PDM govt leaves behind massive inflation

Citizens, traders decry colossal rise in prices of essential goods

Qaiser Shirazi August 10, 2023


With the constitutional term of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government about to end, Pakistan has witnessed historic inflation in the past 16 months of the coalition regime.

The prices of all food and essential items have soared to the highest level in the country’s 75-year history. With this, the purchasing power of the common citizens has considerably dwindled and the majority has slipped below the poverty line.

PDM – a coalition of 13 political parties – was formed in September 2020 against the administration of then prime minister Imran Khan, accusing his regime of poor governance, political victimisation of opponents, and mismanaging the economy and foreign policy.

At that time, the prices of petrol and diesel were at Rs150 and Rs160 per litre respectively whereas the same are now being sold at Rs273 and Rs273.40 respectively. The rate of each unit of electricity has increased from Rs16 to Rs60 during the period.

Similarly, there has been a phenomenal increase in the prices of food items including flour and sugar which are being sold at Rs3,300 per bag and Rs170 per kg as compared to Rs1,300 and Rs85 during the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Inaf (PTI)-led regime. When the PDM-led government took control of the helm of affairs the price of one roti was Rs10 but the same is now being sold at Rs30.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran Central President Saleem Parvez Butt said the sudden increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and the US dollar has caused havoc in the markets.

“In the current situation the price magistrates were completely helpless,” he lamented and warned that if the price of USD and petrol were not controlled, a new storm of inflation would hit the markets.

On the other hand, Anjuman-e-Tajran Sabzi Mandi President Ghulam Qadir Mir said: “First the floods caused havoc and now the heavy taxes have killed the entire industry. The new genie of inflation will come out of the bottle after the caretaker government takes charge.”

Milkmen Union secretary said the price of a buffalo in the open market, which was Rs240,000 about 16 months ago, has gone up to Rs600,000. “Fodder prices have also increased by 500 per cent,” he said, terming them the main reasons behind the milk price hike.

Meanwhile, Butchers Union President Naveed Qureshi claimed that small and big animals were being smuggled to Afghanistan at the official level, creating a shortage of meat in the local markets.

Nanbai Association President Shafiq Qureshi said: “In these 16 months, the price of flour has increased by 500 to 600 per cent and the price of electricity and gas for the oven has also increased by 1,000 per cent.”


Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2023.


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