Economists tell us that ups and downs in the value of currency are a normal phenomenon, and a free natural market rate of the currency is eventually in the best interest for the country. This was the theory adopted in the recent devaluation of the rupee, when it fell in value to a low of 140 to the US Dollar. However, economic theory explanations often don’t take into account the practical on-ground side-effects that devaluation has on everyday middle class traders.

In Jodia Bazaar, traders resent the government’s hostile policies on rising prices and taxes, and are pessimistic citing possible curbs on imports in the upcoming mini-budget to be announced in January. The biggest worry among traders is the unstable rupee- further devaluation of the rupee puts a lot of pressure onto input costs.

It would be too harsh to say that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf PTI) government has not done well with the economy. The party has been in government for only four months-thus its economic policy is only just forming and it will take time to see results. Yet it needs to be said that so far, PTI’s economic policy has not been received positively by the common man. The unstable currency value, the sudden inflation of gas and electricity prices and the putting in jeopardy of thousands of livelihoods because of anti-encroachment has not worn well with the people who bought into PTI’s promise of reviving the economy.

The government explains away the crisis in inflation and the devaluation of the rupee by blaming it on the previous government’s inept policies and stating that PTI has inherited the worst economy in decades. What is imperative for the new government to realise is that it does itself and the country no favours when it airs the dirty laundry of the country’s economy on public spheres. A country’s economy booms when there is investment, and investment only comes when there is trust in the economy’s stability- if the leaders of a country openly berate the state of the economy, then investment is likely to falter. Same with the currency- there is little demand for a country’s currency if it is seen to be unstable.

Enough with depreciating the economy and the previous government. The government needs take up the mantle itself. Increasing prices may be a necessary move but the government needs to ensure that it mitigates the effects of increase by ensuring trust in the economy and the currency.