Islamabad: After taking Oath of Office, the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat (Fayyaz Ahmed) Tarin held an introductory meeting with Secretary Planning, Development & Special Initiatives/ Chief Statistician, to evaluate the current techniques of data collection and analysis used by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The Chief Statistician gave a detailed briefing to the new Minister on evidence based data collection techniques followed by the Bureau in compiling figures particularly for CPI and SPI. The Minister appreciated the technology based data gathering techniques followed by the Bureau after doing away with the paper based approach and directed them to follow such methods that could further assist in making the data more objective, targeted and authentic for the purpose of comparison and analysis. 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 that addressing the root cause of inflation with devising a new hierarchy of administrative control will provide the most needed relief to the masses.
The Finance Minister assigned the PBS to adopt a practice of regularly comparing the difference in wholesale and retail prices of essential food items in different districts across the country. PBS will highlight the difference in prices in different provinces as well. The Minister said that the data if available on real time basis on the PBS dash-board will help in maintaining the strategic reserves of the essential commodities across the country. The meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee is expected to take place within a week’s time and PBS will share its data analysis report in the upcoming meeting of NPMC.
The meeting was attended by SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, Member PBS Muhammad Sarwar Gondal, Economic Adviser Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad and senior officials of Finance Division.