A report claims that basic food inflation has risen to 20 percent in Pakistan resulting in “severe consequences” for the country. Official statistics show that food inflation fell in the second half of 2018.An online report says, “Twenty percent inflation on basic food basket has unfolded miserable consequences for public. The ‘exponential’ increase in prices of basic kitchen items up to 20 percent has pulled severe consequences for the general public.” The report does not give a source for its figures.The report also says that the Pakistani government is set to propose a new budget on January 23, 2019 which it claims will impose new taxes on basic food items, which will likely cause further inflation. The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics issued a report on inflation in December 2018.Food inflation in June 2018 was 3 percent and in December 2018 it was 0.9 percent, according to the report. According to the Asian Development Bank, overall inflation was 3.9 percent in Pakistan in 2018.Revenue Minister Hammad Azhar Tweeted that the story was fake and said that food inflation had declined in Pakistan. “Fake news alert. Food inflation fell from 3 percent in June 2018 to 0.9 percent in December 2018,” Hammad Azhar said.Published in Daily Times, January 23rd 2019.