Reinforce your belts | By Zaheer Bhatti


Reinforce your belts


WITH a devaluation of more than 50% of the Pakistani currency in just two years and an increase in electricity and gasoline tariffs almost every fortnight shattering the back, the will and the determination of the common man to fighting adversity, the IMF and therefore the United States and the West, effectively neutralized Pakistan’s realization of strategic assets.

Whether it is the cause of Kashmir, preferential tariffs, the Afghan imbroglio or regional peace and security, Pakistan, repeatedly choosing to serve imperial interests at its own expense for reasons of crumbs of aid to simple survival, has always reaped a bitter harvest, ending up being accused of insincerity, and still continues his futile pursuit of wooing the serpent with whose currency he has irreparably tied his apron.

The current Pakistani Prime Minister promising never to surrender to IMF dictates which he said amounted to committing the unforgivable crime of mortgaging national sovereignty. as if the PTI did not know it before taking power.

Obviously, he had no damage control plan, nor any emergency program to increase productivity and exports to challenge the IMF.

The nation should have eaten weed and defied all sanctions as it once did by producing a nuclear deterrent against Indian belligerence; which makes it bite the dust during testing occasions.

The government has raised electricity tariffs and gasoline prices at will without worrying about the plight of the oppressed and their plight multiplied by the continued rise in the prices of edibles.

Instead of rejecting OGRA’s request to increase tariffs, even temporarily, to generate a sense of relief among the masses; what every government does and then hikes rates within days, the PTI government recently took the cake by doubling the gasoline hike rate the OGRA recommended.

The government is hiding behind the continued rise in global oil prices as the reason for the resulting rise in gasoline prices for which it is entirely dependent on external sources.

But as oil prices fell twice on the world market last week, and the resulting relief was immediately passed on to consumers in the United States and elsewhere, the Pakistani government has attempted to deceive the public by declaring that it had reported its 17% of sales. right to zero but refused to lower oil prices.

She capitulated to the blackmail of gasoline dealers who suspended retail until their profit margins were increased; thus condescending the dirty rich distributors and passing the burden on the unfortunate in the street.

There is not a single area where Pakistan has made a short-term effort to increase the productivity of exports to at least start offsetting the debt burden by removing some of it with generated income, while still being unable to drastically cut non-development spending and declare an emergency.

Instead, it is raising the salaries and benefits of parliamentarians without any state of conscience, as Pakistan continues to import agricultural products of which it was once a major exporter, which is a matter of serious concern. .

How long will Pakistani governments live blaming the past!
While doing nothing but lip service to improve the lot of the common man, the government from time to time extends its bowl of begging.

Despite handling temporary relief from friends, the government continues to abide by IMF terms because not only does it fail to widen its tax net despite the discovery of ten million potential non-filers, but continues to protect the rich, helpless or willingly.

To a layman, there are many ways in which a turnaround can be visibly accomplished if there is the will, and the obstacles are removed by enacting laws to ensure enforcement through an integrated mechanism like elsewhere in the developed world.

Pakistan’s main failures have been the achievement of direct taxes due to multiple taxation and irrational tax slabs, and the lack of competitive productivity incentives to boost exports to earn foreign exchange, in addition to corruption. .

Make tax slabs allowing and increase the basic exemption from 4 to at least 6 lakes, which was the taxpayer’s right after a strong devaluation, document residential and commercial properties and levy the fixed property tax after determining their face value and their standard rents and taxes; organize surveys of local organizations across the country and give them the additional responsibility of registering potential voluntary registrants in their respective constituencies.

In order to increase foreign exchange earnings, there is no alternative to the competitive production of finished and unfinished products with incentives in addition to developing tourist resorts on a war footing. If Bangladesh and Sri Lanka can do it, why not Pakistan!

It dismays Imran Khan’s supporters who place hope in him in the face of Pakistan having suffered at the hands of civilian and military leaders in the past, when they still find him recounting his achievements of a FIFA Cup title. world, a cancer hospital and the establishment of a university, no parallel can be drawn with the successful management of a country’s government.

The news of a successful IMF deal is chilling against the backdrop of appalling conditions for Pakistan’s further debt burden to rise, despite the prime minister’s acknowledgment that the increase in foreign debt was a national security issue. Are we then voluntarily going to mortgage the nation?

The Pakistani political landscape is such that, far from having respect for his adversaries, the politician in the exercise of his principal functions of parliamentarian, acts largely like a robot when dozens of bills are passed. bulldozer in one sitting, but no meaningful legislation takes place over the years, as they intrude on the foreign territory of local bodies whenever an opportunity presents itself to rekindle the essential system made dysfunctional and crass against national institutions and then claim the supremacy of Parliament.

Political opponents are kept in detention; practically imprisoned for years under the simple pretext of alleged cases against them with the NAB which does not pursue them and ends up freeing them.

If it was a truly democratic country, these detainees would sue the police for moral injury and damages.

Why is there no deterrent defamation law in the country despite the increasingly common practices of pressure and blackmail?

– The writer is a media professional, member of the PTV pioneer team and a former program producer.

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