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Price stability promised: Dar says economy starts picking up

Price stability promised: Dar says economy starts picking up

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that all macroeconomic indicators are reflecting positive direction, showing that the economy has started picking up.

“Remittances have increased by 11 percent; revenues up by 17 percent, exports by 6 percent and rupee appreciated by 7 percent and foreign exchange reserve are also improving,” he elaborated on, adding that the impact of rupee appreciation would be realised in the prices.

Chairing the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting, the Finance Minister claimed that price stability throughout the country was always the top priority of the government. He said there were signs of improvement in the economy and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in second review acknowledged that economic growth was picking up and inflation was coming down.

He informed that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had reported that appreciation of rupee value had led manufacturers to decrease their prices.

Dar urged the provincial governments to take more proactive steps to control the prices and ensure to pass on benefits of rupee appreciation to the masses.

He also advised the provincial governments to make functional the Consumer Protection Courts and Consumer Protection Society and also create awareness among the common man.

The meeting also reviewed the inflationary trend of various indicators including the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Food, Non-Food, Core, Wholesale Price index (WPI), Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) and Index of 28 selected essential items.

The meeting was informed that inflation measured by CPI was recorded at 7.9pc during February 2014, similarly SPI and WPI also reported at 7.5pc and 7.6pc respectively, whereas inflation in food items is reported at 7.6pc, non-food 8.2pc and core at 7.8pc.

The SPI for the week ended on March 20, 2014 recorded increase of 0.42pc due to increase in prices of 17 commodities, while prices of seven items decreased and prices of 29 items remained stable as compared to last week.

The meeting noted that inflation (CPI) was declining as it was 10.9pc in November 2013 and in January and February it has came down to 7.9pc.

The meeting also observed that in comparison with the regional countries, Pakistan is lowest in prices of petrol, wheat, wheat flour, sugar, chicken farm, moong pulse and second lowest in rice basmati broken, eggs, red chillies, mutton, mash pulse, gram pulse, masoor pulse, milk fresh and vegetable ghee.