Fourth most expensive

The current situation indicates that the sitting government, led by PM Imran Khan, has made all the wrong moves


October 25, 2021

Inflation in Pakistan is like a deadly itch that seems to be growing every time you scratch it. According to a weekly report published by The Economist, Pakistan has the fourth highest inflation rate in the world which was at 9% in September — almost twice as much as in neighbouring India. The three other countries that are ahead of Pakistan are: Brazil with a 10.2% inflation rate, Turkey with 19.6, and the topper, Argentina, with an astounding 51.4%.

The reason for such a high inflation number is fairly common knowledge among the learned — debt servicing takes up a considerable portion of the federal budget; the purchase of wheat, sugar and oil weighs in heavily on the import bill; rampant corruption has eaten up the very foundations of the economy; and the continued devaluation of the rupee has further aggravated the entire condition. But the poor don’t care about all this, and why should they? It is the job of those in power to do everything in their means to provide for the public. However, despite promises of a prosperous and secure future coming from the top-tier leadership, citizens have had to brace themselves for the devastating waves of price hike that have left them debilitated and paralysed. Millions of the people cannot afford a decent lifestyle. The World Bank has estimated that 2 million people have fallen below the poverty line in year 2020 — the number this year will be considerably higher — and about 40 per cent of households suffer from food insecurity. Additionally, electricity tariffs and oil prices have risen drastically in the recent past.

The current situation indicates that the sitting government, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, has made all the wrong moves and taken far too many U-turns. Moreover, the IMF meetings and the Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin’s early departure from Washington has not been reassuring. Even if we are to think of this as a recovering phase, the reality that the incumbent government is not ready to accept is that millions are being mercilessly pummeled against the ropes of inflation. Recovery should not come at the cost of the common man.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2021.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.

COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read