Finance with Force to Save Pakistan -Power of Interior Should be Used against the Defaulters not PTI – by Tazeen Akhtar

Tazeen Akhtar
New government of PMLN and PPP with imported finance minister and imposed interior minister is expected to control the economic meltdown of Pakistan but the task looks heavier than their strength and commitment to the cause. The picture is so dark that one can not see a single dot of brightness. Political parties do not indulge in cutting the concessions and terminating the employment but the finance minister from outside and interior minister from other side are not political neither they have to contest any election in the future.
Figures tell the true story. Patriotism, hopes and wishful statements are good but the real picture is not the same. Politicians and officials can tell lies but figures speak the truth always.
Size of bureaucracy , with perks , privileges and pensions is impossible to cater for this poor pure land now on. Shehbaz Speed can not control the speed with which the country is moving fast towards total break down. Asif Zardar may be “sub pe Bhari” (Heavier to All) but the financial burden is the heaviest than 10 Zardaris.
Nationalization of  industries has proved to be total failure as well as the most disastrous aspect of the financial collapse of this state. Out of 85 State Owned Entities, two third are in loss for last many years.
The biggest loss making entity is National Highway Authority with 170 Billion rupees annually. 10 Discos (electricity distributing companies)cost 450 Billion rupees to the national exchequer every year.

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SOEs including PIA , Pakistan Steal , Pakistan Railway and others cost the government almost same amount per annum. These entities have been used by consecutive governments civil non civil both to shower employments to their workers, obliging relatives and favorite with postings there on heavy salaries and luxurious facilities.
Industrial growth is declining continuously. Last year it decreased 10% and no improvement has been observed in current year. Controlling imports have affected the production of industries. Government altered the control list to import food of pets but not for essential raw material that is needed by industry.
Banks are not opening LCs with no option left than using Hawala for foreign dealings. Thousands of students studying abroad are facing hardships in paying their fee because dollars are not available and banks do not extend any facility.
Inflation is sky rocketing with 33% highest in the region while income is down and down multilaterally due to decline of businesses and rise of dollar. this state has left the commoners alone in this bewilderness of what is the future of this country. Public can not afford two times meals only let alone purchase the other things. When there is no purchasing power in the public, the production is also stopped.
Pensions volume is again a hammer to the head of the national revenues. Civil Military pension at federal level exceeds 800 Billion rupees. In provinces the volume is 1000 Billion rupees. This is without any system of input output thing. Pension is 100 % even if the performance is zero. The volume of the officers’ pension above Grade 17 is 5 to 6 fold of the pension of the lower staff.

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Then comes tax exemptions and free petrol and electricity. Judiciary is major beneficiary but certainly all high level officials in other departments also enjoy this protocol. Luxury vehicles (more than 90 thousand) with free petrol of thousands of liter worth 220 Billion rupees are at the disposal of the bureaucracy not during office hours but 24/7. The bureaucracy civil and judicial is enjoying free electricity of worth 550 Billion rupees.
Almost all major politicians and industrialists are the defaulters of loans from different banks. The volume varies in different reports but matter of fact is the volume is huge in hundreds of billions of rupees. They are free with that dacoity to the public tax money while commoners are made example of accountability for default of only few thousand rupees.
It is one Pakistan. Lets go to Second Pakistan. 30 Million children are not going to schools but hotels, workshops, factories to earn few rupees because the parents can not afford their education. More than 20 Million youth is wandering here and there for work to make both ends meet but find nothing. What does it mean? We are manufacturing a huge military of angry youth  that can be exploited by mafias and terrorists easily.
Government is bent upon fetching easy revenue by increasing prices of utilities every week. Electricity and fuel gas are the major weapons of the governments both previous and present (people are the same) to conquer their public and earn for government expenditures. This is no different than Jagga Tax. (Jagga was a Don in Lahore who would collect monthly from the people forcibly)
The government has fixed mark up 22 to 24% that is impossible. Pak Rupee is the cheapest currency in whole region of South Asia. This is all at one side while foreign liabilities are frightening the fraternity of the ruling class. Pakistan needs at least 25 Billion USD , Dollars American, against the borrowings. The state of affairs is, they are negotiating the program of 6 Billion USD with IMF. It means, pushing the dirt under the carpet and inviting the guest for another party.
In the military training, it is principle, that you will speak truth always. If a forward party is ordered to check clearance in the way and they return from half way and tell it is clear the soldiers can die. So lets speak truth if we have to save our state. Unfortunately, the officials sitting at high posts in the concerned ministries, the leaders of business community at so called chambers of commerce are not telling truth. So lets speak truth otherwise all will die.
Finance Minister can manage all the mess? Interior Minister can control the chaos? Is it a task of two persons only? What support can they find from where they have been posted? Especially when it would not be across the board and only the week targets would be hit what is the tradition here.
Interior minister is supposed to deal with PTI strictly but better will be to use his power against the defaulters of this country. Finance minister design policies and take decisions about whatever is necessary to make this country stand on its feet while interior minister implement it in true spirit with full strength.
The solution is a big axe only to cut all leeches who are drinking the blood of this poor nation for decades. Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) said, previous nations were destroyed only because they will punish the poor but not the powerful. Here same is happening since the early years of existence. Till when we can survive what our Prophet (PBUH) said?

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