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“The government’s narrative is simple: everything is hunky-dory except inflation and that too will be controlled soon.”

“Inflation has toppled many a government – here and abroad.”

“Milton Freidman said inflation is taxation without legislation.”

“Indeed especially if the reliance on indirect taxes is so much more than on direct taxes like in this land of ours.”

“Ernest Hemingway said it best, the first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

“Ha, ha, ha: you have shifted blame from the hallowed halls of the Ministry of Finance to the hallowed halls of the State Bank! But I know what the State Bank would say to this quote – Hemingway was not an economist.”

“I find the IMF’s pre-condition baffling – I mean like other central banks it wants the autonomy to be able to focus on controlling inflation, although in our case it is an establishment fact that inflation is due to supply side conditions specifically with respect to food inflation.”

“That is no longer the case right?!”

….But then you have Razzak Dawood who wants ever more incentives for the export sector…..wait…wait…let me finish and in Pakistan the linkage between fiscal and monetary incentives, including an undervalued rupee, has not been established so our tax rupees go for the incentives to the influential and….”

“And then The Khan laments the elite capture.”

“But he is taking action to ensure that the elite capture dissipates.”

“How come?”

“Jehangir Tareen, an elite, is out of favour, Zulfi Bukhari, another elite, is out of the picture….”

“What about Razzak Dawood, Khusro Bakhtiar….”

“Moonis Elahi was never accommodated. Buzdar not an elite though I hear he is being run by an elite – Firdous Ashiq Awan.”

“Better her than say Chauhan whose views on wives are so out dated….remember he said Maryam Nawaz shouldn’t have referred to her spouse….”

“Yeah but anyway Milton Friedman also said inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output... A steady rate of monetary growth at a moderate level can provide a framework under which a country can have little inflation and much growth. It will not produce perfect stability; it will not produce heaven on earth; but it can make an important contribution to a stable economic society.

“Hmmm so no printing money, no domestic borrowing, no….if wishes were horses I say.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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