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Purchasing power of people lowest in the region

Islamabad, September 14, 2023 (PPI-OT): Former Vice President of FPCCI Atif Ikram Sheikh on Thursday that inflation has increased a lot while the purchasing power of the people has become the lowest compared to other countries in the region. In these circumstances, the increase in wages has become inevitable to enable the masses to bring food to the table, he said. Raising wages will increase inflation, but inflation is the only option we have to fight merciless inflation, he added.

Atif Ikram Sheikh who has also served as President ICCI and Chairman PVMA said in a statement issued here today that the Central Bank is ready to increase interest rates while the government is mulling to increase the fuel price by Rs 10 per litre. The SBP wants to increase interest rates to combat inflation and stabilise forex reserves but this will only increase the problems of the government as the cost of borrowing and debt servicing will increase. Such a move will put a dent in the confidence of the business community and it will multiply their problems, he observed.

On the other hand, the government has decided to increase the price of oil by ten rupees per litre, which will increase inflation in the country while the people and businesses will be badly affected. At present, a levy of 60 rupees is being collected on petrol and 50 rupees on diesel, and it will increase further with the increase in the oil price.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Russia have announced to cut the production of oil by 1.3 million barrels per day, which will increase the price of oil, while the price of LNG is also increasing in the global market. Increased fuel prices will damage the majority of the population of energy-importing countries, he said. He said that improvements in the economy and trade balance should control currency depreciation to provide relief to the masses. Taxing the untaxed sectors and improving tax collection should increase the resources needed to finance the subsidies that may be required to keep the poor population afloat.

For more information, contact:

Atif Ikram Sheikh

Ex. Chairman PVMA, Former VP, FPCCI,

Former President ICCI, Former President HCCI,

Tel: +92-51-4437597, 4440772

Fax: +92-51-4440773

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