By Mati Ullah Khan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) enjoyed the power in the Centre for five times, the most among all political parties in the Country; however, in all of their eras, the Country remained in the grip of a serious inflation.
In fact, Pakistan has experienced the highest annual inflation of 30 percent in 1974 followed by 26.8 percent in 1975 and 17.0 percent in 2009 and all of these years belong to PPP.
Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s era:
The PPP’s Founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who held the reign of the Country from December 20, 1971 to August 13, 1973 as the Chief Martial Law Administrator and from August 14, 1973 to July 5, 1977 as the Prime Minister, introduced the pollical slogan of “roti, kapra aur makan” (bread, clothes, and shelter),
However, the inflation rate touched the highest at 30 percent in 1973-74 and 27 percent in 1974-75. While the decade-wise inflation of 12.3 percent in the period 1970-80 also remained to be the highest in Pakistan’s history.
Inflation in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s era:
|Fiscal Year||CPI Inflation*||Major Factors|
|1973-74*||30% (Highest ever inflation a year in Pakistan’s history)||· Global Energy Crises after 1973 Gulf War between Israel and Arabs|
· Impact of international price hikes
· Devaluation of Pakistani rupee
· Shortage of goods in the market created by natural factors such as floods
|1974-75||26.8% (2nd highest inflation a year in Pakistan’s history)|
*Pakistan’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30
The month-wise inflation was also recorded with all time high 38 percent in December 1973 and lowest -10.3 percent in February 1959.
It’s also worth mentioning that the GDP Growth rate stood at 4.8 percent in the period 1970-80 whereas it was recorded 6.8 percent and 6.5 percent in 1960-70 and 1980-90 respectively.
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s era
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto governed the Country from December 2, 1988 to August 6, 1990 and then again from October 18, 1993 to November 5, 1996.
Inflation in Benazir Bhutto’s eras:
|Fiscal Year||CPI Inflation||Major Factors|
|1988-89||10.4%||· Pakistani rupee’s depreciation against US dollar (12.4%)|
|1993-94||11.3%||· Pakistani rupee’s depreciation against US dollar (8%)|
· Increase in petroleum product prices
|1994-95||13.0%||· Increase in administered prices, supply bottlenecks of essential items, and unsatisfactory performance of minor crops|
· Increase in global price of palm oil
|1995-96||10.8%||· Pakistani rupee’s depreciation against US dollar (12.3%)|
· Increase in administered prices
PPP President Asif Ali Zardari’s era:
With President Asif Ali Zardari in the Presidency, PPP took the reign to rule the Country for the fourth time in March 2008 and enjoyed their full five-year tenure.
PPP’s Yousaf Raza Gillani took over on March 25, 2008 as the 18th Prime Minister of Pakistan and remained on the position before he was ousted on April 26, 2012 by a Supreme Court decree.
Yousaf Raza Gillani was succeeded by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as the prime minister for the term from June 22, 2012 to March 24, 2013.
Inflation in Asif Ali Zardari’s era:
|Fiscal Year||CPI Inflation||Major Factors|
|2008-09||17.0% (3rd highest inflation a year in Pakistan’s history)||· Pakistani rupee’s depreciation against US dollar (13.8%)|
· Soaring of global oil prices
· Higher global prices of petroleum products & food items
|2011-12||11.0%||· Pakistani rupee’s depreciation against US dollar (7.6%)|
It’s also worth noting that in August 2008, the monthly CPI inflation** was recorded 25.3 percent which was the highest since July 1993.
PPP’s fifth term in the Office:
Now with Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif as the 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan, PPP is again in the power at the Centre as the coalition partner.
In the 78-member long Federal Cabinet of Shahbaz Sharif (as of February 03, 2023), the Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also holding the portfolio of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition government of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) took over on April 11, 2022, and the month-wise inflation as measured by the CPI soared to 13.37% in April 2022, 13.76% in May 2022, 21.3% in June 2022, 24.9% in July 2022, 27.3% in August 2022 (highest in 49 years***), 23.2% in September 2022, 26.6% in October 2022, 23.8% in November 2022, 24.5% in December 2022, and 27.6% in January 2023 (highest in 48 years).
CPI for the month of Jan’23 clocked-in at 27.55% YoY (+2.88% MoM). This is the highest YoY inflation after May 1975 (27.77%).This takes 7MFY23 average inflation to 25.40% compared to 10.26% in 7MFY22.@PBSofficialpak @StateBank_Pak #PBS #Inflation #Pakistan #Economy #AHL pic.twitter.com/P2eyxSBbl2
— Arif Habib Limited (@ArifHabibLtd) February 1, 2023
The 27.3 percent inflation recorded in August 2022 and 27.6 percent in January 2023 were the highest since November 1973 and May 1975 respectively when Bilawal’s grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was in power and the inflation stood at 27.77 percent on year-on-year basis at that time.
* The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the main measure of price changes at the retail level. It indicates the cost of purchasing a representative fixed basket of goods and services consumed by private households.