THE monsoon floods have had a terrible effect on the country, and one of the prices that people have paid, and will keep on paying, will be measurable in economic terms. Already, civil servants have busied themselves with damage assessments, though some say that as the calamity is not yet over, any damage assessment now will obviously be an under-estimate. The common man has been impacted by the rise in prices of all goods, especially food, as a large amount of the countrys most fertile food-growing areas have come under floodwater. While high inflation has been around for some time, the advent of Ramazan means that any food inflation at this time will be felt much more now than it would at another time. What has happened with these floods is that they have come mainly in KP, in areas which are the mainstay for the supply of fruit in all seasons, but particularly during the Holy Month. The previous inflation may well have affected the common man, but the current bout of inflation has hit those living in areas which did not directly experience flooding because transport and transporters both are not available. The consequent shortage of food has affected all areas, with items slowly but surely going from merely short in supply to simply unavailable. Their quality in the market has also declined, virtually in proportion to the intensity of the flooding, which has caused hardships to the consumer in other areas. The unfortunate coincidence of the Ramazan fasting with the monsoon season should have been foreseen by the government. The possibility of monsoon flooding causing food inflation should have been kept in mind as a real possibility, and it was the governments responsibility to guard against it by importing food if necessary. One of the negative effects of such floods in an agricultural country has been the driving up of prices worldwide. The impact of the floods would be also felt at the time of the next wheat sowing and thus harvest, when farmers would not have the money needed to invest. Meanwhile, the coming winter would see shortages of rice and cotton, the two main crops presently in the fields in Punjab and Sindh. The governments insouciance at what has been evaluated by the UN as the worst natural disaster since the tsunami, reflects badly on it, and exposes its lack of concern with what happens to the ordinary citizen. What is needed at this time is that the government should make arrangements for the appropriate passage of Ramazan by ensuring the availability of quality foodstuffs at reasonable prices.