Days after the government increased the prices of petroleum products by up to Rs12, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Sunday shared a table from a crowd-sourced database, Numbeo, claiming Pakistan to be one of the “least costly” countries across the globe.
Pakistan ranks least costly among 139 countries of the world. pic.twitter.com/ANgh8BQAlN— Shaukat Tarin (@shaukat_tarin) February 20, 2022
The table titled ‘The Cost of Living Index by Country 2021 Mid-Year’ showed Pakistan to be at the bottom of the list out of 139 countries. The table included the cost of living, groceries, rent, restaurant pricing, and purchasing power.
The website also claims that a “family of four estimated monthly costs are Rs171,783.24 without rent”, whereas “a single person estimated monthly costs are Rs51,798.76 without rent.”
It is pertinent to note here that the minimum wage in Pakistan is a mere Rs20,000.
According to the table, India ranked at 138th while Afghanistan ranked at 136th. Bermuda ranked at the top being the most expensive country across the world, whereas Switzerland ranked at the 2nd place.
However, in 2017, a report in a Swedish newspaper had said, “Numbeo should hardly be considered stats, it’s more like reviews. Anyone, anywhere in the world can change the data, as many times as they want.”
The website “uses the wisdom of the crowd to get as reliable data as possible” and is easy to manipulate.
Hike in inflation
The tweet by the finance minister came a few days after the government approved a massive increase in the prices of petroleum products on account of rising global prices.
On Tuesday, the government okayed up to Rs12.03 per liter in the prices of petroleum products, taking petrol to a record level of Rs159.86 per liter effective from February 16.
Meanwhile, a significant increase in the prices of power tariffs is also on the card. Power tariff is likely to increase by Rs6.10 per unit on account of fuel cost adjustment (FCA) for the month of January this year as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) will hear an application filed by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA-G) on February 28.