Pakistan bureau of Statics (PBS) has released a report on the prices of essential consumers ‘goods, showing an unprecedented increase in the price food commodities such as wheat flour, sugar, tea leaves, pulses, rice, beef and mutton, broiler chicken, eggs and vegetables. However, making 2016 as base year and excluding the hikes in electricity and gas tariffs and in prices of petroleum products make the official figures about inflation rate unreliable. Prior to changing base year these services and commodities were included while calculating inflation rate on the basis of relevant indices.
The primary driver for rising inflation during the past 12 years is the manipulative tactics of cartels in which political elite have maximum stakes. In previous PPP government Competitive Commission of Pakistan was made dysfunctional to allow cartels to restrict supply to the market by eliminating perfect competition ther. It explains the reason for the shortages of food commodities in previous years and in the current year. The report submitted to the Prime Minister on wheat crisis points to among other factors to the political pressure as well. Cartelization of the economy by the towering political figures and business tycoons must be dismantled if relief is to be given to masses.