Sunday June 04, 2023

Citizens irked by soaring expenses

August 17, 2022

Rawalpindi : Those at the bottom of the income class are facing the brunt of rising prices. Rising prices are slowly squeezing household budgets forcing families to cut down on their food budgets and leaving them with virtually nothing to save.

“I am an accountant with a finance company. I desperately wanted to buy a house for my family but was forced to abandon the plan. Rising borrowing costs have dashed my dreams and soaring prices of daily essentials forced me to change my lifestyle,” says Iftikhar Naqvi.

“The government may be trying to control prices but it is not reflecting on the ground. I had a dream of buying a house but with the rising rates of everything, it seems this will remain a dream,” adds Iftikhar.

“The families across various income slabs in the city are of the view that escalating prices are beginning to vex. Families blame the government for failing to tackle prices and making life difficult for the common man,” says Noreen Haider.

“Inflation has emerged as a headache for the government and a policy challenge for the government. Policymakers say there are no easy or immediate solutions,” says Sagheer Zaidi.

“Food inflation has skyrocketed and has remained persistent. The economists say it will remain high for some months, as it is difficult to predict how food prices will behave in the months ahead. Overall inflation has risen considerably,” adds Sagheer.

“The latest peak in food prices is led by the spiraling costs of daily essentials like cooking oil, flour, sugar, milk, etc. While a large part of the problem is because of supply bottlenecks, the government attributes it to the widening gap between wholesale and retail prices and the growing demand for these products,” says Shabbir Hussain.

“People blame the government’s faulty policies for high inflation, which policymakers say has been taxing the poor. The city residents say they have cut down on daily essentials and are worried about the education costs for their kids. The anger and frustration over high prices are palpable,” says Saman Rizvi.

“The government has not gone to the root cause of inflation. There has to be cause and effect analysis and then they should come out with solutions, says Arifa Syed, a manager with an outsourcing firm.