ISLAMABAD: As if things weren’t bad enough for an average Pakistani household, economists fear that some families will have to make sacrifices in order to make their ends meet amidst the highest level of inflation recorded during the last month.
According to the data released by the Pakistan Statistics of Bureau, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has jumped to 31.6 per cent during the last month year-on-year basis. The misery doesn’t seem to end here. With the IMF bailout package looking like a distant reality, the inflation is expected to grow even further.
According to a report published by Dawn, the economic research organisation Arif Habib Ltd has expressed fears that inflation will grow to unprecedented levels in the upcoming months. In comparison to last year February where the inflation rate was recorded at 12.2pc, more than double of the inflation rate was recorded last month.
In order to meet the tough conditions set by the IMF, the government has had to introduce a supplementary bill and increase the general sales tax on goods and services from 17 to 18pc. The government is hoping that increasing the tax will enable it to generate $639 million by the end of the current fiscal year in July.
‘WE HAVE GOT NOTHING TO EAT’
Haseebullah Zazai, a 42-year-old roadside corn vendor, while talking to The Upcut, said that the economic circumstances had grown so tough around him that he was unable to feed his family regularly. “We have got nothing to eat and have to skip one meal to ensure that our kids do not sleep hungry,” told Zazai.
“My wife has fixed meal portions for us. None of us is allowed to eat more because we simply cannot afford it,” said Zazai. He is not the only one who is feeling the burn of inflation. People have started asking questions of the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government which had removed former prime minister Imran Khan on the pretext of “Ghareebi Mukao” (do away with poverty).