Spare people of more shocks


GOVERNOR State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir has said that the people should show patience, as they would have to face more shocks of inflation. In an interview, he remarked that problems are huge and it will take {some} time to resolve them.
There is no doubt that given the current state of economy, bitter and hard decisions were needed and as pointed out by the Governor these have started producing the desired results. Current account deficit is narrowing down but steps needed to be taken to ensure sustainable rate of economic growth through increasing exports and investments as the presently current account deficit is being managed just through compression in imports which has its own implications for the economy. The planners and decision-makers must realize that the strategy that they adopt to address the economic ills should be digestible to majority of the population, which is not the case at the moment. The multiplication of taxes, increase in their rates, unprecedented devaluation, rise in prices of POL products and hike in charges of utilities services have pushed prices beyond the capacity of the common man to maintain his/her household budget in a dignified manner. Sharp increase in inflation without any meaningful increase in income means compromising the standard of living and in majority of cases this results into pushing families below the poverty line. People are forced to adjust their expenditure by compromising food and education of their children. Therefore, people ought to be spared of further shocks of inflation and instead policies and programmes should be initiated to offset its impact. The Government cannot escape its responsibility by just believing that all is well after distribution of a meagre amount to the poor under BISP and exempting consumer of 50 MW of electricity from price increase.