Imran admits Pakistan facing massive inflation

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Imran Khan also noted that multiple countries are currently facing a supply shortage issue due to the COVID-19 pandemic….reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has admitted that the people in the country are facing massive inflation as prices of commodities and fuel have surged in the nation and stated that the inflation issue keeps him awake at night, a media report said.

Answering a question about skyrocketing inflation during a general public live on-air program on Saturday, Imran Khan said that it was the only problem that “kept [him] awake at night”, reported Dawn.

But Imran Khan also said that the current inflation was a “global phenomenon”.

The Prime Minister also noted that when the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf led government came into power, they had to deal with a massive account deficit which led to a surge in the price of imports.

Imran Khan also noted that multiple countries are currently facing a supply shortage issue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stating that the US has spent USD 6,000 billion for the welfare of the people during the pandemic, Imran said that Pakistan spent USD 8bn. “We must compare the situation of both countries,” he added.

The Pakistan Prime Minister also noted that currently, the UK and some European countries face record inflation.

With regard to inflation, Imran Khan also asked the media to keep a “balanced approach” while discussing inflation and to inform citizens of the situation across the world.

Admitting that inflation has affected Pakistanis a lot, Imran said that the salaried class was the most affected due to inflation.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (India Narrative_IANS)

Energy crisis and ‘long march’

Pakistan’s acute energy crisis has triggered protests in the country. It has become a “national issue” and will be one of the focus points of the “long march” against the Imran Khan-led government, organized from Karachi to Islamabad by the opposition parties next month, said a media report.

Pakistan has been facing an unprecedented energy crisis. The frequent and long energy shortages are creating difficulties for common households as well as hampering industrial output. This has impacted exports as well, said InsideOver in a report.

It further reported that the unprecedented power crisis, mismanagement and lack of recovery plan are nudging the country toward economic calamity. The uneven and interrupted supply of gas, electricity and petroleum products are leading to discomfort among different provincial governments and the federal government of Islamabad.

Many cities in Pakistan are witnessing protests from people over natural gas shortage and prolonged power outages. Electricity is not available for several hours across Pakistan.

InsideOver highlighted that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the power shortage leaves people without electricity for 18 hours. And whenever there is electricity, voltage is low, which is making people difficult to draw drinking water. This has led to protests and people especially women are blocking roads to vent their anger.

In Gilgit-Baltistan too people hit the streets in the sub-zero temperatures over prolonged power shortages and black-marketing of food supplies. Gilgit-Baltistan based Awami Action Committee (AAC) called it a failure of Pakistan State to provide basic facilities to people.

Sindh government invoked a constitutional article and warned the Islamabad government of taking over the gas distribution system if locals are deprived of cooking fuel, which is mainly found in the wells in the province.

“The province which produces over 2/3 of the total natural gas in the country has been facing a situation where households are without gas to cook food, industries are shutting down because of huge shortage and low gas pressure and CNG stations are closed for months to come,” Sindh Province’s Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh wrote to Islamabad government, InsideOver reported.

Businesses too are getting hurt. “Exports worth USD 250 million were lost in just a month of fuel shortages which shut mills for 15 days,”said Shahid Sattar, executive director of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association.

The supply shortfall is due to the energy ministry’s inability to arrange supply and is hurting the very future of Pakistan’s exports and economy, InsideOver reported.

In the summer of 2021, the power shortage had reached 6,000 megawatts leading to long-hour load-shedding across Pakistan.

However, in December 2021, Pakistan hiked the power tariffs by an additional Rs 4.74 per unit to earn additional revenue. Subsequently, the Khan government increased petroleum prices too.

Major opposition party Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) called it “Economic murder”. Now radical outfit Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) too is joining the protests on the streets. (ANI)

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