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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

PM Imran Khan highlights Afghan humanitarian crises

The Prime Minister shared a trending hashtag ‘#SaveAfghanLives

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday raised his voice at an international initiative to create awareness about the looming humanitarian crises in Afghanistan in the shape of starvation.

On his twitter handle, the prime minister shared a trending hashtag ‘#SaveAfghanLives’ by adding his voice in support of the Afghan people, especially the Afghan children, currently facing economic woes leading to hunger and famine like situation. The prime minister also urged the people to join the international initiative in this regard.

“I will add my voice also and want people to join an international initiative to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, putting at risk of starvation millions of Afghans, especially children. #SaveAfghanLives, the prime minister posted.

On Saturday, the prime minister in a tweet had called upon the international community to provide immediate humanitarian relief to the millions of Afghans who were facing an imminent danger of starvation.

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Mohammad Rizwan named Men's T20 Cricketer of the Year

Pakistan Cricket Board also felicitated the top batman for winning the ICC honor

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday named Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan following a stellar year in the shortest format of the game.

A statement issued by the ICC said that Sheer consistency, indomitable spirit and some breathtaking knocks — the ICC Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year enjoyed a memorable run in 2021.

Taking to Twitter, wicket keeper-batter Rizwan expressed gratitude towards Allah and his fans for the award and dedicated it to the country and Pakistani nation.

Pakistan Cricket Board also felicitated the top batman for winning the ICC honor.

The star batman ruled the roost in the shortest format of the game in 2021. He amassed staggering 1,326 runs in only 29 matches and struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike rate of 134.89. Rizwan struck 196 fours in these games which is also the highest by any batter in T20s in 2021.

Apart from his top-notch batting, the 29-year-old was as solid as ever behind the stumps, playing a crucial role in Green shirts’ advancement to the semis during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021.

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Pakistan

‘Imran Khan should pack up and leave’, Maryam Nawaz reacts to PM’s warning

Imran Khan was history now, says Maryam Nawaz

Published by Faisal Waqas

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Lahore: Reacting to a warning from Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan, who on Sunday said he would be more dangerous if ousted from power, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that Imran Khan should pack up and leave. 

The PML-N vice president said in a series of tweets in Urdu and English with different content soon after Imran Khan ended his two-hour telephone conversation with the general public, discussing a host of issues.

“Your threat that you would be more dangerous if ousted is nothing more than a hollow claim. The day you are out of power, people would perform prayer of thankfulness. Neither you are Nawaz Sharif who was supported by people nor you are a victim. You are a conspirer facing karma,” Maryam said.

She said Imran Khan sounded like a person who is not only defeated but has also accepted his defeat. Four years into the government and he is still only whining, she added.

“The ‘cartels’ you are complaining about are the mafias on your right and left who have fleeced 220 million and who run your kitchen,” she said.

The PMLN leader said that Imran Khan was wrong to blame the judiciary for his failure.

“The cases you made against Sharifs and PMLN were false and fabricated and were bound to meet the fate they have met. Now that your reality has dawned on the world, do not blame the judiciary. You have only your vindictiveness and revengefulness to blame.”

“Every word that IK has uttered today reeks of failure, dashed hopes and no faith in his or PTI’s future,” Maryam said adding that Imran Khan was “history” now.

She said Imran Khan should pack up and leave. “The more you cling to power, the more you will compound your problems and that of the people.”

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