Karachi violence causes Rs 60 billion losses to national economy
April 06, 2012
The ruthless desire of political parties and ethnic groups to control the financial hub of Pakistan, the mega city of Karachi, has led to the violent clashes which caused around Rs 60 billion losses to the national economy during the last week.
Target killing of opponents has resumed after short respite in the port city of Karachi which claimed around 30 lives, more than 50 vehicles during four days of strikes and riots. The Karachi city is providing job opportunities to millions of people including around 5 million labourers who were unable to find work. Production, trade, exports and imports remained suspended.
The violence and shutdowns directly impact millions of poor whose livelihood depends solely on peace and continuation of trade activities. The rootless proletariats who find very hard to meet both ends in high inflationary times are the main victims of violence. The prices of basic necessities have soared by manifold during the last four years of prime ministerYousufRazaGilani’s rule.
The incumbent government instead of creating job opportunities for masses has failed to provide security to them. In the name of reconciliation people are left at the mercy of armed wings of political parties and gangs of extortionists, it is evident from the inaction of law enforcement agencies that despite deployment of larges number of police and rangers personnel in the city criminals were free to roam the city.
The poor segment of the society is suffering from burgeoning prices of the essential commodities. During last four years of incumbent government the prices have multiplied many times but incomes remained constant. The government had fixed Rs 7000 as the basic salary which is even less that the price of a pair of shoes. Because of the poor financial situation many people are suffering from psychological problems leading to the increasing incidents of suicides in Pakistan.
At a time when the people are already suffering due to the price hike of essential commodities the decision of government to increase prices of petroleum products is tantamount to add salt to their injuries. The government’s action is labeled as the petrol bomb and gas bomb. Due to the unprecedented price hike people are being forced to complement the era of former dictator Pervaiz Musharraf.
After the departure of General retired Pervaiz Musharraf the government failed to provide relief to the commoners. The prices of all essential commodities sky rocketed but no step was taken to arrest soaring prices. In last four years the prices of petroleum products have been increased by manifold. Data shows that the prices of petrol was Rs 62.81 per litre on March 25, 2008 but the prices has now gone up to Rs 105.68. price of high speed diesel has jumped from Rs 44.13 to Rs 108.16 per litre. The CNG rates were Rs 37 per kg on March 25, 2008 which have been raised to Rs 88.70 and Rs 80.89 per kg in latest move by the government.
Similarly the prices of food items have also been increased by manifold. The sugar which used to cost Rs 25 per kg on March 25, 2008 is now available for Rs 56 per kg. price of wheat flour, masur, moong and mash increased from Rs16 to Rs 33, Rs 85 to Rs 100, Rs 50 to Rs 135 and Rs 62 to 135 per kg respectively. Milk prices soared up by Rs 35 per litre to Rs 70 during last four years.
In Pakistan there is no mechanism to adjust the prices of products in the wake of fluctuations. Companies raise prices whenever they wish without any fear of authorities’ questioning. Rising incidents of riots, high inflation, poor law and order situation is what the commoners of Pakistan have been experiencing during last four years of the incumbent government. The country is scheduled to hold elections next year but would it be the end of peoples miseries is the question that needs to be answered by the government and its coalition partners.