A father of five has taken his life in Karachi because he could not buy winter clothes for his children. Just imagine- a father who loved his children and wants to see them grow was forced to end his own life for not fulfilling a demand of his children.
Just imagine the agony and pain he went through. His only crime was that he was poor and unemployed. He tried to find work to earn some money to buy new winter clothes for his children. After failing to find work- he committed suicide.
This is not an isolated incident. Majority of Pakistanis are living on the edge. It is becoming more and more difficult for them to survive. The rising inflation has made their lives even more miserable.
They are forced to kill their wants-wishes and dreams of poverty free life. The prices of daily utilities- food-groceries and energy are continuing to rise. The rents of houses-school fees and transport fares are also rising. The record inflation is not only killing dreams-wishes and innocent demands but also the people.
Poor in Pakistan is living on the edge because they everyday makes choices whether to send their children to school or to feed them twice a day. The choice before them is to buy food for the family or to pay utility bills. Nearly 70 % working Pakistanis earns less than Rs15000 per month. Just imagine the life of a family of 5 to 6 persons surviving on this meager income. What choices such a family can make.
The Pakistani elite live a comfortable life with all the luxuries of life. The ruling elite is completely detached from the horrors of everyday life of ordinary poor people. The elite are not concerned with miseries and problems of poor Pakistanis.
The ruling elite is continuing with the economic policies that are causing record inflation and slowing the pace of economic growth. They have no realisation that what happens to a poor family when prices go up. The bitter reality is that slight increase in the prices through many Pakistanis living on the edge- below the poverty line.
Our policy makers and economic team has no time to think about the majority of Pakistani population and their pathetic living conditions. They are busy stablising the economy at the cost of poor and working class communities.
Their focus is not on the real issues faced by the vast majority of population but to please the IMF and World Bank. They everyday proudly tell us that IMF and World Bank are satisfied and happy with our policies. But they never bother to tell us that how badly the lives of poor and downtrodden are being affected by policies of IMF and World Bank.
Two factors are contributing to the increase in prices and high inflation. First- The government continues to increase prices of gas- electricity and oil and also increased indirect taxes. Two- the government has simply lost the control over prices. The free market is working for profiteers and big business at the cost of consumers.
The issue of food prices is a different one altogether. Control mechanisms for food prices have effectively been destroyed over the last three decades. One can be forgiven for wondering which government institution is responsible for maintaining the price of food items. There is none. Regulation of food prices would need a new, empowered institution, which is not happening anytime soon based on existing trends.
The government can move to stop hoarding, but no action has been taken as yet. This means that citizens will continue to pay higher prices in a poorly performing economy for the foreseeable future.
Inflation has continued to hit record levels, while the country’s economic growth is nowhere close to being on track. This is the news that has come from the State Bank this week about the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
The SBP remains worried about the current account deficit, where it noted that there has yet to have been a significant rise in exports. This is worrying given that devaluation was supposed to lead directly to export increase. Instead, we have seen a situation where prices have continued to rise, but the supposed benefits of devaluation are not showing any signs of being delivered.
The only good thing to have happened is the shrinking of imports, which is something that has been repeated often enough. The SBP is also concerned about two other issues: the delay in implementation of tax measures and weak management of food prices.
The ever increasing taxes are making economic growth more difficult. The indirect taxes are not only impacting the growth rate but also causing high inflation. The incomes are falling or stagnated but cost of living and doing business in on the rise.
If anything, the current hyped tax environment has created low-spending from both investors and consumers, which is in stark contrast to the last two years of the previous PML-N government.
Inflation stands at 12.6%-highest in last 10 years. According to the data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics- the bulk of the inflation was linked to higher prices of food items, with nearly 35 percent of the national consumer price index comprising food and non-alcoholic beverages. The data also shows that greater inflation in the rural areas, as compared to urban settings, with urban food inflation rising at 16.6 percent year-on-year and 2.4 percent month-on-month. Rural food inflation, meanwhile, rose by 19.3 percent year-on-year and 3.4 percent over October 2019.
In urban settings, the greatest non-food inflation month-to-month was for woolen readymade garments, which increased by 3.62 percent. Year-on-year, the highest increase was on gas charges (54.84 percent), cigarettes (21.97 percent), and electricity charges (18.48 percent). According to the government, non-food inflation is primarily driven by rising oil prices and a depreciating currency, the impact of which has been passed onto the consumer.
The urban Consumer Price Index measures 35 cities and 356 items. The rural CPI measures rates in 27 rural centers and comprises 244 items.
The Sensitive Price Index, an inflationary indicator that measures the change in the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services, jumped by 19.45 percent between November 2018 and November 2019.
The Finance Ministry has claimed that the soaring inflation would be brought down to manageable levels from next months. However, while the inflation rate could decrease, the base prices will stay at their current levels, which will likely result in little difference being observed by the common man?
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics -Top few commodities which varied from previous year i.e. December 2018 are given below:-
Food Items Increased:
Non-food Items Increased:
*Not including the fuel adjustment surcharge which added in monthly bills on regular basis
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