The constant rise in the prices of everyday products in Pakistan has really broken the backbone of many consumers. Among other things, the low-wage working class in the public and private sectors of the country has really gone through a difficult phase due to such an artificial increase in the prices of raw materials. It has become impossible for the low-wage class of the country to prepare their budget with their meager salary. The gap between necessary expenses and current take-home pay has widened to such an extent that he is forced to borrow either from friends or relatives to meet expenses for the rest of the month.
The rising prices of basic commodities necessary for daily use such as legumes, sugar, vegetables, flour, ghee, rice, milk, etc. low-wage class practically lost their minds and were forced to skip / cut back on their daily eating habits three to two times and two to once.
The interesting thing about these artificial increases in the prices of these products is that no serious effort is being made at the federal, provincial and district levels to control the situation effectively and regularly. Different traders in different markets in the same city charge different prices for the same products at will, without being really afraid of the local administration. On top of that, the local government becomes utterly powerless when carriers charge unlimited fares in violation of fixed official fares.
Pakistani government workers are said to be corrupt because they live beyond their means. This is true but it should be remembered that none of the governments in the country seriously thought about giving a reasonable increase in the salaries of state employees, especially the low-wage class to cope with such a inflation. When a government employee’s necessary and unavoidable expenses exceeded his meager take-home pay, then he would be forced to resort to corrupt practices.
The government should be serious about the issue of artificial price increases for everyday products and must take strict action in implementing its fixed rates for these products. Severe penalties should be imposed on all traders who charge more than the fixed prices of products. In addition, the products of daily use should be supplied regularly to the markets so that ordinary consumers can easily purchase them in their local stores at prices set by the government.
The hoarding of everyday products is also one of the major reasons for the rise in prices. Tightening the noose around these hoarders is very important to ensure price stability. It is important to note that the government should increase the salaries of government employees, especially those working in lower categories, so that they can beat the “octopus” of inflation accordingly. On top of that, the government must stop the policy of “hide and seek” with petroleum products by lowering their prices one day and giving them a shocking leap after two weeks.
ABDUL SAMAD SAMO,