Sir: Recently, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported that the rate of inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, has touched to 9.41 percent. This rise in the general price level will cut the purchasing power of the money (Rupee) by the same or more percentage making transactions more costly to conduct, particularly for the poor.

With this alarming situation, the gap between the poor and the rich, in all aspects, is widening. In addition, the basic survival of the poor seems to be crippling as their demand for basic life-sustaining goods including food, shelter, and health is more sensitive to the increasing prices.

In addition, persistence in the currency devaluation, increasing petroleum prices and excessive government borrowing from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) may bring havoc.

The skyrocketing prices will cause more adversity for the poor who are already having less earning potential and income. Resultantly, this will increase the number of absolute poor (living below the national poverty line) in Pakistan, hence the dependency burden for the state. Seemingly, pre-power slogans of the current government were pro-poor but post-power policies are appearing to be anti-poor.

One can also provide subsidized food, health, and transportation. Otherwise, the constantly increasing costs of living will let the poor stuck in the absolute poverty trap for the next many decades.

 

ABDUL BASIT BHATTI,

Sukkur, April 4.