Inflation has gripped the country rather tightly and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Prices have gone through the roof particularly in the last few weeks when the government started slashing fuel subsidies to revive the loan programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
While every segment of society suffers from rising inflation, the salaried class is taking the brunt amid increasing expenses and stagnant salaries. Indeed, there are cases of shrinking salaries and even vanishing salaries owing to retrenchment.
Those who are lucky to still have salaries can barely live paycheque to paycheque and can’t set aside even a few dimes for the rainy day.
In contrast, traders, transporters and other sectors pass on the impact of price hikes to the end consumers. While there is no set formula or government policy to increase commodity prices in proportion to the rise in fuel charges, businesses jack up prices on a whim and thus remain largely unaffected by inflation.
This just negates the impact of whatever little relief the government tries to give to the poor. Government employees also get some sort of cushion in the form of annual pay rise, but those working in the private sector have been left in the lurch by both their employers and the government.
The government should earnestly do everything it can to curb the current inflationary trend and take appropriate steps to help the common man stay afloat.
M MUMTAZ HUSSAIN