KARACHI -- Javed Iqbal used to earn around 15,000 Pakistani rupees ($66) a month offloading ships on the docks of Karachi. Last month, he brought home 1,500 rupees, as only one vessel arrived due to a government ban on importing luxuries to save dwindling dollar reserves.
That amount would never go very far. It feels especially meager when Pakistan is grappling with skyrocketing inflation. A single liter of cooking oil alone now sells for about half what Iqbal earned in June. "Today, we ate boiled potatoes because cooking oil is too expensive," said his sister, Bano Begum.