ISLAMABAD - The ICCI has shown concerns over the rising inflation in the country as the headline inflation has risen to 4.17 percent in April 2016 compared to 3.9 percent in the preceding month. ICCI called upon the government to take urgent measures to arrest this phenomenon as the rising inflation would hurt the investment activities and impede economic growth of the country.

Sheikh Pervez Ahmed, acting president of ICCI, said that sudden rise in the prices of pulses and gas tariff has triggered a new wave of inflation in the economy as the price of pulse gram has increased by over 59 percent in April 2016 as compared to preceding year, mash’s over 56 percent, basen’s over 51 percent, gram whole’s over 31 percent and masoor’s over 8 percent. He said the prices of many other items including clothes, footwear, housing, water, electricity, fuel, health, transport and furnishing equipment have also gone up, which should be a cause of concerns for the policymakers.

He said rising inflation would hurt trade and industry as it will reduce the purchasing power of the common man and will lead to cut in purchasing and slowdown in business activities. He stressed that government should look into the factors that were giving rise to inflation and take urgent remedial measures to keep the inflation within the tolerable level to save the consumers and business activities from further problems.

He said that though the rate of inflation during 2015-16 remained lower than the targeted level of 6 percent, but he said the recent surge in prices needs urgent attention of the government.

 as the country is already facing serious problem of unemployment and poverty and any further rise in inflation would add to miseries to the common man, slow down economic growth and lead to social instability.

He said Pakistan needs more savings to trigger investment activities in the country, but he cautioned that surge in inflation will badly affect the already low level of savings leading to fall in investment and poor prospects for economic growth of the country. He said hike in inflation would further widen the current account deficit and increase fiscal deficit. He said government should focus on resolving energy crisis on priority basis and take steps to maintain price stability that would help in stable and sustained economic growth of the country.