Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rising Unemployment and Poverty Causing Suicide

Rising Unemployment and Poverty Causing Suicide
While economic woes are certainly not the only cause of suicides in Pakistan, poverty has unarguably been a triggering factor in many cases in 2010. In a developing country like Pakistan where many of the 170 million people earn less than two dollars a day, a little surge in the price of flour and edible oil can be devastating.
In January 2007, one kilogramme of masur daal cost Rs 42. In September, it cost Rs 105. A 10kg sack of flour was tagged at Rs 160. On September 25, 2010, it was selling at Rs 330. Sugar was Rs 32 and now it is near Rs 80.

Not surprisingly then, when economists run calculations on different indicators of prosperity, the results are gloomy: inflation has risen by 12% according to official estimates. And according to Mahmood Khalid, a professor at the Pakistan Institute of Economic Development, Islamabad, the calculation of the indirect relationship between suicidal behaviour and inflation numbers, which the government bases on the Consumer Price Index, is erroneous – it’s underestimated. “This index does not reflect the actual picture,” he says.

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