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Seven new records

Record number 1: In 2019, the PTI government allocated Rs190 billion for ‘social protection’. Over the past three years, the PTI government has allocated a total of Rs675 billion for ‘social protection’. The PML-N government used to allocate an average of Rs2 billion a year. The PPP government used to allocate an average Rs4 billion a year. Imagine: the PML-N allocated roughly Rs10 billion in five years and PTI Rs675 billion in three years.

This is the first government in Pakistan’s history that has so clearly demonstrated its commitment to protect the ‘poor and the vulnerable’ in our society. This is the first government in our history that has allocated so much for the needs of the ‘poorest and the most vulnerable’.

Record number 2: This year remittances from workers overseas hit a historical high of $29 billion from $22 billion in 2018. This is a 32 percent jump in three years. In August 2021, $922 million (35 percent) came from the US, the UK and the EU. Our workers in Saudi Arabia sent back $694 million or 26 percent of the total.

Record number 3: Under the PTI government, Pakistan’s ranking in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ has jumped 39 places to 108 out of the 190 countries surveyed. A company can now be registered in one day – a new record. Taxes can now be paid online. A construction permit now takes 100 days as opposed to twice that many days in the past.

Record number 4: In 1960, a US dollar was worth Pakistani Rs4.76. Back then, the Indian rupee was at par with the Pakistani rupee (it took Indian Rs4.76 to buy a dollar). By 1996, both the Pakistani and the Indian rupee went down to Rs35-to-a-dollar. Beyond 1996, the Pakistani rupee went down much faster than the Indian rupee. Between 2008 and 2013, under the PPP government, the Pakistani rupee lost 20 percent of its value. Between 2013 and 2018, when the PML-N was in power, the Pakistani rupee fell from Rs98-to-a-dollar to Rs123, losing 26 percent of its value.

Thirty-seven months ago, the PTI formed the government. The rupee has since fallen to Rs173, losing 40 percent of its value in 37 months. That’s an average of more than one percent a month, every month. This is a new record; this is the highest the dollar has ever been in Pakistan’s 74-year economic history (the Indian rupee is at Rs74-to-a-dollar).

Record number 5: Between 2008 and 2013, during the PPP government, the price of diesel went from Rs44 a litre to Rs110 a litre. Between 2018 and 2021, during the PTI government, the price of diesel has gone up from Rs113 a litre to Rs120 a litre – the highest it has ever been in Pakistan’s history. The price of petrol, at Rs127 a litre, is also the highest-ever.

Record number 6: Each Pakistani consumes an average of 115 kg of wheat flour per year. In 2018, flour sold for Rs35 a kg and 212 million Pakistanis bought their flour for Rs853 billion. In 2021, flour is selling for Rs70 a kg and Pakistanis must now cough out Rs1,700 billion. This is the highest-ever.

Record number 7: In 2008, each and every Pakistani was indebted to the tune of Rs36,000. By 2013, during the PPP government, public debt went up and each and every Pakistani was under a debt of Rs88,000. By the end of 2018, every Pakistani was under debt amounting to Rs145,000. Between 2018 and 2021, per capita debt has gone to Rs218,000 – the highest it has ever been.

Let’s not count medicines, tomatoes, eggs, potatoes, onion, ghee, mutton, beef and milk.

Email: farrukh15@hotmail.com

Dr Farrukh Saleem, "Seven new records," The News. 2021-10-10.
Keywords: Economics , Economic history , Pakistani rupee , Public debt , Business , Remittances , Taxes , Pakistan , PTI , PPP , PMLN