The Decision Support System for Inflation (DSSI) is the new mechanism through which PM Imran Khan
has instructed the government to keep a check on inflationary trends in the country. Through the
surveillance of the prices of commodities, and evaluating individual performances of Deputy
Commissioners (DC), creating data-driven policies becomes much easier. Given that the prospects of this
method seem promising, it is important for the authorities to create an elaborate structure that is void
of loopholes and inefficiencies.
The DSSI is set to target 17 major cities in the first wave. The information retrieved is then expected to
provide information about the market, allow for inter-city comparisons to be made and enable DCs to
be ranked in accordance to their implementation success. Not only will this empower bodies like the
National Price Monitoring Committee by highlighting certain trends and pointing out gaps in governance
but it will also inculcate an inherent system of accountability for the DCs—forcing them to pull their
socks up. Weekly rankings are sure to be pressure inducing, ultimately leading to more careful
application of nationwide policies. As such, transparency is ensured on two fronts; within the decision-
making process and through the evaluation of local DCs.
Considering that the pandemic induced such high rates of inflation, Pakistan was in dire need for such a
system. With the masses being unable to afford basic goods, a serious lapse in oversight and regulatory
policies was noted with regards to price control. However, the DSSI is sure to allow the government to
investigate abnormal spikes in inflation and move towards creating a solution that takes into account
the particular needs of respective cities. This is the right step forward. The only thing left is to address
concerns of the DSSI being a superficial policy through ensuring that a comprehensive structure is
created through which all potential mishaps are accounted for.