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PBS report highlights increase in prices of food items amid COVID-19 lockdown

ISLAMABAD: Overall 16 commodities’ prices have witnessed an increase during the past week ending on April 16, showed a Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) report.

The report said that the sensitive price index (SPI) report of the week ending on April 16, recorded an increase of 0.15 percent over last week.

It further said that during the week, out of 51 items, prices of 16 items increased, eight commodities decreased while process of 27 food products remained unchanged.

The PBS report said that the increase was mainly due to a rise in prices of food items including pulse Masoor (8.01 percent), Chicken (4.90 percent), pulse Mash (4.45 percent), potatoes (4.39 percent), rice (3.31 percent), pulse Moong (1.22 percent) and tomatoes (1.01 percent) with joint impact of 0.20 into the overall SPI for combined group of (0.15 percent).

On the other hand, a decrease was observed in the prices of onions (9.07 percent), garlic (8.88 percent), eggs (4.80 percent), LPG (1.69 percent), wheat flour (1.38 percent), sugar (0.22 percent), mustard Oil (0.19 percent) and vegetable ghee 2.5kilogram pack (0.01 percent).

On March 30, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of government’s economic team and directed them to ensure availability of essential commodities across the country.

Imran Khan said that they were facing a situation that has never happened in the history and it is time to improve mobility of the government institutions to effectively fight coronavirus.

“The government will take measures to provide relief to the masses especially the low-income and poor segments,” he said adding that along with the pandemic, the government also faces challenge to fight poverty.

Imran Khan directed the economic team to keep a close eye on shortage of essential commodities country-wide and directed to establish a special committee comprising of federal and provincial officials aimed at reviewing food stocks on daily-basis.

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