Big apathetic, inflation-sharing

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Attiya Munawer

The steps taken by the present government to revive the economy and as a result of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan agreement have led to a storm of inflation in the country, which has broken the back of the common man. Even the screams of the poor and the white-clad have come out. At present, the biggest problem of the people is hunger, poverty and rising inflation, which the helpless people are struggling with every day.

This back-breaking inflation has taken away the veil from the heads of the poor, two loaves of bread to eat, a roof over their heads and clothes to cover theirbodies. So, it has become difficult to earn a day. Despite the government’s claims, there is no merit in the institutions, political recruitment is being done through recommendationand bribery, everyone from top to bottom is in the hands of one or the other while the common man is destined to face inflation and unemployment. If the government does not control rising inflation, unemployment and indifference, the devastating effects of poverty, hunger and unemployment will sweep everything away.

This fact can’t be denied that there was a time when Pakistan was known to be the cheapest country in the region, but today the common man in Pakistan has been deprived of two meals a day. There is no shortage of inflation increasing people in this country, on the one hand there is unavailability with rising prices of electricity, gas, and petrol and on the other hand the prices of food items are constantly rising. In this situation, it is not enough for the Prime Minister to say that the mafia is involved in raising inflation and we will not give up on this mafia, but it is the responsibility of the government to curb the inflation mafia by providing goods to the consumers at cheap rates through proper policies and administrative control. The current government has been taking various measures to control inflation since coming to power, but so far no significant results have been achieved. Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team are working to control inflation for which the Prime Minister has approved the Decision Support System for Inflation (DSSI) which will record and monitor the prices of essential commodities in 17 major cities of the country. Under this system, the prices of goods collected from the markets of 17 cities and the prices fixed by the Deputy Commissioner’s Office will be compared. In addition to gathering market information, the system will also help the relevant Deputy Commissioners in measuring their performance in controlling inflation.

Any move by Prime Minister Imran Khan to curb this rising inflation would be a good thing as Pakistan is expected to have the highest inflation rate in Asia this year. If Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team manage to win public confidence by controlling inflation, it will not be difficult for them to garner public support to overcome any political crisis based on theirperformance; however it is very important to address the shortcomings of the current system. The government introduces a new system for the betterment of the people, but the administration does not spare any effort to make it useless due to its irresponsible behavior. The government’s approval of the (DSSI) system is commendable, but unless the district commissioners and deputy commissioners fulfill their responsibilities, it is not possible to stem the tide of rising inflation, for which the administration will have to be held accountable with appointments on merit only then will the system be able to succeed.

There is no doubt that the PTI government is keen to provide relief to the people, but in an environment of political tension, achieving encouraging results does not seem possible. In this context, PML-Q President and senior politician ChaudhryShujaatHussain has advised the government to postpone all projects for a year and make short-term plans for poverty alleviation, work for the unemployed and the salaried class and all political leadership to come together and cooperate fully with the government to alleviate the suffering of the people.ChaudhryShujaat’s advice to his allies is not only a matter of time, but also necessary for the stability of the democratic system because unless plans are made on an emergency basis to provide relief to the people from inflation and unemployment. Mere announcements will not change the situation and the fruits of change will not reach the people in 2021, because according to the report of the Bureau of Statistics, 22 items including flour, ghee, sugar and pulses have become more expensive since the first week of January. If the pace of inflation continues to rise at the same rate, it will crush the people this year. The government and the opposition, while showing indifference, take the advice of ChaudhryShujaat seriously instead of being a part of those who share inflation among the people and take immediate steps to provide relief otherwise the people will not hesitate to reject both.