There is no possibility of an immediate end to the highest inflation in the country’s history, which has made life miserable for the common man, but experts say that there are some steps that can be taken to reduce it.
Due to devaluation of rupee, increase in taxes, increase in electricity and gas prices in Pakistan, today Pakistan is under severe inflation. This intensity of inflation has not only increased the difficulties of the common man, but it is also becoming difficult for the middle class to maintain whiteness.
Speaking to Deutsche Welle, several economists said that in order to cope with rising inflation, the common man will have to differentiate between wants and needs. Household expenses should be determined thoughtfully and a list of essential expenses should be made and strictly adhered to. It is generally seen that many things are bought which are not important after reaching the shopping mall. This shopping behavior needs to change. According to experts, the essential expenses that are usually incurred in any household include house rent, utility bills, mortgage, education expenses and transportation etc.
Dr. Afira Hamid is a retired teacher and currently resides in Lahore with her children. While talking to DW, he said that even by adopting a simple lifestyle, the severity of inflation can be avoided. According to him, if instead of buying goods of expensive brands seen by others while avoiding the display of superiority, savings can be made. According to him, “Similarly, shopping should be done from cheap shops instead of shopping from expensive shopping malls.” If you can go to the market every week instead of going to the market to buy more fruits and vegetables for the week, this can also save. “
‘Less meat, more vegetables’
Dr. Afeera Hamid says that nowadays the rates of chicken meat are very high. So “by cooking a small amount of chicken meat with vegetables, you can avoid buying a large amount of chicken. Likewise, avoiding excessive consumption of mutton, if we make kebabs and koftas from beef mince and eat them with vegetables. If taken, savings can be made even from this.” He added that it would also be useful to avoid expensive vegetables for some time and consume more cheap vegetables.
‘Earn one and eat five, it won’t work!’
As a working woman and housewife, Dr. Afira Hamid says, “In this inflation, the formula of earning one and eating five will not work. If you earn four now, you will be able to eat five properly. Girls teach children in their homes, women sell food online. Learn to sew and embroider. Big boys become salesmen or work extra jobs on weekends. Then go and things will be right.
‘We have to save together’
A few residents in Abdaleen Society of Lahore have shared the responsibilities of picking and dropping children among themselves to save on expensive petrol. Earlier, four vehicles used to drop children at the same school ten kilometers away, now the vehicle of one house drops the children from school and the vehicle of another house brings them. Next day this responsibility is done by other family members.
In Wapda Town, another area of Lahore, educated housewives have taken the responsibility of teaching children at home. Instead of going to expensive schools, children live together in a house and are taught by housewives. The next day the children gather at another house. There the lady of the other house teaches the children. Here the number of home schooled children has reached sixteen and these children go to formal school in fifth grade.
Speaking to DW, a young man named Bilal said that electricity consumption can be reduced by installing low power consumption devices (fans, energy savers, good quality cables and inverters etc.) in any home. According to him, the electricity bill comes less in houses using solar energy. Similarly, the bill can be reduced by using less electricity during peak hours. Bilal said, “All of us in the house spend most of the day in one air-conditioned room. We don’t run the water motor frequently, keep junk lights off and even ban children, make sure to turn off the power after using the washroom, turn on the gate lights early in the morning, and keep the garden lights on only when necessary. Use only time.”
Muhammad Abdullah, another resident of Lahore, told DW that he had shifted his residence closer to his workplace to reduce transport costs and also found a school for his children nearby.
A woman named Farhat Javed said, “Sometimes we eat and drink not out of necessity but out of habit.” When we remember, we start drinking tea. We also have to correct our eating habits. The prices of ghee and oil have also increased, so we have to reduce the consumption of fried items.
‘Government failed to control inflation’
Economic analyst Khalid Mahmood Rasul said in a conversation with DW that instead of putting the entire burden of inflation on the common man, the government should reduce its expenses and give relief to the common man. “There’s no need to build long, wide cabinets.” According to him, the fresh wave of inflation will push more people of Pakistan below the poverty line and force many children to drop out of school and go to work. In his opinion, the government should announce ‘targeted subsidy’ for the poor. Khalid Rasool believes that in order to reduce the effects of inflation, the rampant increase in population has to be stopped.
Another economist, Syed Al-Iwala Zaidi, said that the increase in the value of the dollar in the country, the increase in the prices of electricity and gas, and the increase in the prices of new goods, have increased more than what should have been increased by the traders. “The government has failed to control inflation.” He says that if the government can rein in hoarders, profiteers, greedy middlemen and corrupt businessmen, it can also bring down inflation.