Unbridled inflation is a very serious threat to our fragile economy and it would shake the very socioeconomic foundations of the country if not controlled on war footing basis, said Pasban Democratic Party PDP Chairman Altaf Shakoor here Sunday.
He said the most severe effect of inflation is on our foreign loans. With a free fall of Pakistani rupee these foreign loans and their neck breaking interest further rise, putting even more pressure on our budgetary allocations.
He said the lion’s share of our budget already goes to our foreign lenders like World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Development Bank.
He said huge CPEC loans are also a big national liability, and growing inflation is creating very serious problems in finding a monetary space for paying back these loans and their heavy interest.
He said the situation is so worsened that we have to get new foreign loans to pay interest on our old foreign loans. He said we have mortgaged the whole country and even our central bank for these foreign loans.
He said unless the inflation is controlled the negative spiral of these foreign loans would continue to torment the nation and country.He said other grave threat of the rising inflation is payment of our mammoth oil import bill.
He said with a weaker rupee the oil and gas we are importing are getting costlier with every passing day. He said Pakistan despite producing oil and gas is compelled to import LNG and oil.
He wondered why the oil and gas production from Pakistan are not helping us in this situation. He said perhaps our agreements with foreign oil and gas companies are behind this phenomenon.
He said without bringing down inflation and strengthen Pakistani rupee our costly fuel import would continue to be siphoning away our precious foreign exchange.Altaf Shakoor regretted that Pakistan despite being an agricultural country is compelled to import food.
He said we import sugar, wheat, pulses, cooking oil and tea. He said trillions of rupees are spent every year on import of food stuffs.
He said the rising inflation is making this food import very costly and it would soon go to an unbearable level if the government failed to control the hike in inflation.
He said Pakistan has already been facing dreadful food inflation. He said this inflation would likely to become a national security threat but our ruling elite is the least concerned.
He said recently finance minister Shaukat Tarin, himself, has accepted that the balance of trade is the most serious issue of Pakistan. He said this problem also has its roots in inflation. He said the weak Pakistani rupee means more costly imports and cheaper exports.