ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has claimed that out of the 35 per cent population of the country which had been affected by Covid-19, at least 33 per cent resumed their work after July 2020, indicating a sharp recovery.
The above was revealed during a meeting regarding the steps taken by PBS on designing a support system for inflation as well as the results of a special survey to evaluate the impact of Covid-19 on the wellbeing of people.
PBS officials said that, in Pakistan, approximately 55.74 million people were working before the onset of the pandemic, but due to the closure of business after the implementation of lockdowns, this number fell to 35.04 million.
During the meeting, which was chaired by Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, the PBS said that almost 20.76 million people had been affected, but there had been a considerable recovery.
It found that approximately 52.56 million people reported working after the period of April–July 2020.
The PBS added that the livelihood of 17.07 million households had been affected due to the restrictions and evidence suggested that if the strict lockdowns had continued, vulnerable groups of workers and their families could have suffered devastating impacts.
According to officials, in compliance with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of “Digital Pakistan”, PBS has developed a Decision Support System for Inflation (DSSI) which would enable the policymakers from the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) as well as the provincial governments and district administrations to take evidence-based policy decisions and address the causes of inflation in the country.
DSSI is designed to provide market-level information, city-wise comparisons of prices, time-series data at the commodity level and more. One of the salient features of DSSI is that it provides comparison of rates issued by the deputy commissioners and those collected by PBS on a weekly basis.
During the meeting, the federal minister appreciated the work of PBS and was of the view that the district administration plays a vital role in controlling price hikes by effective monitoring of markets.