DESPITE the claims by several ministers, the national economy remains a massive concern for the inflation-hit masses, unemployed youth and many more of their countrymen. I am seriously struggling to understand how the country’s economy has improved when there is rampant and unprecedented inflation and unemployment in the country.
The common man has been struggling to make ends meet. Inflation has messed up the household budget of the common man, and the youth of the country is struggling to find jobs to support their families.
The inflationary policies have damaged the economy badly. As if this was not enough, Covid complicated things beyond imagination. This is a global phenomenon, but what I find irritating is the fact that our ministers continue to make claims about things getting better.
It is not the government’s fault that the virus hit the country during its tenure. The coronavirus has engulfed the entire world and affected adversely the global economy. But it is definitely the government’s fault that its ministers continue to say that the economy has improved.
If the current account deficit is shrinking, it does not necessarily mean the economy is improving. On the contrary, the shrinking of the current account deficit can be owing to reduced imports because people are consuming less.
If car sales have increased, it might be due to the pent-up demand of cars which could not be met before Covid struck. The car sales for financial year 2021 increased by 31 per cent compared to car sales in 2020. I will not be very excited by this increase because we are comparing this year’s car sales with a low base. The shrinkage of current account balance or increase in car sales do not help the common man’s budget.
I believe what helps the common man and his family is price stability and improvement in the job market, which we do not have. The primary mandate of a government is to bring price stability and create steady job growth so that masses may benefit.
In my opinion, this has not been happening partly owing to inflationary policies of the government and partly due to the pandemic.
Therefore, our ministers should review their claims about the national economy. It is like insulting common sense.
Ejaz Ahmad Magoon
Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2021