While Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has been busy bickering and whining like a toddler over Kashmir, his already cash-strapped country has been slipping further into a deeper economic crisis. The beggar country which has been crying over the rising price of ‘roti’ and ‘naan’ and then tomatoes will now have to cry over price of milk.
According to reports, the prices of milk in the neighbouring country has become higher than that of petrol. While the cost of one litre of petrol is around Rs 113 in the country and diesel is being sold at Rs 91 per litre, milk, on the other hand, has reached a skyrocketing price of Rs 140 per litre. Though the official price of milk set by the government is Rs 94 per litre, reports say shopkeepers were selling it at Rs 110 per-litre while at some places it was sold at an even higher price of Rs 140.
The surge in prices of milk can partially be attributed to the increase in demand due to the occasion of Muharram, but poverty-stricken Pakistan has been dealing with this conundrum for quite some time now.
The issue of increased milk prices in the city had aggravated after the associations involved in the milk trade in Pakistan last month said they are ready to face any action for increasing the prices. They were responding to Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani’s decision to initiate a crackdown against the price hike. The Milk Retailers Association in Karachi had threatened the government of stopping milk supply and bring their animals on the roads and go on strike if any action was initiated against them for the price hike.
Interestingly, the administration in Pakistan has called for a meeting with the farmers and stakeholders which will sit on September 13 to discuss the rising prices of milk in the country. Not to forget that Imran Khan had earlier called for a cabinet meeting to decide on the gas tariffs for tandoors and prices of roti and naan.
Recently, impoverished Pakistan had to deal with similar predicaments over the rising price of tomatoes. After the Pakistani government tried to threaten India by snapping trade ties, the country saw a sudden surge in prices of basic vegetables, especially tomatoes which reached Rs 300 per kg. Due to its high dependence on exports from India, this decision had hit the already economically- ruined Pakistan hard.
If things continue this way, the day is not far when the Google search engine’s controversy which throws up images of Imran Khan when one searches for “bikhari”- a Hindi word that means “Beggar”, might just change into a crude reality.