Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Weekly inflation up 3.3 per cent on hike in fuel prices

ISLAMABAD: Inflation as measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) has risen by 3.38 per cent over the previous week, mainly due to the rise in prices of petroleum products so far, according to data released by Pakistan’s Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday. has the highest growth.

The increase in weekly inflation is the highest since the change in the base year for measuring SPI. Petrol and diesel prices were hiked by Rs 84 and Rs 115 per liter respectively, while electricity rates were hiked by 50 per cent.

During the week under review, the year-on-year growth in SPI stood at 27.82 per cent.

Taking to social media platform Twitter, former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said, “Despite hike in petrol/diesel prices by Rs 84/115 per litre, 50 pc in electricity/electricity prices, you have not been able to satisfy IMF Huh. The latest economic survey released by your government confirms our strong economic performance, so stop blaming us and improve your government’s performance.

In another tweet, Mr Tarin said, “The hike in petrol/diesel/electricity prices so far has affected households. Don’t know how they will cope with this and the coming inflation tsunami.” His post contained a graph of the basic monthly budget of a four-member family which increased to around Rs 13,000 from March 31, 2022.

In the basket, Mr. Tarin mentioned the use of petrol in the motorcycle, electricity bills, food without meat, school fees, etc. “I am worried about how a poor man in Pakistan will survive in this situation,” he said.

The government has already announced in the budget that it will revive sales tax on petroleum products as well as levy petroleum development duty in a phased manner.

The government in budget documents projected an annual nominal inflation target of 11.5pc for FY13. However, the Federal Board of Revenue, which uses inflation as one of the measures to collect additional taxes from consumers, has estimated inflation at 12.8 pc.

Mr. Tarin estimated annual inflation to be between 25 per cent and 30 per cent.

Soon after coming to power, the new government dissolved the dedicated National Price Monitoring Committee, headed by the finance minister, while the provinces were represented by provincial chief secretaries. The committee meets every Monday to monitor the prices of essential food items.

Data from PBS shows that the prices of 36 essential food items increased during the week under review compared to the previous week.

Price of Chicken 12.10 Pcs, Potato 6.89 Pcs, Cooked Lentils 5.90 Pcs, Dal Chana 5.29 Pcs, Cooked Beef 5.19 Pcs, Vegetable Ghee 4.95 Pcs, Bread Plain 4.37 Pcs, Dal Masoor 3.50 Pcs, Cooking Oil 2.87 Pcs, Lentil Mash Key Price 1.7 pcs, beef with bone 1.50 pcs. Other food items like rice, pulses and milk also saw an increase in prices.

In non-food items, high speed diesel rose by 28.91 per cent, gents sponge slippers 26.76 per cent, gents sandals 15.40 per cent, petrol by 11.43 per cent, electricity duty by 6.60 per cent and cigarettes by 6.27 per cent.

SPI increased by 2.85 per cent for the lowest income group (i.e., those earning less than Rs 17,732 per month) and 3.10 per cent for the group with monthly income above Rs 44,175.

Published in Dawn, June 18, 2022

Nation World News Desk
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