ISLAMABAD

The month-wise reduction in oil prices has helped decrease food inflation to 3 percent and non-food 4.5 percent as compared to 7.2 percent and 8.4 percent in same month last year.

The headline inflation measured by Consumers Price Index (CPI) is on downward trajectory, as in January this year it has come down to 3.9 percent as compared to 7.9 percent last year.

Official sources at Finance Division on Sunday said the trend has been witnessed owing to measures adopted by the government to reduce prices of consumers’ commodities in the country in view of reduction in oil prices.

In response to these measures, the Sensitive Price Indicators (SPIs), which monitor prices of 53 essential commodities, has also witnessed declining trend consecutively for the last six weeks.

The sources said the other step was that the Prime Minister wrote letters to provincial chief ministers to extend benefit of reduction of oil prices to people by lowering transportation fares and the prices of essential commodities.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) also reviewed inflationary trend, prices and supply of essential commodities in its meetings on regular basis. National Price Monitoring Committee chaired by Finance Minister is also monitoring prices and supply position of essential commodities in consultation with provincial governments and concerned Federal Ministries Divisions and organisation on monthly basis.

Pakistan Railways  reduced the normal freight by 5 percent across the board and it has also reduced fares by 5 percent for the trains including Bolan Mail, Bahauddin Zakaria Express, Fareed Express and Sukkur Express and 3 percent fares of Allam Iqbal Express, Awam Express, Karachi Express, Millat Express, Akbar Bugti Express and Jaffer Express. Moreover, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) reduced fares for various destinations. Umrah fares has been reduced by Rs.7,900 while 10 percent discount has been offered in economy class fares.

Similarly, 25 percent discount has been offered on business class from New York, 20 percent discount offered in market for Torronto and upto 50 percent discount offered on business class fares from Pakistan to Europe, United Kingdom and North Americas.

 The provincial governments are also taking appropriate measures to monitor prices and ensuring smooth supply of commodities so that the benefits of the reduction in oil prices be passed on to the common man.