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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin, on Monday, assumed the charge of Finance Ministry and received a detailed briefing from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) officials on evidence-based data collection techniques for compiling monthly and weekly inflation any trends and other statistics.

Soon after assuming the office, the finance minister held an introductory meeting with Secretary Planning, Development and Special Initiatives/Chief Statistician.

Sources said the finance minister had also chaired an internal meeting with the officials of the ministry.

The Finance Ministry emphasised that addressing the root-cause of inflation with devising a new hierarchy of administrative controls would provide the much-needed relief to the masses, and directed the PBS to adopt a practice of regularly comparing the difference in wholesale and retail prices of essential food items that are obtained from all the country's.

The PBS will also be required to highlight the difference in prices in different provinces as well, he directed.

The chief statistician gave a detailed briefing to the new minister on evidence-based data collection techniques that it follows to compile figures, particularly those for Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Sensitive Price Index (SPI).

The minister appreciated bureaus latest approach to data gathering and directed them to follow such methods that could further assist in making the data more objective, targeted and authentic for the purpose of comparisons and analyses.

The chief statistician also apprised the minister of the changes they are about to introduce in the system to make it more comprehensive.

The minister said if data is made available on the PBS dash-board on real-time basis would help in maintaining the strategic reserves of the essential commodities across the country.

The meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) was expected to take place within a week's and the PBS would share its data analysis report in its (NPMC's) upcoming meeting.

The meeting was attended by the SAPM on Revenue, Dr Waqar Masood, Member PBS Muhammad Sarwar Gondal, Economic Adviser Dr Imtiaz Ahmad, and senior officials of the Finance Division.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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