After taking the Oath of Office, the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Fayyaz Ahmed Tarin, held an introductory meeting with the Secretary Planning, Development and Special Initiatives and the 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 that are followed by the PBS in compiling figures, particularly for the CPI and the SPI.
Minister Tarin appreciated the technology-based data gathering techniques that the PBS follows after doing away with the paper-based approach, and directed it to follow methods that will 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 that will be introduced in the system to make it more comprehensive. Minister Tarin said that addressing the root cause of inflation by devising a new hierarchy of administrative control will provide much-needed relief to the masses.
He tasked the PBS with adopting a practice of regularly comparing the difference in the wholesale and retail prices of essential food items in different districts across the country. The PBS will also highlight the differences in the prices in different provinces.
The minister said that the data, if available on a real-time basis on the PBS dashboard, will help to maintain the strategic reserves of the essential commodities across the country.
The meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee is expected to take place within a week, and the PBS will share its data analysis report in the upcoming meeting of the NPMC.
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.