New Delhi: Ghee, sugar, flour and petrol prices are some of the things Pakistanis are protesting on the streets about. Inflation in Pakistan stands at 9 per cent and has broken a 70 year record, in the last three years.
Data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) revealed how dire the inflation situation in the country is. The price rise has been a drastic one for several essential commodities in the last three years, with the prices of food items doubling.
On Friday, responding to a call to protest by the Opposition parties, Pakistanis took to the streets in Karachi, Larkana, Lahore, Sukkur, Mardan, Jacobabad, Mohmand, among other cities.
Prices of ghee, oil, sugar, flour and poultry have reached historic levels, Pakistani news daily The News International said, quoting the Federal Bureau of Statistics. “The price of ghee increased by 108 per cent to Rs 356 per kg,” said the report.
Meanwhile, electricity rates have also increased by 57 per cent from Rs 4.06 per unit (in October 2018) to at least Rs 6.38 per unit (in October 2021). LPG prices have seen a rise of 51 per cent in the past three years and petrol of 49 per cent.
Among food items, the price of sugar increased from Rs 54 per kg to over Rs 100 per kg — a whopping increase of 83 per cent. Prices of pulses and lentils have also seen a significant increase.
“According to official records, the price of beef has gone up by 48 per cent to Rs 560 per kg in three years,” according to the News International article.
A Deutsche Welle article quoted a local Islamabad butcher, Afaq Ahmad, as saying that there have been no customers. “I voted for Imran Khan in 2018 and I am regretting my decision. Before his government, things were going good but there is tension everywhere now.
About the protest
Last week’s protest saw people shouting slogans. In Lahore, for instance, Geo News reported that Pakistan Muslim League (N) members staged demonstrations while carrying utility bills and pieces of rotis in their hands.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif was quoted saying: “The economic condition of the country and its people would not improve unless we get rid of this tyrannical government.”
The report also mentioned the remarks of another PML-N leader, Rana Sanaullah, who said that the masses will only get relief once “this inept and corrupt government is sent packing”.
(Edited by Anurag Chaubey)