ISLAMABAD, Oct 5: The Sensitive Price Index-based inflation slightly lowered by 0.73 per cent for the week ending October 4, 2012 as compared to previous week largely driven by fall in perishable food items.

The declining trend in the inflation is mainly driven by deceleration in prices of onion, potatoes, tomatoes, sugar and pulses etc., during the week under review, suggested data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) released on Friday.

With better weather condition, the arrival of food items has started resultantly easing out the prices of essential commodities.

As a result, out of 53 items, prices of 6 items registered increase while prices of 20 items decreased and prices of 27 items remain unchanged as compared to the previous week.

An official report of the PBS observed that in comparison with the regional countries, Pakistan is the lowest in prices of wheat, wheat flour, rice, sugar, red chillies and chicken farm.

Also Pakistan is the second lowest in moong pulse, masoor pulse and beef, while prices of mash pulses, onion, tomato, potato, diesel, tea, edible oil, DAP and urea are higher in Pakistan in comparison to regional countries.

For the lowest income group up to Rs8,000, the SPI witnessed a decrease of 0.53 per cent during the week under review over the previous week.

The highest decrease in inflation was recorded in the top income group of Rs35,000 and above as inflation for this group decreased 0.88 per cent over the previous week.

However, as compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined group in the week under review witnessed an increase of 6.41 per cent.

The food and non-food items which registered nominal increase in their prices were egg 5.26 percent, LPG 11 kg cylinder 1.36 per cent, bread plain 0.52 per cent, rice basmati broken 0.44 per cent, long cloth 0.41 per cent and garlic 0.25 per cent.

The PBS report observed that population growth rate in Pakistan is 2.03 per cent, whereas animal growth rate is 3.7 per cent, so we have surplus animals for export. However, despite the surplus the price of meat is on the rise in major cities of the country.

To control the prices of items in local markets, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has assigned the first class magistrate power to all district food controllers to maintain price stability in the province.

Punjab government has appointed 352 magistrates in the province to control the price situation and they have collected approximately Rs600, 000 fines from the shopkeepers who were violating the price list.

Balochistan government is also making efforts on multi directions for consumer protection and consumer courts are working in the province and in Sindh special magistrates are appointed to check the price and supply position of the consumer items.

The items prices of which declined are onions, chicken, petrol, bananas, tomatoes, lawn, potatoes, kerosene, gur, moong pulse washed, vegetable ghee (loose), masoor pulse washed, mustard oil, red chillies powdered loose, wheat flour, sugar, gram pulse washed, rice (Irri-6), diesel and mash pulse washed.

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