We export food items when people are being crushed by food inflation at home

We export food items when people are being crushed by food inflation at home


Policy-making in Pakistan doesn’t revolve around the people and their interests

Follow on
Follow us on Google News

LAHORE (Web Desk) – We are told that increasing exports is a solution to all the economic problems we face. So devalue the rupee and we will get more exports. Well! We went ahead with a weakened rupee and press ahead with our dream that the local currency nosedived to a level never seen before.

Results? A skyrocketing inflation due to the increased import bill with no overall jump in exports. Meanwhile, the inflationary impact is unbridled and no one knows how to control the vicious circle after we triggered the button to satisfy the foreign-educated experts and special business interests.

At the same time, we also hear news from places like our eastern neighbour India – although these stories remain unnoticed for one reason or the other – covering subjects on restrictions on exports of different items including rice and onions.

Reason? To protect the people at home from the rising food prices as the state is meant to protect its citizens.

Meanwhile, India also has a free grain programme for the vulnerable population besides subsidising the prices of LPG and other essential items.

But what we do in Pakistan? With a weak rupee and a desire to earn the lucrative dollars, we encourage exporting food items – rice, meat, sugar and every other thing we can get – despite the fact we already know that the overwhelming majority in the country is facing a worsening cost-of-living crisis thanks to the record-high inflation.

The data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics show that the food exports grew 30.29 per cent during the July-Oct period of 2023-24, reaching $1.944 billion against a total of $1.492bn recorded in the corresponding months of last fiscal year.

Whether we are taking advantage of the India banning rice exports or the rising prices in global markets or its just our desperation to find the dollars, the question is who will think about the people in Pakistan? Who are the beneficiaries of rising exports? Are the policies set for business interests only?

The least you could have done was to set some limits on the exports the different items. But it didn’t happen as we expect more price hikes for electricity and gas.

However, we must get ready for more sugar exports as the sugar prices are on the rise in global markets. What should the people in Pakistan do? They should relax, sit back and watch their purchasing power further.