ISLAMABAD: The rate of inflation for 44 essential commodities including wheat, rice, pulses, meat, kitchen fuel and poultry products stood at nine per cent in April 2012, a special report by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) released on Wednesday said.
This is a comparatively smaller increase than the 15 per cent inflation recorded in the same month last year. However, the report noted that the overall rate of inflation over the last two years (April 2010-April 2012) went up by 25%.
This compared to the Pakistan government figures which noted inflation had risen by 10.8 per cent in the country. The figures by the Federal Bureau of Statistics though faced criticism least because of an alteration to the methodology used for calculating inflation just months into the fiscal year ending June 20, 2012.
A Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) special report, which will be released tomorrow (Thursday), said that since April 2010 its monitors have been observing the prices of 52 commodities on a monthly basis. The prices of commodities, whose quality and quantity are specified on standardised forms, are collected from outlets in 200 constituencies of 126 districts and tribal agencies across Pakistan on the 10th of every month.
This analysis is based on the prices of 44 commodities in locations common in April 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The observed commodities were categorised as pulses, fruits, dry fruit, poultry products, dairy items, meat, sweeteners, rice varieties, wheat, vegetables, kitchen fuels, cooked items, spices and condiments, medicines and medical services.
Tomatoes register highest increase
In 2012, tomatoes registered the highest inflation with their price increasing by 85 per cent over the year. Black gram and bananas followed with a hike of 40 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively. However, price of wheat grain saw no change. The biggest decrease was in the price of garlic that fell 45 per cent. Sugar and gur (jaggery) followed with a drop of 16 per cent each.
Wheat grain had registered an inflation of four per cent between 2010 and 2011, however, it managed to maintain an average price of Rs29 per kg from 2011 to 2012.
The observed rice varieties experienced an inflation rate of nine per cent in 2012.
All the monitored poultry products registered an increase in prices over the year. As compared to 2011, the inflation rate of eggs was seven per cent, chicken meat (24 per cent) and chicken (17 per cent). Compared to last year, the inflation rate of pulses was 14 per cent.
This report is based on prices collected from 81 constituencies in 58 districts across Pakistan. Of these, 33 constituencies were in 20 districts of Punjab, 22 constituencies in 16 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 19 constituencies in 15 of Sindh districts and seven constituencies in as many districts of Balochistan.