As per the rankings issued by the global cost of living database for 2023, Numbeo, Pakistan is the cheapest country to live in the world.
The cost of living including the rates of items of daily use, rates at restaurants, and rents in Pakistan are recorded to be the cheapest. The rankings have declared Rawalpindi as the cheapest city in Pakistan followed by Karachi and Lahore.
Egypt is declared the second-most cheapest country in the world followed by India. Asian countries dominated the top rankings in the list.
Pakistan is declared the cheapest country to live in despite skyrocketing inflation in the past year. Last year saw an exorbitant hike in the food and energy crisis in Pakistan.
The economy of Pakistan is struggling with a multitude of problems including inflation and unstable rupees against the dollar.
Caretaker government warns of further increase in energy prices. A rapid rise in electricity bills has affected the budgets of households. Rising inflation and stagnant incomes have affected the spending of the public.
Caretaker Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar declared the caretaker government’s resolve to boost electricity and gas tariffs as part of a broader strategy to address the persistent circular debt issue.
Driven by commitments under the IMF’s Stand-By Agreement Programme (SBA), the government seeks to reduce costs and enhance efficiency in the energy sector.
The power and gas sectors’ circular debt, surpassing 4% of the Gross Domestic Product, demands urgent attention, prompting tariff adjustments. While acknowledging the fragility of macroeconomic stability, Dr. Akhtar hinted at a potential medium-term bailout package from the IMF.
Following a staff-level agreement with the IMF, Dr. Akhtar shed light on critical aspects of the deal. Notably, she emphasized the commitment to regular tariff adjustments, revealing plans for a gas price hike in January.
The caretaker government aims to control costs, transfer management to the private sector, and institutionalize campaigns against power and gas theft. Acknowledging the need for further financial reforms, Dr. Akhtar discussed the possibility of another IMF programme to ensure economic stability.