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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Transportation in Pakistan becomes more expensive on every front!

Wealth inequality and Income inequality are highly pronounced among the population of our country. Consistent inflation lands the middle class facing with limited opportunities in the labor market and a big squeeze in its living standards. To cater to the working class’ needs, it would be ideal to have a reliable public transport system – intracity and intercity. This would allow people to save some bucks and loosen their monthly budgets to invest more in healthcare and education.

It has been six days into the new year and Pakistanis have already seen a hike in the price of petrol and cars. At first, the government raised fuel cost and soon private companies trailed behind for their vehicles – only to amplify the damage. One might believe that private transportation will soon be considered a luxury owned by the upper middle class and beyond only.

2019 saw multiple and continuous cost increases from companies like Toyota Indus, Pak Suzuki, Honda etc. – ranging all the way from higher-end to lower-end cars. The cost discrepancies ranged from a moderate Rs 50,000 for Mehran VX to a whopping Rs 440,000 for Swift DLX.

Now, Toyota Indus Motor Company has announced an increase of Rs 20,000 in all of its Corolla variants. No particular reason has been given for said surge in prices. The company has been hit by a sustained fall in sales as it saw sales drop by 25.94% during the first 11 months of 2019 as compared to the same period in 2018.

The country is falling in a trap of accelerating inflation by the day. No change in the political situation has proven to help Pakistan’s economy since over a decade

During the January-November 2019 period, it sold 38,427 units of Corolla as compared to 49,858 units in the same period in 2018. Such a trend was seen in almost all the vehicle companies in Pakistan, where the sale of cars continuously declined due to the increase in prices and the population of running cars on the road.

In the first five months of the previous fiscal year, car sales saw a fall of 44% as compared to the same period the year before. In fact, demand for various units also fell by around 35-75%. Experts believed that this respective increase in vehicle cost was a side effect of the depreciation of Pakistani Rupee, however, the trend continued even after the mid-year rupee jump to Rs. 155 against $1 (compared to Rs. 164 against $1 in the beginning of the year).

According to sources, the price of petrol has been raised to Rs 116.60 from Rs 113.99 – an escalation of Rs 2.61. This might seem marginal and almost worth ignoring to the naked eye. But those struggling individuals who save up to own and maintain said luxurious independence will also be actively affected by the hike in fuel prices, specially if they commute over longer distances.

Read more: Karachi’s transport crisis: Blue Line on hold as Green Line project’s track is completed

The country is falling in a trap of accelerating inflation by the day. No change in the political situation has proven to help Pakistan’s economy since over a decade. Where our patriotism is still alive, hope in efficient and productive leadership does not follow suit.