A glance on the year 2009 reveals that the people have faced several crises, most distressing of which was the lack of basic amenities of life like flour and sugar. During the holy month of Ramzan, sugar completely disappeared from the local markets. Wherever available, its price was well above Rs 60/kg, sometimes as high as Rs. 80/kg. Another serious problem was that of the power shortages which beset the people even through the summer with loadshedding of 5-6 hours daily. The Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, reassured the nation many times that there would be no power shortage after December. December is past now but we still have loadshedding of three hours a day in the city of Karachi. Largely because of the power crisis, a number of businessman that were running cottage industries in various cities of Pakistan especially Faisalabad, have shut down their business. Moreover, the cost of production has gone up all over for all industries. One reckons the average rate of inflation for the year 2008-2009 was no less than 20 %. The 2010 seems a daunting year because even the authorities believe the rate of inflation in 2010 will be higher than the present. During the year 2008-2009, the foreign debt of the country crossed the $50 billion, the per capita income was believed to be $ 1046. The GDP growth rate for the year is thought to be 2% and the forex reserves on 30th of December 2009 stood at $13.72 billions. The high rate of inflation accompanied by very high unemployment has taken Pakistan into that old condition of stagflation. -KANWAL JAHAN, Karachi, January 2.