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Rising prices of essential goods

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Irsa Sajjad

The prices of necessities of life are rising constantly. They are posing a serious problem for everybody in the country. The problem of rising prices has become a universal problem. This problem assumes an acute form in the developing countries, like Pakistan. The majority of people in our country belong to the low income group. Usually they have very meagre sources of income. Very often the income of people is fixed. Therefore, they are hard hit by the high prices of essential goods which register a rise every week and every month. The result is that the standard of living of the poor people is dwindling day by day.
Since people have not means to buy the necessities of life. They are compelled to use unfair means to have them. In this way, the society is troubled by pick-pockets, thieves and robbers etc. Those government servants who cannot make both ends meet become corrupt. They abuse their powers and persons go under debt. The gulf between the rich and the poor goes on widening until it results in some revolutions in the name of equality and justice.
Rising prices also affect national life in the economic field. The businessmen think of adulteration, black marketing and other methods to maximise their profits. Since the prices of goods are beyond the reach of common man, the standard of living goes on falling gradually.
There are many factors which cause rise in prices. First, the most important of these is the increase in population. If the population of a country is increasing at a rapid rate as compared with the increase in its means of production and economic development, the rise in prices becomes inevitable.
Second, if the demand is higher than the supply, the goods will be naturally sold at higher prices. Sometimes the government imposes higher taxes on certain commodities so that their prices go up. The wrong policies of government often lead to hoarding smuggling and black marketing of the essential goods.
Third, if a businessman has a monopoly in the production and sale of a certain commodity, he can raise its price as and when he desires. In developing countries like Pakistan, the developmental activities usually cause inflation. The funds and the loans that are acquired from foreign countries are invested on different projects. They increase the circulation of money in the country. When people have more money in their pockets, they will be prepared to have more and better facilities of life and to offer higher prices for them. All these economic forces join hands and create a serious problem for the common man and the government.
Our first duty should be to check the birth rate. We should make a vigorous propaganda in favour of family planning. Second the government should not impose so many taxes, levies, duties or surcharges on those commodities which are used by the common man and which are considered necessary for human life. Besides that, it is the most important duty of the government to keep a vigilant eye on the production and sale of essential goods. Undue profit-making should not be allowed in any case.