Najam ul Hassan
ISLAMABAD, Apr 26 (APP):Unemployment, rising poverty, and no-work no-earning has become talk of the town during the lockdown but one has to confess that the employees working from homes under the current circumstances spare more money than ever.
With millions of people facing recession in businesses and job insecurities, struggling to pay for utilities, rents, and even to purchase daily use necessary items, it seems surprising that there are still hundreds of thousands people in the country who are saving a big amount of money due to the lockdown.
The middle class salaried people, especially those working in public sector departments and working from home serving private sectors are getting their monthly income regularly without any cut. However, they have nothing to spend on transportation, shopping (clothing, footwear, cosmetics, jewelry, etc), dining out, beauty salons, recreation activities, parties and much more.
Talking to APP, the HR Manager of an international private services providing company Hussain said, “I am lucky to work as normal from home for a business company that shows no signs of cessation despite the ongoing lockdown in the country”.
He said, “I am getting salary as usual but the thing is since I have been locked down at my home, I am saving a major portion of the salary as I have nothing to spend at a time when all shops of clothing, shoes, and even hotels (his favourite activity) are closed,”
He said although there are opportunities to shop online but “why should I purchase things when I can’t go out to utilize them”.
“When you are at home, with uncertainty about ending of pandemic and about when the lockdown is over, it seems ridiculous to purchase what you cannot wear,” Hussain added.
However, he was shocked how he was used to fritter away the money in pre-Covid-19 days as what he thought there were lot of ways to save money for better use and to help the needy.
Hussain also felt bad for wasting out money on useless things, saying “there is guilt inside me that I could have spared money for the needy”.
Sympathizing with small businesses, and people who lost their income, he called upon the people to help them in this hour of need out of their saved money.
Although the number of marriage parties have come down significantly mainly due to closure of marquees and ban on gatherings during lockdown. But marriages have not stopped yet and people are taking it as an opportunity to spend the saving money on it.
“In Pakistan, the marriage has become a nightmare as for as expenses are concerned; we have to spend frivolously in such parties just due to social pressure,” Muhammad Iqbal, a government servant said.
He said he had already booked a marquee for his son’s marriage but he had to cancel it after outbreak of corona pandemic which forced the government to impose lockdown across the country.
“But I decided to hold the marriage ceremony on the fixed date, of course at home in a simple way,” he said adding he saved at least one million rupees. No doubt, the amount matters a lot for a person like him who had to manage this money from various sources including by getting debt.
Not only people but there are many service providing companies which had joined the savings club during the lockdown as they are receiving projects as normal but their expenditures have gone down significantly due to no work at office.
“Normally our office remains open round-the-clock where over 120 employees are working, but during current scenario, all are working from homes which means the company is saving money in terms of utility bills, daily meals, tea, coffee, water and other such expenditures,” Ali Abbas, a manager at a software developing company said.
“Being at home, using only wifi, no bus fare, no hostel bill, no project work trip charges, actually I am planning to open a fixed deposit with savings,” a student tweeted on his social media account.
“With zero debit transactions so far after salary getting credited, my bank account must be thinking I’m either dead or kidnapped,” a female commented in a tweet.