Pakistan ordered all malls and markets to close by 8:30 pm as it initiated measures under its new energy conservation plan, the country’s defence minister said as per news agency Reuters.
Khawaja Asif said that that measures approved by the cabinet and aim to save the cash-strapped country some 62 billion Pakistani rupees. This comes as Pakistan faces a severe economic crisis amid persistent inflationary pressures.
Pakistan’s Consumer Price Index (CPI)- the inflation monitor- rose to 24.5 per cent in December from 12.3 per cent in the same period last year, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) noted. The inflation rate was not concomitant with the ministry of finance’s expectations, which ranged from 21 per cent to 23 per cent, Geo News reported.
Experts believe that inflation has been rising in Pakistan due to the impact of higher international commodity prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, damage to crops due to devastating floods in the country and rupee depreciation.
Food inflation also surged in the country by 32.7 per cent in cities and 37.9 per cent in villages/towns last month, data showed. This reflects a significant rise in prices of perishable and non-perishable food products compared to the same period last year, Geo News reported.