and further stability and appreciation of Pak rupee will mitigate any increasing trend in global commodity and fuel prices, these would help in easing the inflationary pressure and this trend will further help in bringing it closer to the inflation target.
While the wholesale prices of most of the items increased in the year the prices of food and non-food items, whose prices decreased from previous year are spices, pulses, vegetable ghee, other oil seed, furnace oil, synthetic carpets, radio and television related items. The weekly inflation monitor SPI recorded an increase of 9.8 percent during July-April, 2013-14 against 7.9 percent last year.
However, the government figures shows that the average weekly inflation has been contained during the current fiscal year due to better supply position of major and minor crops, and regular monitoring of prices and supply chain by the National Price Monitoring Committee. The National Price Monitoring Committee is chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and it monitor prices of essential commodities in consultation with the provincial governments and relevant federal ministries, divisions and organisation.
The government is cognisant of the inflationary pressure and is taking various measures like the ECC reviews inflationary trend and prices of essential commodities in its meeting on regular basis. National Price Monitoring Committee also monitors the prices of essential commodities in consultation with provincial governments and federal ministries/ divisions and organisations concerned. The provincial governments have also activated their District Price Control Committees to check and maintain price stability and to establish more Sasta Bazaars for the consumers where they can get essential food items at reasonable rates.
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