Inflation during the Reign of PTI in Pakistan

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government once again dropped an inflation bomb on the people, increasing the price of petrol by five rupees; Inflation is out of control, Mahangai Khan, and innumerable similar phrases are commonly used for Prime Minister Imran Khan nowadays.

The cry of inflation in Pakistan is not a matter of today. The biggest problem in every government has been inflation. But we completely forget the past by blaming Imran Khan for inflation, and our so-called journalists seem to be propagating that the new Pakistan is the worst. On the contrary, the fact is that if Pakistan has gone through the most corrupt era, it was the era of Nawaz Sharif and Zardari. During this period, the largest foreign loans in Pakistan’s history were taken and projects were launched, which cost a lot of money to complete.

When criticizing, why do people forget that when the PTI got the government, the country was close to default, there was a current account deficit of PKR 15 billion, the thief league blew billions of dollars every month to artificially lower the value of the dollar and the country was plunged into ruin. As soon as the Khan government came to power, the dollar had to be raised from PKR 128 to PKR 160 to save the country from bankruptcy, which pushed up the prices of essential commodities. 

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Additionally, we don’t even remember that the whole world has been going through the biggest economic crisis in history since March 2020 due to the global epidemic of Corona. The prices of essential commodities in the world have doubled. Prices are skyrocketing whether it is petrol or cooking oil or pulses. 

If we talk about the recent increase in petrol prices, some envelope journalists are so good at manipulating numbers that they have presented a summary of increase in petrol price by PKR 10 as PKR 1. And it was a baseless allegation that at the request of OGRA to increase the price by PKR 1.0, the government increased it by PKR 5 as a mockery of the poverty of the poor.

Pakistan is dependent on other countries for petrol and petroleum products. The price of petrol in the global market was 42$ in 2020 which has increased by 80% in just one year to 75$, while the price of petrol in Pakistan in 2020 was PKR 103.97 which is only inched up 18% in one year. The price of petrol in Pakistan is very low as compared to other countries. At present petrol is priced at PKR 245 in India and PKR 175 in Bangladesh.

Even in countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia, which are self-sufficient in oil and petrol production, petrol prices are PKR 111 and PKR 140, respectively, but instead of telling these facts, the Pakistani media has done a disgusting job of further infuriating the already troubled public.

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Commodity prices have doubled in the world. Even in countries like England, Australia and the United States, many years old records of inflation have been broken this year.

And one more thing, the prices of wheat, rice, and sugarcane remained the same for many years, leaving the farmer on the brink of disaster. To stabilize the farmers, the PTI increased the rate of wheat from 1300 to 1800 which made the flour more expensive but the farmer became prosperous and did not stop growing wheat.

The rate of sugarcane was 130, now the farmer gets up to 250. By the same token, as a result, sugar became more expensive. Past governments have always preferred to buy vegetables from India for personal gain which were seemingly cheap but because of this, the Pakistani farmer was on the verge of collapse. The new Pakistan stopped importing vegetables from India in February 2019, which caused many problems for a while. There was a vegetable crisis for a year but now all the local vegetables are available at cheaper rates.

We know that there is inflation at the moment and the people are very worried about it and that is why despite the immense achievements of the government, the popularity of the government is seemingly declining. But we forget to look into our necks to blame the government for inflation.

Why shouldn’t the country be a victim of inflation where everyone from grocery store owner and clerk to officer is engaged in looting? Even such businessmen are seen weeping over inflation and blaming the government who earn lacs of rupees from their beloved homeland but do not pay a single rupee of tax.

The main reason for inflation is hoarding and also those anti-state elements who sell goods at many times higher prices than the original price and shut the mouths of innocent people by taunting that do vote to Imran

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Inflation is not the issue of individuals but a public issue that worries everyone including me but it is important for us to know and accept that neither Imran Khan nor the PTI government is in favor of this inflation. Why would a ruler who has fought for this country for the welfare of his people for 22 years, give up his comfortable life, and even his children for the sake of this land, want the problems of the people to increase?

There is no doubt that if the PTI is to win the next elections, it must overcome inflation and work for the public good, for which the PTI is struggling to a large extent. Many schemes have been launched to provide relief to the poor, including the issuance of a health card, which is a good step that will be available to all by the end of this year.

The Ehsaas program survey is about to be completed and will bring in millions of new families. But it is also worth it that Imran Khan is trying to fix the 35-year-old system. And the corrupt mafia is trying its best to thwart this continuous struggle by inciting the naïve masses and using the worries of the masses for its nefarious purposes. We cry for inflation but no one wants to pay taxes and is not ready to give up bribe earnings. I am still confident that Imran Khan will change this rotten system and Pakistan will be among the developed countries but this is a patient phase that we all have to deal with together. Together we must confront the evildoers who have uprooted the roots of the motherland because those who have become accustomed to haram food will never give up easily.

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