Pakistan Is An Expensive Country

You read that right, Pakistan is one of the most expensive countries to live in Asia. From being one of the most affordable countries to live in Asia, it has become a ridiculously expensive country. And it is because of the failed government policies.

Every new government that has taken oath over the past 15 years has one thing in common. They all started with the same statement “Khazana Khali Hai“. It translates to “Treasury is Empty” in English. When Zardari was sworn in as the President of Pakistan, he said President Musharraf left the treasury empty. When Nawaz Sharif was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, he claimed that Zardari left the treasury empty. And now when, Imran Khan was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, he also claimed the treasury has been left empty by Nawaz. Why do all the rulers start with the same script? Maybe because their aides are incompetent and have no clue on how to handle their duty thus they copy and paste previous government’s wordings. Unfortunately, if you criticize the government, you receive the following text message on your phone “Sharing of blasphemy, pornography, terrorism and other unlawful content on social media is illegal. Users are advised to report such content on content-complaint@pta.gov.pk for necessary action.” The only thing the government employees are good at is imposing fines and taxes on innocent people and making life harder for them!

Anyway, let’s get back to the topic. 15 years ago during President Musharraf’s time, the cost of milk was between 30 to 40 rupees per kilo. Slowly, slowly every new “selected” government imposed taxes on food items like milk which saw the price increase to 60 rupees, then 120 rupees, and now around 200 rupees per kg! One family consumes 1 kg of milk within 2 days. This means that they would consume 15 kg of milk the whole month, equating to around 3000 rupees per month. This is just the expense of milk, common vegetables prices like onions and tomatoes are unpredictable since their price fluctuates depending on the season and many other factors. Thus a working man whose salary is 20,000 rupees can hardly save any money at all. Living cost is so expensive that either he will resort to corruption or crime.

Food items are not the only items that are expensive. At a time when the world is selling petrol at a reduced price due to corona virus issue, Pakistan is the only country where the price of petrol is double to what it should be. When the corona virus started and lockdown was implemented, the price of petrol was reduced to 50 rupees. As soon as lockdown was eased, petrol companies went on strike demanding a higher petrol selling price since they were not making profits. Thus, the government bulged into their demands and increased the petrol prices!

Automobiles are no different. Their prices have skyrocketed over the past few years. During President Musharraf’s time, the junk Suzuki Mehran selling price was around 2 lakhs and it’s older junkie Cultus cost was around 5 lakhs. As the selected governments took oath, the price of Mehran has now increased to 7 lakhs while Cultus has risen to 15 lakhs! Hardly offering any features, Suzuki Pakistan is ripping off Pakistani citizens by selling junk at ridiculous prices. Not just Suzuki, but common people are selling their 20 year old junks for 10+ lakhs! This is the result of high taxes being imposed on common people.

When the living expenses are high and the earnings of the people are low, it gives birth to corruption. And corruption is common in Pakistan. It isn’t just limited to high ranking government officials taking bribes in order to award a contract or offer a government jobs, but also to low level government officials like Traffic Police and utility employees who can easily be bribed in order to avoid a fine. Even civilians holding positions in private enterprises are involved in corruption. I have worked in a construction company where high management, drivers, and office boys were all involved in defrauding the owner by presenting fake bills and taking bribes to approve housing map and paperwork of property transfer. Everyone has their own justification for doing corruption.

Imran Khan’s government has an ambitious dream to end corruption, but they won’t be successful. Why? Because to end corruption, you have to understand the root cause of it. The root cause is survival. If people can’t survive with their halal earnings, then they have no option but to resort to corruption. The day the government understands this, then it’ll succeed with its plan to end corruption. Until then, corruption will never end.

Pakistan Is An Expensive Country

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