Plunge in salaries!

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ACCORDING to Salary Trend Report released by mobility consultancy ECA International, people of Pakistan would be only one in the Asia-Pacific who will record a substantial decrease in salaries next year on the back of rising inflation and depreciation of the Pakistani Rupee. It contends that the average real salary increase in Pakistan is expected to be negative and employees will likely be worse off than they were last year.
This foreign report should serve as an eye-opener for the Government as local surveys too are painting similar scenarios in the backdrop of unprecedented price-hike and wholesale depreciation of the Rupee. The report is a forecast for the next year but the situation during 2019 was no different as the salary and pension increases were much less than actual inflation. The real situation is much more alarming as inflation figures are manipulated by officials concerned in an attempt to minimize the negative impact of its sharp rise. It was because of the plight of fixed income groups that the then Finance Minister Dr Mehbubul Haq had indexed salaries with inflation but the practice was dropped just after one year and now employees are left on the mercy of the Finance Division/Cabinet. The authorities should realize that squeezing of salaries mean compromising on quality of life and therefore, increase must compensate for the loss of purchasing power.