ISLAMABAD  – Despite experiencing inflationary pressure in the region, Pakistan has managed to contain inflation rate within single digit which is lower than the regional countries including India and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan’s year on year inflation rate (Consumer Price Index) registered an increase of 7.9 per cent in December 2012 as compared to same period of last year.  While in India, the CPI was registered at 9.2 per cent followed by Sri Lanka 9.2 per cent and in Bangladesh, the CPI increased by 7.2 per cent (October 2012), the official sources told this news agency. The price comparison of essential consumer items prevailing on December 27, 2012 in Pakistan as compared to neighboring countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan indicates that prices of wheat, wheat flour, rice, sugar and red chillies were found lower in Pakistan than other regional countries.

Currently the wheat flour is being sold at the rate of Rs 34.5 in Islamabad while its price in New Delhi (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Kabul (Afghanistan) is Rs 37.6, Rs 49.6, Rs 132.5 and Rs 54 per kilogram respectively. The rate of sugar in Islamabad, New Delhi, Dhaka, Colombo and Kabul is Rs 58.8, Rs 71.2, Rs 68.5, Rs 89 and Rs 90 per kg respectively.

Similarly Rice is being sold at Rs 114.1, Rs 163, Rs 188.8, Rs 132.5 and Rs 171 per kg in Islamabad, New Delhi, Dhaka, Colombo and Kabul respectively. The prices of Mutton and beef in Islamabad, New Delhi, Dhaka, Colombo and Kabul are Rs 565 and Rs 280, Rs 543 and Rs 273, Rs 531 and Rs 318, Rs 883 and Rs 412 and Rs 679 and Rs 540 respectively.

The sources added that the petrol price in Pakistan is lower than in India and Bangladesh as the petrol is being sold at Rs 102.65, Rs 120.07 and Rs 108.85 respectively in Pakistan India and Bangladesh. The price of diesel in Pakistan however is higher as compared to the regional countries. The diesel price is Rs 109.77, Rs 84.2 and Rs 74.61 in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh respectively.

According to the sources the government has constituted the National Price Monitoring Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary Finance. The Committee is mandated to review the price and supply position of essential items in consultation with provincial governments and concerned Federal Ministries and Divisions.