“Inflation is too high, can’t make enough money”: Pakistan fights economic crisis
Inflation surged to a 48-year high in crisis-stricken Pakistan, where the International Monetary Fund is on an emergency visit, according to data released Wednesday by the bureau. millet this country.
Annual inflation in January 2023 was recorded at 27.55%, the highest since May 1975, with thousands of containers of imported goods being held at the port of Karachi.
Pakistan’s economy is in dire straits, affected by balance of payments crisis while the country tries to pay off large amount of foreign debt.
The world’s fifth-largest population has less than $3.7 billion in state banking – just enough to cover three weeks of imports.
On Tuesday, an IMF delegation arrived in Islamabad to revive talks with the government on the stalled bailout package, which has so far failed to meet the lender’s tough conditions. Global.
But in recent days, with the prospect of national bankruptcy looming and no friendly country willing to offer less painful bailouts, Islamabad has begun to come under pressure.
The government eased controls on the rupee to curb the rampant black market in US dollars, a move that sent the currency plunging to record lows. The price of artificially cheap gasoline has also been increased.
The state bank no longer issues letters of credit, except for essential food and medicine, causing a backlog of thousands of shipping containers at the port of Karachi with cargo the country can no longer afford.
‘One cannot earn enough’
The industry has been hampered by the block of imports and the massive devaluation of the rupee. Public construction projects have stopped, textile factories are partially closed, and domestic investment has slowed.
The National Consumer Price Index for January 2023 was up 2.88% month-on-month, figures released Wednesday showed.
In downtown Karachi on Monday, dozens of day workers including carpenters and painters waited with their tools on display for work that never came.
“The number of beggars increased and the number of workers decreased,” said mason Zafar Iqbal, 55, who was eating biryani from a plastic bag donated by a passerby.
“Inflation is so high that people can’t make enough.”
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was ousted last year in a motion of no confidence, negotiated a billion-dollar loan package from the IMF in 2019.
But he has rejected promises to cut subsidies and market interventions that have eased the cost-of-living crisis, bringing the program to a halt.
That’s a common pattern in Pakistan, where most people live in rural poverty, with more than two dozen IMF agreements brokered and then broken for decades.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the aggregate feed.)
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