The price hike in Pakistan has made life of the average citizen extremely difficult. Prices of food items and basic necessities have seen an exponential increase since the PTI government took charge. September of 2021 saw the greatest price hike in most of the items that people consume regularly. This has significantly affected the lives of middle and lower-middle income groups who survive from paycheck to paycheck. This price hike does not come as a surprise as the deteriorating exchange rate and a rise in energy prices globally gave way to inflationary expectations. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, inflation has increased from 8.4% to 9% in one year. This means that most essential items have become expensive and some cannot afford them any longer. Inflation rate has surpassed the government’s expectations. However, it must not come as a surprise as the growth-oriented approach would have led to this outcome sooner or later. It is very clear now that the growth rates flaunted by the government were mostly artificial and the house of cards had to fall sooner or later. Since the start of Covid, the chosen rhetoric was that of the pandemic and how internationally economies were suffering. However, the PTI government’s performance has not been steady since 2018.
Currently, in its defence, the government is choosing to accept the price hike in prices of petroleum products due to the global increase and saying that at least it is not as high as it is in India and Bangladesh. What it does not take into account is the wide gap between the per capita income in all three countries. Most of Pakistan’s population is now at risk of climbing down the social ladder due to the perpetual inflation in the country. The government needs to pull up its socks now more than ever as many people have lost jobs during the pandemic, many have lost breadwinners and are living on very little of what they have left. With such exponential increases in the prices of necessities, many will fall under the poverty line sooner than expected. If not for the population, then at least the government should do something, so that it does not lose its votes in the next elections as such circumstances will only create more and more adversaries.