Tahir Abbasi, Senior Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has demanded that the government should take immediate corrective measures to curb the rising inflation, which had risen to 9.30 per cent in July this year putting more burden on the common man. He said that according to the figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the prices of 20 items have increased and prices of only 9 items decreased during the week ended on 20 August 2020, which showed that inflation was still on the rise. He said that the life of the common man was becoming more difficult due to rising prices of daily use items and government should realize people problems. He said that due to hike in inflation, business activities were also suffering as rising inflation was reducing the purchasing power of the people which was detrimental to the economy.
Tahir Abbasi said that one of the main reasons for the rise in inflation was the unnecessary increase made by the government in the prices of petroleum products, so he demanded that the government should consider immediate reduction in the prices of petroleum products to bring down inflation and provide relief to people. He said that at a time when the oil price in the international market has come down significantly, it was unjustified for the government to increase the prices of petroleum products. He said that the reduction in POL prices that would bring various benefits to the economy as it would reduce the cost of doing business for trade and industry, agriculture and other sectors, reduce inflation and improve business activities paving way for the economy to recover rapidly.
Saif-ur-Rehman Khan, Vice President ICCI said that the prices of food items including flour and sugar have also gone up which has made it difficult for the common man to meet the basic necessities of life. He called upon the government to take immediate remedial measures to reduce the prices of daily use items for providing relief to the common man. He said that despite being an agricultural country, Pakistan has to import wheat, sugar and other agricultural commodities which should be a matter of concern for the government. He urged that the government should address the problems being faced by the farmers on priority basis and ensure timely supply of high quality seeds, fertilizers and other essentials including water to them.
Saif ur Rehman Khan further said that the government should extend all possible assistance to the farmers in acquiring modern technology so that they could use the new technology to increase the per acre yield of agriculture and Pakistan should not have to import other agricultural commodities including wheat and sugar. He was of the view that by producing surplus commodities, Pakistan could increase its agricultural exports, which will further improve our foreign exchange reserves and yield beneficial results for the economy.