Common people in Pakistan have to prepare for the worse as inflation is set to further rise in the coming months even as Islamabad has promised to take stern action against smugglers of food items. In March, food inflation in Pakistan increased by 47.15 per cent compared with the same month in 2022. Food inflation has been steadily rising in the South Asian nation through this year.
“The inflation is expected to remain in the range of 36-38 per cent for April,” Pakistan finance ministry said in its Monthly Economic Update and Outlook released on Saturday. The note also said that inflationary pressures are not coming down anytime soon hit by an acute shortage of food.
People are already reeling under high food prices leading to widespread hunger. Cash starved Pakistan is now staring at a full blown food crisis.
Sources said that a large number of Pakistanis are eating just one meal a day.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has announced stringent measures to counter smuggling activities across the border. At many places, the government plans to put real time satellites to ensure no such illegal activities are underway.
The country’s food imports have also risen steadily amid shortages. The situation became particularly worrisome after the devastating floods last year, which damaged about 80 per cent of the country’s crops.
In Pakistan, 77 million are going hungry, and 45 million are malnourished, a Wilson Center research said, adding that weather, resource shortages, and conflict have only intensified the country’s food insecurity.
Observer Pakistan said in a recent report that hunger and malnutrition lead to crime. “The steep rise in crime is illustrating that people have no other way to feed their families. High taxes on basic amenities are a shock for poor people. Nutritional deficiencies give rise to many syndromes and diseases,” it said, adding that there is an emergency for food insecurity.
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