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Pakistan

Falling dollar, rising inflation

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Wisdom on the streets says that when the dollar soars high, inflation rises too, while a fall in the value of the greenback leads to a reduction in prices of necessities.

Tahir Malik Profile Tahir Malik

Perhaps for the very first time, the dollar has fallen by almost Rs. 15 against the Pakistani rupee, however, commodity prices have remained constant. Per unit cost of petroleum products, electricity and gas have not reduced either.

So why did the people not get any relief? A question being asked by everyone yet answered by none.

The truth is that the economy is suffering from a triple lack of planning, teamwork and expertise. Day by day, troubles faced by the country increase with alarming speed. All hopes by common folks to be able to earn and for inflation to fall have been dashed.

The government itself appears baffled and confused. The Finance Minister says GDP will grow by 4% this year. The International Monetary Fund  (IMF) and World Bank have put the figure at 1.5% and 1.3% respectively. Our population will continue to expand by 2.5% per annum. Thus, one way or the other, our GDP will go into negative growth. Experts say Pakistan needs to grow by at least 6% this year, otherwise, more than 3 million people will become unemployed.

The theory about dollar rates affecting inflation appears weak here. The government’s plans and its willingness to execute them is all that matters. Till now neither has the federal government shown us its vision, nor the direction it wishes to take the economy on. As for homework, well, the less said the better.

This sordid tale started with our own local Aristotle, Asad Umar, whose appointment was trumpeted as the gateway to Pakistan’s prosperity. Then we were informed that the IMF-sanctioned Hafeez Sheikh and Raza Baqir (Governor State Bank of Pakistan), have magic wands which will restore us to glory. Now, this responsibility lies with Hammad Azhar while Shaukat Tareen is also on the way to take up some charge or the other. How seriously the PTI-led government planned for the economy is evident from the current game of musical chairs.

Pakistan’s economy was heavily reliant on cotton and textile. Cotton is a boon, a crop that takes minimal water to grow while bringing in precious foreign exchange. Thanks to the untiring negligence of our rulers, we have had the lowest production of cotton in 30 years. Out of 212 total government organizations, 197 are running in loss. The steel mill is Rs. 480 billion in debt while for PIA this figure is close to Rs. 430 billion. The government’s bright idea about generating money is through increasing the price of basic utilities. It is now a real possibility that subsidy worth Rs. 140 billion will be abolished, transferring this amount over to the heavy ones the government is already shouldering.

Meanwhile, imports of sugar, wheat and cotton have increased too. The agriculture sector, once our economy’s mainstay, is now in tatters. In 2018, a bag of DAP fertilizer was retailing for Rs. 2200. By 2020 its price tag had soared to Rs. 3467 and today, it stands at a truly mind-numbing Rs. 5137. With such a rapid rise, how will the prices of food commodities not rise?

The desperate ruling coalition is focused only on procuring more and more loans.

We can now term the dollar-inflation theory an old wives’ tale. Unless the price of utilities and commodities goes down, nothing else will. For the immediate future, inflation remains our fate.

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Pakistan

83 more succumb to COVID-19 in Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

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According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 3,902 cases of coronavirus were reported while 83 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,413.

The total number of cases has reached 1,190,136.

As many as 1,071,976 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,389 critical cases.

Punjab                  

The number of patients swelled to 406,960 in the province with 12,118 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 440,164 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,030.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 165,980 in the province with 5,155 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,456 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 32,942 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 712. On the other hand, there are 10,084 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 101,550 cases in the capital city while 877 people have lost their lives.

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Pakistan

'COVID fourth wave': Pakistan reports 3,689 cases, 83 deaths

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

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According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 3,689 cases of coronavirus were reported while 83 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,580.

The total number of cases has reached 1,197,887.

As many as 1,079,867 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,383 critical cases.

Punjab                

The number of patients swelled to 410,463 in the province with 12,171 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 442,401 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,089.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 167,154 in the province with 5,200 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,517 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,131 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 715. On the other hand, there are 10,127 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 102,094 cases in the capital city while 884 people have lost their lives.

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Regional

Four electrocuted to death in Karachi as heavy rain lashes port city

Karachi: At least four people were electrocuted to death in Karachi as heavy rain and thunderstorms wreaked havoc in the city on Saturday.

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According to local media, under the influence of a strong monsoon system different areas of Karachi are receiving heavy downpour.

As per initial reports, a four-year-old girl died of electrocution in Shah Rasool Colony area of Clifton, while rest of the three deaths were reported in Baldia Town, Sharifabad and Light House areas.

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) reported Saadi Town received around 81 millimetres of rain, Gulshan-e-Hadeed 73mm, PAF Base Faisal 70mm, North Karachi 48mm, Surjani Town 38.8mm while 11.6 mm of rain was reported in Orangi Town.

On the other hand, the Met Office has predicted more rain coupled with thunderstorm in Karachi today.

 

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