ISLAMABAD: Inflation measured through Sensitive Price Index (SPI) edged up for the 12 consecutive week recording the second highest increase of 1.31 per cent for the combined group for the period ended on Sept 16 driven by an uptick in prices of essential food items, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Friday.

For the lowest income group earning below Rs17,732 per month, the SPI increased by 0.77pc and for the group earning above Rs44,175, it rose by 1.36pc.

This was mainly due to an increase in prices of essential items including electricity charges for 7.23pc, diesel 4.37pc, petrol 4.19pc, chicken 3.40pc, eggs 3.10pc, LPG 2.58pc, washing soap 2.43pc, tea Lipton 1.73pc, cooking oil 5 litre 1.43pc, Georgette 1.35pc and sugar 1.23pc.

The items whose prices decreased during the week included tomatoes 18.59pc, onions 7.22pc, bananas 4.92pc, potatoes 3.90pc, pulse moong 2.24pc, garlic 1.53pc, pulse gram 1.20pc, rice Irri 1.05pc, pulse mash 0.85pc and pulse masoor 0.03pc.

During the week, out of 51 items, prices of 22 items increased 10 items decreased and 19 items remained constant.

Over the rising domestic food prices, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin held a meeting with the Special Assistant on Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema on Friday.

Mr Tarin said government is taking steps to maintain strategic reserves of wheat, sugar and pulses.

Direct subsidy is being provided to 12.5 million households which is roughly equivalent to 40pc of the total population in the country on four essential food commodities.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2021

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