The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many people losing their jobs, and a sharp increase has been observed in the unemployment rate. Even before the pandemic, people in the country had been badly hit by a severe price hike and soaring power and gas tariffs as well as petroleum prices. And then the loss of jobs triggered by the coronavirus lockdowns made it extremely difficult for many low income families to survive. There are people who cannot even manage two square meals a day for themselves and their families.
Even though the government did attend to the poorest of the poor through the Ehsaas Programme, but it has not proven to be enough. In these difficult times, the government should provide subsidies to people on utilities and make grocery items available on low prices through utility stores.
It is pertinent to mention here that if the youths have no jobs, a number of them are likely to indulge in street crimes. In my city of Lahore, street crimes were very low as compared to other cities. But now this illegal phenomenon has reared its ugly head in Lahore too. Street crimes have increased at an alarming rate, according to media reports. Apart from controlling the law and order and nip the menace of street crime in the bud, the government should also look into the root causes of this evil practice and come up with ways and means to uproot it.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2021.