An editorial from today’s Daily Times –
“The Federal Bureau of Statistics says that “food inflation” surged over 20 percent due to high prices of food and increase in domestic oil prices during March of the current fiscal year as compared with the corresponding period last year. The consumer price index (CPI) therefore has gone up by 14.12 percent, the highest in a decade during the month under review. On top of this, the wheat crop estimates have been drawn down from 24 million tons to 22 million tons, threatening to further push up “food-led” inflation in the country”.
The word “food-led” is misleading and might encourage the “economics of antagonism” which is unfortunately issuing from the finance ministry under Ishaq Dar, blaming the Shaukat Aziz government for the inflation. The fact is that food has actually become more expensive all over the world. The global increase has been of the order of 40 percent in one year. Added together with global oil and edible oil prices, the phenomenon is more “foreign-led” food inflation than just food-led. The Shaukat Aziz government has been punished by the 2008 elections. It is time to move on. Don’t forget that in 1999, too, the economy under Nawaz Sharif was “belly-up” and had to be rescued by Mr Aziz. *