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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the digital system launched by the government to monitor availability and prices of essential commodities would effectively help contain inflation besides ensuring transparency and greater efficiency in policy-making.

The Prime Minister expressed these views at a briefing given by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on policy-making system in view of rising inflation and adverse social and economic impact of coronavirus pandemic.

The Prime Minister was of the view that the digital system would help ensure accurate monitoring of prices of commodities and also evaluate the performance of district administrations. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, and Adviser on Commerce Razak Dawood.

The Member PBS informed the meeting that while keeping in view inflation in the country, a digital system has been prepared for the government decision-making, and under the system, prices of essential commodities would be collected from district level from across the country for a comparative analyses.

The meeting was further, informed that the system has been developed in accordance with prime minister’s ‘Digital Pakistan’ vision, with the objective of achieving timely decision making.

The system would provide prices statistics to the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), the federal ministries, and the provincial and district governments.

The prime minister said the system would effectively help monitor prices and performance of district administration.

The prime minister was also informed that data was gathered on measures taken to deal with coronavirus, health, food, remittances as well as incomes and employments.

As per the survey on adverse social and economic impacts of Covid-19, most of families’ economic conditions were badly affected during the initial period of the pandemic; however, timely measures and “smart lockdown” policy of the government had helped their economic sufferings.

The prime minister also chaired a meeting on sugar prices and availability of sugar in the country.

The meeting was informed that action has been started against people involved in undue profiteering; 79 people have been arrested, and 190 FIRs have been registered.

The prime minister directed that without any discrimination, action should be taken against hoarders and undue profiteers. The meeting was briefed by the chief secretary Punjab about sugarcane crop, its crushing season, and available stock of sugar in the province through a video link.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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