Sindh and Balochistan Most “Expensive” Provinces In Terms Of Market, Official Prices Of Food Items

Karachi retained its top position as the most expensive city in terms of the difference in gap between actual prices of essential food items and the rates fixed for the items by district administrations.

Char Minar Chowrangi, Bahadurabad, Karachi.

Sindh and Balochistan are the two most “expensive” provinces in the country regarding the gap between the actual prices of essential food items and the rates fixed for the items by district administrations.

This was revealed by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The average price gap between market prices of essential food items and the rates fixed by district administrations in Punjab is 14.41%.

Moreover, the average price gap is 18.7% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 21.03% in Islamabad.

In contrast, the average price gap in Sindh is a whopping 40.32%, followed by a slightly better 32.53% in Balochistan.

The gaps in prices have been worked out with the help of the Decision Support System for Inflation (DSSI), which reflects the various district administrations’ failure to enforce official prices.

One of the reasons behind a lower gap in Punjab prices is the presence there of an effective mechanism for monitoring.

The deputy commissioners in the province also collect data on prices via particular branches, and Punjab Urban Unit also provides relevant information.

“Collection of information from multiple sources, including PBS, has enabled district governments in Punjab to monitor prices effectively,” the source said.

City-wise rankings.

Bolton Market, Karachi.

In Sindh, Karachi retained its top position with a decrease in the differential of 4.28 points to 89.1% this week from 84.82% between consumer prices and DC rates last week.

The metropolis was followed by a decrease in the differential of 7.02 points from 40.41% to 33.39% in Khuzdar; and Hyderabad, with a decrease of 1.82 points to 27.47% from 29.29%.

A decrease of 17.41 points was noted in the differential of prices in Sukkur from 39.21% to 21.8%.

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 9.59% and a slight decrease of 0.42 points from the previous week.

After Bahawalpur, the lowest gap was recorded in Sialkot with a decrease of 0.95 points from 11.62% to 10.67%, followed by a 0.28-point decline in Lahore to 10.75% from 11.03%, 0.55 points increase to 13.43% from 12.88% in Sargodha and an increase of 0.77 points to 16.62% in Faisalabad.

An increase of 0.11% to 19.76% in Gujranwala and 0.06 points to 20.47% was noted in Multan.

However, a decline of 0.87 points to 13.68% was recorded in Rawalpindi.

Meanwhile, an increase of 0.29 points to 21.03% was reported in the federal capital.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the gap declined by 0.45 points to 17.99% in Peshawar and by 0.31 points to 19.41% in Bannu.

In Balochistan, the gap was reported at 31.68% in Quetta and 33.39% in Khuzdar.

In Quetta, a slight increase of 1.6 points was reported, while in Khuzdar, a massive decline of 7.02 points was noted in price gaps.

The DSSI provides a ranking mechanism for districts via which the management at the provincial and federal levels can monitor the price variation weekly and monthly in 17 major cities.

Last week, the districts’ ranking 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 the devolution of powers to the provinces, price control falls within the four provinces’ jurisdiction.

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