Imran's 'Naya Pakistan' turns into nightmare as economy hits new low

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi Published: Dec 08, 2020, 11:45 PM(IST)

Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Food prices have been spiralling out of control in the country. In October, food inflation was at 16.6 per cent.

Pakistan's economy is in the doldrums plunging to new lows every day with inflation at an all-time high.

In January, Pakistan had witnessed 12-year high inflation at 14.6 per cent which is among the highest in the world.

Food prices have been spiralling out of control in the country. In October, food inflation was at 16.6 per cent. The Pakistan government has gone on a panic-buying spree to bring the prices down.

The Pakistani currency has weakened at 160 Pakistani rupees to a dollar it has become one of the worst-performing currencies in the region. "Naya Pakistan" is turning out to be a nightmare for Imran Khan which has taken the shape of the country - failed and adrift.

For all his tall promises of a new era, PM Imran Khan has only taken his country backwards.

The total public debt has in Pakistan has ballooned. It has increased by 11 trillion rupees at a total of 36.3 trillion which is 87 per cent of Pakistan's total GDP in the two years under Imran Khan's rule.

Then there are international loans which have been piling up. Islamabad is still turning to foreign banks to meet its balance of payments. In the latest instance, the Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of $300 million to Islamabad, it is in addition to $1.3 billion that Pakistan borrowed from the IMF in April which was in addition to a $6 billion loan it secured from the IMF in July.

Pakistan's economy is scraping the bottom of the barrel with unemployment zooming. According to the World Economic Forum, the youth unemployment rate in Pakistan stands at 8.5 per cent in a country where 64 per cent of the population is below the age of 30.

Pakistan's healthcare has been going from bad to worse. According to Pakistan's national command operation centre, 10,300 healthcare professionals have been infected during the pandemic and at least 100 healthcare workers have lost their lives to the virus from China.

There's also a severe shortage of oxygen in hospitals. In Peshawar, at least 6 patients lost their life due to oxygen shortage even as over 200 patients had their oxygen supply curtailed for hours.

Corruption in Pakistan has become institutionalised. The bus rapid transit project and the billion tree Tsunami project which was the brainchild of Imran Khan are now scams. A report by Pakistan's auditor-general has revealed financial irregularities of up to 2.77 billion Pakistani rupees in the bus rapid transport project and the billion tree Tsunami project is facing a probe for embezzlement of funds and misuse of authority.

PM Imran Khan had promised a tsunami of trees across Pakistan. The money has been spent but there are no trees to show for it, all that is left is a hole in the public exchequer's purse with a loss of over 432 million Pakistani rupees.

Naya Pakistan is riddled with the same old problems - the politicians are embroiled in corruption, the elites have been exploiting the masses and the clerics have been radicalising them. The army is taking control and cash and terrorism have become a means for survival, the people of Pakistan, however. are barely managing to survive.

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