Multinational companies continue profiteering as masses suffer
June 29, 2012
She took the money back with trembling hands looked at the shopkeeper with empty eyes and slowly retreated. She will not be able to feed supplement milk to her baby because the profit making multinational company has once again raised the price of milk, making it impossible for the poorest of the poor segment of the society to purchase it.
These are common scenes at every shops located in the shantytowns of cities. Everyday someone has to go back as shopkeepers tell customers that the price of commodity has gone up and they need to pay more to get it. This practice is continuously going on for last four year, people dubbed it as the gift of democracy. The price hike is creating frustration and disappointment among the masses everyday.
The worst rule of convicted former Prime Minister, Syed YousufRazaGilani, is now over but people are still suffering from the impacts of the regime. Taking full advantage of the government’s inability to manage economic affairs of the country, almost all the local and multinational companies raised prices all essential commodities whenever it suited them without any fear. The government authorities which are supposed to check prices hike, undue, failed to perform their duties. Recently a multinational company raised the prices of dry milk almost by Rs 30 per kg but it went on without any notice from the government machinery.
Multinational and local companies, including pharmaceutical, have many doctors on their panels. Whenever they wish to raise the price of any medicine or milk they simply increase the share of doctor who in return recommend particular medicine or milk to the visiting patients. This malpractice deprives patients not only of the cheap medicine but also forced them to buy particular product despite availability of alternate. The callous attitude of doctors is now causing malnutrition among the children in the country who are already suffering from the insufficient diet.
Due to rising prices of commodities parents are now prefer to send their children to work rather than schools. It is pertinent to note that the malnutrition is silent killer and is responsible for the 2.6 million deaths of children every year worldwide. The growing unemployment and energy crisis has made it difficult for many Pakistanis to keep soul and body together.
According to Asian Development Bank, a spike in the cost of food staples like rice and wheat could push tens of millions more people into extreme poverty in South Asia but food subsidies targeted at the very poorest in the region would help them cope with still-high prices. South Asia’s high population growth rates and the high number of people already living on or close to the extreme poverty line of $1.25 a day mean it is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to food price shocks. Spending on food already accounts for half the total budget of low-income households.
For last four years stories of corruption made headlines not only in Pakistan but abroad also. Gilani regime failed at almost every front, from economic to political. The corrupt government officials are free to fill their coffers. Politicians, bureaucrats and their relatives did not miss any opportunity to plunder national wealth. Though Gilani and his cronies made fortune but they also pushed thousands of people below poverty line, in extreme poverty.
The new prime minister, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, known to his critics as “Rental Raja”, failed to delivery as federal Water and Power minister and is unlikely to make any change. He can, if he wishes, at least tame corporates so that they stop exploiting the poor segment of the country. The petroleum products prices have been the excuse in Pakistan to raise prices of commodities but current international crude market shows declining trends which needs to be passed on. Ramdan is just round the corner greedy industrialists are flexing their muscles to take full advantage of government’s machinery inaptness, God knows how people will survive.