The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has shot up to 11.5% in November 2021, reaching the highest level in the last 20 months which should be a cause of concern for the policymakers, said Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Muhammad Shakeel Munir.

In a statement on Wednesday, he said that rising inflation would drastically reduce the purchasing power and negatively impact the business and economic activities of the country.

“The food inflation has jumped by 11.9% in urban areas,” he said. “The average inflation, measured by the Sensitive Price Index, has exceeded 18% and Wholesale Price Index surged to 27% in November.”

According to the figures, things were getting tough for the common man and the business sector, he said.

Munir called upon the government to take urgent measures to curb rising inflation to save the public and the firms from deep troubles.

The ICCI president said the major factors accelerating the inflation included unprecedented surge in oil prices, hefty hike in the policy rate, frequent increase in electricity and gas tariffs, constant devaluation of rupee and high taxes.

“The rising inflation has increased freight charges, making international trade costlier which would ultimately hurt our exports,” he added.

He urged the government to evolve a comprehensive price control mechanism in consultation with all stakeholders to save the economy from the further plunge.

ICCI Senior Vice President Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh said that shrinking purchasing power of the consumers, due to inflation, was denting the business activities and boosting unemployment.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2021.

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