Affordability: A real public concern

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ACCORDING to a survey conducted by IPSOS Consultant, there has been a large increase in number of people disturbed over their personal financial position with 87% people finding it difficult to afford groceries and other household items.

More than half of the population are also not confident of any improvement in financial outlook over next six months.

Undeniably, the price hike has harshly affected purchasing power of consumers that has also dented popularity of the ruling party.

Such surveys really show pulse of the people, which PTI government cannot ignore.However there are certain factors over which government has no control.

For instance one was expecting that commodity prices will start coming down after first quarter of the current year but conflict between Russia and Ukraine has further increased the risks of higher commodity prices with petroleum products reaching records level.

This situation is more depressing for developing countries like Pakistan that are still recovering from bad impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

While PTI government has recently reduced the prices of petroleum products by ten rupees per litre and that of electricity by five rupees per unit yet for how long the government can sustain this subsidy is to be seen.

While one expects international community will act responsibly to de-escalate situation between Russia and Ukraine, we will also suggest the government to come up with a plan to protect people, especially low income groups, during these difficult times.

Subsidy under Ehsaas Rashan Riayat initiative should be doubled at least for next three months.

Price hike has affected every segment of the society particularly employees of private and public sectors.

Their salaries must be enhanced so that they could better deal with inflationary pressures.

 

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