Ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again given a call for countrywide protests this Sunday over the new wave of inflation. The government has increased the prices of fuel several times in the past few weeks which has perturbed the masses. The PTI will certainly seek to capitalize the opportunity against the government.
The PML-N led government has blamed Imran Khan for leaving landmines before leaving office. They claim having no choice but to fulfill the IMF deal and make tough decisions. But neither the PTI nor the masses seem to pay heed. They know that the worst is yet to come amid reports that the price of petrol could cross the Rs300 per litre mark and send the nation in a frenzy.
The new budgetary year starts on July 1 so the government is preparing to accede to all IMF’s demands and eventually receive the much-needed tranche. There are been reports that the economic team has sought assistance from the United States for finalizing the IMF deal to stabilize the economy.
The government is now mulling austerity measures to reduce fuel and power consumption. This includes the early closure of shops, markets, wedding halls, and all businesses. They are also finding innovative and rather bizarre ways amid the crisis. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has decided to declare Friday as work-from-home to fuel reduce costs while a federal minister advised reducing tea consumption.
The government wants people to adopt austerity in their lifestyle as a norm. The inflation-hit people are already cutting corners to survive. They can adopt some measures such as avoiding unnecessary travel except school and work, stop using large vehicles, conserving electricity, and discourage purchasing imported goods. However, a lot more needs to be done amid the aggravating situation.
The elite class and business community should also adopt austerity measures. Government ministers cannot drive around in gas guzzlers and urge bikers to stop using fuel. Neither will a cash handout of Rs2000 resolve the matter. The entire should adopt austerity if we are to unite rather than instruct the masses while the elites continue their ways.