Cheapest country !

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MINISTER for Finance Shaukat Tarin claimed on Sunday “Pakistan is least costly among the 139 countries of the world” citing ‘Numbeo’, a user contributed database about cities and countries.

His tweet on the subject rightly sparked strong reaction not just from the opposition leaders but also from people representing different walks of life.

While quoting the figures given by Numbeo, the Minister has conveniently ignored what the website stated about the overall cost of living in Pakistan.

It pointed out “on average, the family of four people in Pakistan costs around Rs.

171,783.24 per month (without rent), while a single person’s estimated monthly costs are Rs.51,798.76 (without rent).

Can any responsible official explain how many people earn Rs.172,000 per month to pay for the necessities of life and that too without cost of accommodation?

And four is the ideal family size and not the actual one as the majority of families in Pakistan have six to twelve members and one can calculate their monthly expenditure as the cost of one person has been estimated even by Numbeo as about Rs.52,000 per month (without rent).

nd it is also a fact that the cost of living is constantly going up but incomes are almost static as the Government is not willing to raise salaries and wages commensurate with the increase in prices.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman has rightly pointed out that how the government could claim that Pakistan was a cheap country while people had been committing suicides due to price-hike, joblessness and very high cost of living in the country.

It is all the more alarming that there are plans to jack up power tariff by over six rupee per unit besides a proposal to hike the procurement price of wheat (staple food), which would compound the woes of the people.

It is time the government discards the tendency of taking refuge behind irrelevant comparisons with other countries as there is no comparison in the purchasing power of people of Pakistan and people of those countries.

 

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