Data by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the national data collecting agency, showed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had been continuously rising and stood at 10.9 percent in November.
     
This is a steep rise of 1.8 percentage points compared to 9.1 percent in October that has pushed the index into double digits.
     
This points to the underlying inflationary pressures due to increase in prices of utilities and essential items. Last time, inflation had been recorded in double digits at 11.3 percent in June 2012 and after that the indicator had started decelerating.
    
In June 2013, when the PML-N took reins of the government, inflation has stood at 5.9 percent which almost doubled in just five months, Express Tribune reported.
    
"Excessive printing of money, rise in wheat prices that serve as a benchmark for all food items, increase in general sales tax rate and revision in tariffs of electricity pushed inflation into double digits," Ashfaque Hasan Khan, Dean of Business School of National University of Science and Technology was quoted as saying by the daily.
    
He said that during 131 days of the new government, the State Bank of Pakistan printed Rs 751 billion worth of fresh notes, an average of Rs 5.73 billion a day and Rs 239 million per hour.
    
According to the SBP, tomato prices in November soared 216 percent over the same month of last year, while potato prices rose 117 percent and onions 72 percent.
    
On an average, there was over 43 percent increase in prices of perishable food items while rate in clothing and footwear group showed a rise of 14 percent.
    
In a recently concluded first review of the IMF programme, the lender kept its inflation projection unchanged at 7.9 percent for the 2013-14 fiscal year and asked the government to raise interest rates to control inflation, a strategy that experts feel will further fuel inflation.
    
The IMF has come under criticism for preparing a "faulty" design of the USD 6.7 billion loan programme. For the current fiscal year, the government has set the inflation target at 8 percent.
    
Average inflation in the first five months of the current fiscal year (July-November) stood at 8.84 percent.

(Agencies)

Latest News  from Business News Desk