INFLATION- THE NEW COOL?

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BY ABDULLAH KHAN &USMAN TARIQ,

In the past year SPI inflation rates have increased by almost20.8 percent. Just last week the inflation increased by .08 percent. At these rates of increase, it has become hard for the common man to make ends meet. Gone are the days when we were guaranteed roti, kapra, makan or were told apne ghabrana nai. On top of that the recent discussions with IMF on the mini budget have led to us expecting another inflation storm. It seems that inflation is now a norm where we are just preparing to brace ourselves for the worst to come, while struggling to sustain what we’re facing right now.

It’s pretty obvious that basic necessities have become inaccessible to the populace. But is inflation the new cool? Are we to expect it to continue taking a toll on everyone?

Our tax policies need reform but with the contract made with the IMF, scarcity of resources and bad levels of credit it seems we are going to have a long time seeing the light again. Common food items to medical bills and electricity bills all have seen an increase in the past one year and more. The poor are getting poorer and its seems that the middle class is on the brink of extinction. Women belonging from the lower social class are now being forced to indulge in labor with strenuous tasks and risks to their health all for the sale of making ends meet. With whatever decision that will come out on 12th of January for the EFF meeting with the IMF it seems that we’ll only have to bear the burden of further tariff hikes and taxations.

It is true that things have worsened over time for Pakistan, but that is primarily because there is a limit of natural resources, cheap labor sources and financialised means for multinational capital to make money. Four decades of what one can call as structural adjustment has a substantial cumulative effect that is now taking toll on everyone.  It seems that dark chapters are being added continuously for all of us.

The government has said that they expect in the long run for things to stabilize and for economic progress to become visible. The country has been marked as the most inflation struck in the whole of South East Asia this year.  No doubt the overall inflation in Pakistan has decreased in 2021 as compared to 2020 but the fact that we are now bound by so many terms and conditions make things worse.  Every time we have gone under the IMF program new taxes have been imposed with the old ones never really excluded so for how long will we battle this war with inflation and fall down. The IMF has always worked to improve tax policies but lately it seems the changes are not for the good but for the worse. One can only hope that with time, things get better and that we find some sort of relief later on.

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