An open letter to Prime Minister | BY S Nayyar Uddin Ahmad

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An open letter to Prime Minister

THE current shattered state of economy of Pakistan, wherein, daily steep and unprecedented devaluation of PKR versus the USD and the unimaginable jump in prices of daily items of use, increase in rates of utilities on an unending and continuous basis, exponentially increasing costs of health and education, reflects only one thing that there was now virtually no effective government in Pakistan, to protect the rights of the hapless Pakistani masses from the tricks and vagaries of the traders, businessmen, industrialists and bureaucracy of the country.

Moreover, about 40 million flood affected population of Pakistan is in severe shock, depression and despondency, due to the super flood trauma and compounded problems of inhuman living conditions without food, medicines and shelters (Sindh provided only 7,000 tents vs the requirements of 1,50,000 tents), severely affecting every Pakistani who is desperately looking towards you as a competent and a very tough task master and, above all, a saviour of the rights of the Pakistani masses to act, and act fast, to stem the rot, before this crisis turns into an economic meltdown and a human tragedy of unimaginable magnitude.

According to the Britannica.com “Public authorities face a variety of crises, such as natural disasters and environmental threats, financial meltdowns and terrorist attacks, epidemics and explosions, and information and communication technology (ICT) failures.

Crises are not routine events (such as fires or traffic accidents). Crises are inconceivable events that often take politicians, citizens, and reporters by complete surprise.

Crises occur when a community of people—an organization, a town, or a nation—perceives an urgent threat to core values or life-sustaining functions that must be urgently dealt with under conditions of deep uncertainty. ” Britannica.

com further states, “These dramatic events create tough challenges for public authorities and their organizations.

Critical decisions must be made and implemented under considerable time pressure and in the absence of essential information about causes and consequences.

Even if the conditions for effective action are severely impeded, citizens expect governmental leaders and public authorities to safeguard them from the threat at hand.”

As such, extraordinary situations demand extraordinary steps. Under the current scenario the people are fed up and no more ready to listen that Pakistan is suffering severe economic problems due to the loot and plunder of the past rulers, simply, because blame shifting does not hold water for the suffering masses; and if any economic crime was committed in the past, why the responsible politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats are not arrested, their properties not confiscated and the national criminals put behind the bars, as yet, on any of such economic crime charges?

People also ask why all past government players are roaming free (if they committed economic crimes) and entire burden of the economic crisis has been passed over to the masses, very conveniently by every Incumbent government, in the shape of exorbitantly increased taxes extra exorbitantly back breaking increase in the rates/charges of POL, gas, electricity rates.

Moreover, PDM’s government cannot absolve itself of all its responsibilities to improve the economic conditions of the masses, by going the easy and most cruel way of simply increasing rent, rates and taxes and devaluing the currency and then asking the people to give sacrifices, while people’s representatives are enjoying all the fruits of being in power.

People also ask why the PDM‘s government has failed to reduce the huge administrative expenditure on the non-profitable government entities and why advisors of the cabinet failed on their jobs and even then they have not been removed?

Why absolute austerity is not mandated in the government affairs by law, in these times of severe economic crunch?

Why till date no government dared to conduct energy audit of the IPP’s who are benefiting with tax-free income from this poor country which is taking loans to repay old loans?

In view of the foregoing crisis, you may take all matters in your own hands, declare an economic or national emergency and form an Emergency Advisory Council of Pakistan (EACP) to: ~Devise, execute and monitor all related policies for the economic turn around of Pakistan in the shortest possible time~Immediate steps for stopping of funds leakages.

In this regard, the World Bank has already estimated about $18 billion annual loss to the Pakistan’s economy due to the inefficient power sector.

The World Bank has warned (repeat warned) the government against increasing power rates (I will add Gas rates also) as a tool to address fiscal challenges in the sector~ Immediate steps for reviving industry, agriculture, trade and business with particular reference to services and IT sectors~ Immediate steps for drastically reducing imports and doubling the exports~Generation of additional revenues through non traditional sectors ~ Immediate formation of a Rare Earth Metal Authority of Pakistan (working directly under the Prime Minister) on the lines of KRL model of the late Dr.

A Q Khan Sahab to provide economic turn around of the country on a fast track basis.

The above proposed EACP should act like a war cabinet of the PM of Pakistan, as the current economic and flood devastation crisis is no less grave in its magnitude, than a full fledged war.

Last but not the least, currently rapid and steep devaluation of PKR is eating away every economic gain under the PDM government’s efforts to revive the economy.

Plus devaluation is sharply increasing our foreign debt burden in billions of dollars on almost daily basis.

In this regard, if somehow, foreign currency is channelised into Pakistani banks the situation can abruptly improve.

In this connection, like the government is already giving an annual profit of 6.75% (payable bi-annually) on Pakistan Banao Certificates, with full guarantee of Government of Pakistan, we can easily, quickly and comfortably get around over $10 billion, if, you approve the launch of another scheme of annual profit of 6.75% (payable bi-annually with fully backed GoP guarantee) on fresh foreign currency bank deposits in Pakistan.

The beauty of this scheme is that (since this much profit is currently nowhere available in the world) even foreign banks will offer (as happened in India) foreign currency loans (at around 3-4%) to its clients to deposit funds in this scheme.

Moreover, God forbid, if, for any reason, desired foreign currency inflows are not attracted in this scheme, government will lose nothing.

The above foreign currency bank deposits scheme should be available for all resident and non-resident Pakistanis, under special permission of the GoP (like an amnesty scheme) and depositors NOT asked any questions about their sources of foreign currency funds.

—The author writes on strategic, political, economic, current affairs & sports.

 

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