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Avoiding the unavoidable

Tariq Khalique

Despite tall claims, the present government fails to come up to the expectations of the people, as political certainty and economic stability remain a far cry.

 

 

In the absence of political stability, economic reforms, the lack of maturity on the part of the ruling elite, the country’s economic, as well as political situations, have become a daunting task.

In these grim circumstances, there seems to be no way out for the people to survive, as the political leaders are only doing lip-service, instead of making efforts to clean the mess.

It has now almost five months since Imran Khan-led PTI government took over the reins of the country, but still the masses are waiting for some respite. Of course, overnight changes are next to impossible, as the government functionaries have no magic rand, but continuously blaming the previous governments for the wrongdoings, is not the solution to the problems being faced by the country, rather they should make efficient policies to bring the country out of this quagmire.

It seems Finance Minister Asad Umar lacks clarity on the economic issues and cannot set its direction right. Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf had time and again guaranteed elimination of corrupt practices from the country during the election campaign. The slogans of eradicating corruption and bringing plundered money back to the country, only for the sake of winning general elections, proved to be a successful stunt.

Like in the past, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, after coming into power, started complaining about systematic derailment of institutions, increased corruption and inefficiency of bureaucracy.

Bad governance, devaluation of the rupee by almost 8 to 10 percent in a short span of time, and continuous price spiral have all played their part in denting the economy.

The declining foreign exchange reserves of the country, especially the central bank’s reserves below $7 billion, for the first time in five years, is also an issue of concern.

Likewise, government’s bad planning and inability to import LNG on time leads to more power outages. Similarly, circular debt continues to rise, revenues are declining, while the number of income tax return filers remain on the lower side, compared with the previous year.

No one was expecting any miracles from this government, but people have a faint hope that the governance would significantly improve and merit would prevail.

 

 

But nothing changes, as major appointments are still being made on political whims and the governance is still the same as was in the past, questioning the credibility and competence of the government.

Recently, the government faces embarrassment after it awarded the contract of Mohmand Dam to a firm owned by Razzak Dawood, who is serving as the adviser to the prime minister on commerce, which also raised many eyebrows.

The government is expected to present a mini-budget for the second time in its five-month tenure, once again, with a pledge that no new tax will be introduced and that it would be a reforms package. Let’s hope that this time the government take some sane decisions.

No doubt, the charismatic personality of Imran Khan and his false promises has fooled many, and his followers believe that he is the only one who can understand their problems and resolve them in no time, but to their disappointment.

Factually, the present PTI government is no different from the previous ones because people of the country are still in a state of nightmare.

The present government needs to show some seriousness in its efforts to improve both political and economic conditions of the country and stop avoiding the unavoidable.

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