ISLAMABAD: The federal capital emerged third after Balochistan and Sindh in terms of gap between actual prices of essential food items and rates fixed by the district administrations.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) ranks the provinces with Islamabad on a weekly basis. The exercise is aimed at highlighting issues of governance in controlling the prices.
The average gap of 20.25 per cent was recorded in Islamabad between market prices of food items and the rates fixed by district administration, followed by 16.41pc in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 15.28pc in Punjab.
The average price gap in Sindh is 38.69pc followed by 33.28pc in Balochistan.
The rankings reflect the performance of chief secretaries, who serve as the administrative heads of the provinces.
The gaps in prices have been worked out with the help of the Decision Support System for Inflation (DSSI), which reflects the failure of district administrations to enforce official prices.
The PBS has developed the DSSI to provide information about prices of essential commodities to the National Price Monitory Committee, federal ministries, provincial governments and district administrations.
Under city-wise rankings, eight cities retained their position as compared to last week, four cities improved their ranking while five cities declined in ranking.
The difference between the top and the last city was 75.85 points this week while for the last week this difference was 75.23 points.
In Sindh, Karachi retained its top position with an increase in differential of 1.55 points to 86.37pc this week from 84.82pc between consumer prices and rates fixed by the district administrations last week, followed by an increase in differential of 1.06 points from 33.39pc to 34.45pc in Khuzdar (Balochistan) and Hyderabad, with a decrease of 1.52 points to 25.7pc from 27.2pc.
A decrease of 5.05 points was noted in differential of prices in Sukkur from 21.8pc to 16.75pc. This shows that prices in the city fell in the last week.
In Punjab, the price differential remained much lower, as Bahawalpur maintained its position at the lowest rank with 10.52pc and a slight decrease of 0.93points from the previous week.
After Bahawalpur, the lowest gap was recorded in Sialkot with an increase of 0.4 points from 10.67pc to 11.07pc, followed by an increase of 0.59 point in Lahore to 11.07pc from 10.67pc, 1.28 points increase to 14.96pc from 13.68pc in Rawalpindi, 2.65points increase to 16.08pc from 13.43pc in Sargodha, increase of 0.62 points to 17.24pc from 16.62pc in Faisalabad and increase of 0.59pc to 20.35pc in Gujranwala. However, a decline of 0.08 point to 20.39pc was noted in Multan.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the gap declined by 0.39 point to 17.6pc in Peshawar and by 4.2 points to 15.21pc in Bannu.
In Balochistan, the gap was reported at 32.12pc in Quetta and at 34.45pc in Khuzdar. In Quetta, a slight increase of 0.44 point was reported, while in Khuzdar an increase of 1.06 points was noted in price gaps.
Last week, the ranking of districts showed an almost similar trend, with Karachi on the higher side. This showed that the district administration in the city has yet to enforce DC rates. After devolution of powers, price control falls within the jurisdiction of the provinces.
Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2021