Economy: No blame game, truth must be told

Today country is under financial crisis, instability, political disorder, unending confrontation between government and opposition, unemployment at its peak, inflation has no limits, rupee depreciation has made life miserable, businesses are closing down, large number of shipping containers , having various imported goods including perishable items , has piled up at the ports due to delay in releasing shipping documents by the banks, heavy demurrage charges have brought the traders on the roads adding to further lay off workers. People are crying for Atta and are fed up to stand in queues for hours just to get bag of 5 kg Atta at price fixed by the government. Souring prices of consumer goods on daily basis remain out of control and beyond reach of poor people. The Government be at federal level or provincial level has failed to provide relief to common man. Corruption is not only rampant but is present everywhere in each and every office of the government. Shortage of gas has resulted in closure of industries and worst hit are the domestic users who are forced to use LPG at Rs 320 per KG. On the other hand, our leaders are enjoying unlimited privileges and monetary benefits at state expense but poor continue to suffer in search of from two time to one time meals. In fact, rulers are not at all interested in the welfare of poor because more than 80% public funds are utilized by them on personal comfort. It will be very pertinent to give example of Chief Minister of Delhi Mr. Kajarwal who is providing free water, gas, power, free education, free medical treatment to everyone, free bus service, jobs to everyone and over and above all type of services at door steps. On a question that how he is managing all this. His answer was that when our ministers and members can get all these facilities free from the taxes collected from poor why our people are denied these facilities therefore he treats them equally either everybody pays or no one pays. To another question how he arranges such huge funds he was frank and replied that he has stopped corruption in all the departments that is to the tune of 80% and that money is available to be spent on the poor people and he further added that surprisingly after providing relief to poor some still money is available that is spent on public projects. If Kajarwal can do it why it can’t be done in Pakistan. He moves without any protocol lives in his own house. Unfortunately, we have no such person in Pakistan but we have only spenders
Government is giving advance warning of increase in power gas and fuel because IMF wants assurance before discussing further release of loan to Pakistan. Government is celebrating on getting pledges of $10 billion in recently held climate conference in Switzerland. Pledge means commit (by person or organization) by a solemn promise. It does not mean that we are getting $10Bn in cash. Roughly 90 per cent being concessional project loans and the remaining being bilateral grants. These pledges from the IDB, World Bank, ADB, AIIB and the EU. These pledges cannot be used to fill government’s treasury, trade deficit or pay loans. They can only be used for three specific purposes: to build climate-resilient infrastructure, to generate climate-resilient economic activities, or the setting up of an early warning system (EWS). Additionally, the funding mechanism requires Pakistan to raise 50 per cent of the funding from its own resources in order to receive funds from the pledged amount. These are very tough conditions so there is nothing to celebrate. Our track record of utilization of funds is pathetic and world has seen how the flood funds have been utilized and people left at the mercy of Allah. The donors shall be watching correct utilization, good governance and absolute transparency and that would be something difficult to achieve. IMF has forced them to knock doors of China, KSA and UAE. We need permanent solutions how long we shall keep begging our friends. Imagine the time being spent against criticizing IK by government and hired anchors who have no business to interfere in country’s politics but has assumed the role of reformers. All institutions have collapsed. Government is at war with Supreme Court that is the last hope of 230 million people of Pakistan. SC orders are being defied openly, laws are being passed to curtail the powers of CJ that means SC. Government wants its own chosen benches to have free hand. Lastly a word about local bodies elections held recently. Pre poll rigging could be seen, staff at places removing ballot boxes. Votes exceeding the voters list. Delaying the counting of votes intentionally primarily to change the results. What is use of such elections, it is better to remain without such type of elections. Any government that cannot conduct examinations at the centers how do you expect them to conduct free and fair elections. The ballot boxes were non transparent these must be transparent to ensure no one can put additional ballot papers. It looks we intentionally leave these loop holes so that results could be manipulated.
The Dangers looming over our heads due to economic collapse has no concern and priority by all stake holders. They are busy in instituting cases against IK. The present regime has miserably failed to deliver on the promises made instead country is at virtual default. Outside forces are trying to impose their program on us that shall endanger our national security, economy, nuclear assets and the people of Pakistan. We all know how to control deteriorating economy of Pakistan but not disclosing to people perhaps due to pressure of over burdening them with higher interest rates, taxes and uncontrolled inflation. During next three years Pakistan has to pay 80 billion dollars towards foreign loans and we are not in a position to pay them from own resources. Therefore, this has to be arranged from outside and that means to accept their demands at the cost of national interests, our nuclear assets, national security, geopolitics and people of Pakistan. The big tragedy is that we continue to increase quantum of our imports against poor ratio of exports causing unrepairable damage to economy that would bring tremendous harm to country only to accept the dictation of IMF at the cost of our sovereignty. One of the renowned economist of Pakistan Dr Shahid Hassan Siddiqui reiterates that rise in prices of utilities, increase in rates of GST, enhancement of discount rates is not due to IMF conditions. Finance Minister is busy in clarifying his position on IMF talks and propaganda on default but facing tough questions. Government has just two options “Do more” accept IMF conditions. Both conditions endanger our sovereignty so the best option to come out from present impasse is to immediately hold elections to have stable government to fight the challenges being faced by Pakistan.