Double whammy for common folk: Runaway inflation, rampant job losses
Rising inflation and unemployment has broken the backbone of the common man in cash-strapped Pakistan.
Islamabad: Rising inflation and unemployment has broken the backbone of the common man in cash-strapped Pakistan.
Besides, hike in prices of petroleum products every 10 to 15 days, and imposition of taxes have made the life of the common man miserable.
The economic crisis staring at the country has certainly forced the common man to not only revisit his/her lifestyle and living conditions, but also put forth what seems like a never-ending struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis.
Musa, a civil engineer working in one of the top manufacturing companies in the country, was a permanent employee and had been working for the past five years. However, with government imposing a ban on imports and stopping all LCs (lease credit) for the business sectors, majority of the manufacturing companies, which rely on imported items for their products, are forced to shut down their plants and lay off thousands of workers.
Musa was among those who lost their job of a five-figure salary as he also became victim to downsizing and closure of industrial plants.
“I was a permanent employee there. But because of the government’s complete ban on imports, the plant shut down and I lost my job. I have a family of five (wife and three children) and I am the lone earning hand in the house. My daughter has a medical condition and needs special treatment and attention. I live in a rented house. Now, everything is shattered. I have no idea what to do. There are no jobs in Pakistan anymore,” said Musa.
“Earlier, managing house expenses, kitchen expenses, children’s education expenses, paying bills and rent was easily manageable. But now everything else has become expensive. Kitchen expenses have doubled, fuel prices have rocketed, electricity and gas prices are hiked every month. And there is no job anywhere in the country… How should one even survive? How should one manage these things without money,” Musa asked.
It would be right to say that the life of a common man, managing household expenses with his earnings have certainly taken a major setback due to the worsening economic crisis in the country.
Hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs while the ones on job have been hit with 30 to 50 per cent salary cuts. There are many whose salaries suffer constant delays for months, making it even more difficult for them to manage their expenses and fulfil the basic needs of the family.
“All we can do at this time is pray and hope that things get better. Because, as it stands today, a common man’s life has diminished from progress to survival,” said Musa.
The coming days are expected to make the already grim situation worse for the common man as imposition of more taxes, increase in prices of petroleum products and inflation, which currently stands at around 27 per cent and is expected to go up to over 35 per cent, will take their toll on the common man.