The prices of various food items witnessed sharp increases during the week ending on October 21, as compared to the previous week, according to the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Friday. The state-owned Bureau of Statistics presented a mild picture of unprecedented inflation being faced by the poor masses of the country during these days. According to details, these included tomatoes (41.63%), diesel (10.06%), petrol (8.19%), LPG (7.11%), mustard oil (2.23%), vegetable ghee 1kg (1.91%), bread plain (1.84%), garlic (1.82%), washing soap (1.72%), potatoes (1.57%), cooking Oil 5 liter (1.50%), bananas (1.40%), georgette (1.32%), eggs (1.31%) and vegetable ghee 2.5 Kg (1.25%). On YoY basis, the commodities that witnessed increase in prices included LPG (75.02%), electricity for Q1 (61.11%), mustard oil (46.49%), vegetable ghee 1 Kg (44.25%), cooking oil 5 liter (40.78%), chili’s Powdered (33.43%), petrol (32.22%). The bureaus further stated that during the week, out of 51 items, prices of 29 (56.86%) items increased, 07 (13.73%) items decreased and 15 (29.41%) items remained stable.
The inflation in food prices and other essential utilities including petroleum products have sharply climbed to the sky during recent weeks, showing the government’s claims of economic stability and rapid growth totally exposed to the world. In fact, the inflation in the country remained in double digits during the second quarter of the current year, whereas the recent petrol bomb shattered the already worsening economy, while the devaluation of rupee vis-a-vis American dollar has made new records during these days. Although, government is trying to link this crisis with the international market and coronavirus pandemic in the world to minimize the severity of the situation, it is an open secret that the mismanagement of government’s Ministers and advisors remains a major reason for inflation in the country. Furthermore, economic pandits of the government brought the government in a blind alley because of their claims to satisfy IMF’s demands through alternative resources. Today, people are asking Prime Minister Imran Khan whether this was the model of the welfare state that he has been promising to them over the last 3 years.