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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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EditorialNo respite from inflation

No respite from inflation

There has been no respite from inflation, and figures tell sorrowful tales of the government’s performance. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), consumer inflation in Pakistan reached 26.6% in October, with the rate of price increases accelerating to nearly 30% in rural regions, where the sources of income are limited and a majority of the population resides, as prices for all key items rose. Inflation was more than twice the income growth of roughly 13%, making it difficult for most people to make ends meet. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, increased by 26.6% in October compared to the same month last year.

In October, the inflation rate was 26.56%, which is 3.38% higher than the September figure of 23.18%. Previously, government officials suggested that the government might drop gasoline costs by passing on decreasing crude oil prices. Instead, it maintained the price unchanged on Monday while increasing the fuel fee to Rs50 per litre, a target it must attain by January 2023. The prospects of improvement in the month shown by government functionaries have fallen flat, as has the rate of depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, which was lower in October compared to previous months.

This has impacted not only low-income families, but also middle-to-high-income families, affecting education and health as well as everyday household budgets. In light of the foregoing, the federal and provincial governments must establish a strong mechanism to deliver two-time bread to the poor who are suffering from inflation and food insecurity. However, in the long run, an indigenous resource mobilisation strategy for growth and exports is essential. It is a driving force in the economy, and no amount of aid or assistance can help. Pakistan, as an agrarian economy with a small industrial base, must focus on information technology breakthroughs and exports to build a market for itself. This will surely dispel concerns about marginalisation and default.

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