Pakistan least expensive among 139 countries of world: Shaukat Tarin

Numbeo's — the world's largest cost of living database — deemed Pakistan the least expensive country among 139 countries

Our Correspondent
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin. Photo: AFP
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin. Photo: AFP
  • Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin claims Pakistan is the cheapest among 139 countries in the world.
  • Minister shares screenshots of latest cost of living index on official Twitter handle.
  • Cost of living in Pakistan is 71.52% lower on average than in the United States, stated database.

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin claimed Sunday that Pakistan is the cheapest among 139 countries in the world, however, the opposition leaders rejected the claim and severely criticised the government over the unprecedented inflation inflicted on people during the past three-and-a-half years, The News reported.

Taking to Twitter, the minister shared the screenshots of a latest cost of living index on his official Twitter handle. He said Pakistan was the cheapest country among the 139 countries in the world.

In response to the finance minister's statement, President of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Maulana Fazlur Rehman questioned how the government could claim that Pakistan was a cheap country to live in when people were committing suicide as a result of price hikes, joblessness, and the country's extremely high cost of living.

He said that such assertions contradict the reality on ground, and that the 'selected'  government will be deposed soon with the help of the people.

According to the finance minister, Numbeo's — the world's largest cost of living database — deemed Pakistan the least expensive country among 139 countries, and it is not the "government's claims." According to the Numbeo index, a family of four in Pakistan spends roughly Rs171,783.24 per month (without rent), whereas a single person spends around Rs51,798.76 per month (without rent).

According to the database, the cost of living in Pakistan is 71.52% lower on average than in the United States. The rent for a home in Pakistan is said to be 90.64% less than in the United States.

According to the Numbeo database, milk costs Rs122.56 per litre in Pakistan, rice costs Rs159.07 per kg, and eggs cost Rs175.04 each dozen. In Pakistan, chicken meat costs Rs393.45 per kg, beef costs Rs645.1 per kg, apples cost Rs170 per kg, oranges cost Rs115.29 per kg, tomatoes cost Rs77.86 per kg, potatoes cost Rs55.16 per kg, onions cost Rs52 per kg, water (1.5-litre bottle) costs Rs61.01, and cigarettes 20 pack (Marlboro) costs Rs250.

The Numbeo database says that one-way tickets (local transportation) cost about Rs40, taxis start at Rs150, taxi per km costs about Rs36.61, and a new Toyota Corolla sedan costs about Rs3.24 million.

Similarly, basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for an 85 m2 apartment cost around Rs11,425,43 per month, one minute of prepaid mobile tariff local costs Rs2.67, the internet (unlimited monthly data) costs Rs3,596.98, one pair of jeans (Levis or similar) costs Rs2,527, a summer dress in a chain store costs Rs3,980, a pair of Nike running shoes (mid-range) costs Rs8,412.

Similarly, according to the Numbeo database, the average price of a one-bedroom apartment in Pakistan's city centre is Rs20,341, a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre is Rs12,999.81, a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre is Rs45,441, and a three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre is Rs28,861. An apartment in the city core costs roughly Rs131,744 per square metre, whereas an apartment outside the city centre costs around Rs73,749 per square metre.

According to the Numbeo website, 794 distinct contributors submitted 1,0285 entries in the last year. It also stated that the data was last updated this month.

Separately, Shaukat Tarin, speaking on Radio Pakistan's current affairs show, said Prime Minister Imran Khan was implementing his vision of empowering Pakistanis on the Riyasat-e-Madina model. According to him, a lot of initiatives for the ordinary man have been launched, including the health card, the Ehsaas portal, and other schemes. "Unlike previous rulers who made money through unethical activities, the Prime Minister is an upright and transparent person," he asserted.

On the other hand, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain expressed his displeasure with the task of holding the so-called power show against the government in Rawalpindi at an inappropriate time, when the Australian cricket team would be playing the first test match of their tour against Pakistan.

In a tweet, he announced that the Australians and green shirts would play the first cricket test series in Pakistan in 23 years.

The whole country was excited to see this kind of cricket again, but only the "hodgepodge" opposition was worried and planning a "rent-a-power show," he said.

On Sunday, State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said the government had come up with a plan that would help every low-income family build their own homes. He said the PTI government had done a lot of things to help people.

He was speaking at the Jhang Press Club during the oath-taking ceremony for newly elected members of the Jhang Union of Journalists. He added that the Kamyab Jawan programme was related to the House Project, which allows low-income people to acquire housing loans for 3 to 7 years. He claimed that previous governments simply handed people lollipops, but that the PTI government was making concrete efforts for the welfare and betterment of the citizens.

He said that as part of the "Skill for All" initiative, the government was giving children hi-tech certifications so that they could start their own businesses instead of relying on government jobs.

People will have to face fuel price adjustments, according to Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar, because the prices of furnace oil, coal, and LNG are higher.

Speaking at a ceremony in Lahore, he said that the PTI would win local bodies elections in Punjab. "PTI is not the political party of thieves," he added.

Hammad Azhar said that the Prime Minister constructed shelter homes. "The world is affected due to the storm of inflation. When there is less inflation on international level, we will give relief to people," he added.

He said that the fuel price adjustment on electricity bills is because of previous governments' policies. "They have implanted costly projects for LNG and coal. Today, we have to purchase LNG and coal at higher prices, "he maintained.

The minister said the national economy was progressing rapidly. "Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Russia has historic value," he added.

However, the opposition leaders didn’t buy the minister’s claims. PMLN leader Marriyum Aurangzeb said the country was suffering from the highest inflation in the country’s history and the lowest growth rate.

Separately, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday said the ‘selected’ and ‘puppet" governments had plunged people into poverty.

The remarks came on World Social Justice Day, when he stated that ensuring social justice was the "key to making the country peaceful, progressive, and prosperous".

He said the PPP would begin its planned long march against rampant inflation on February 27, adding that social justice was the cornerstone of the PPP’s ideology and struggle.

It's a goal of the PPP to "empower the weaker parts of society, including women." He said the PPP government's decisions had made it possible for the weak and vulnerable to dream of a better future.