EAC recommendations

THE newly constituted Economic Advisory Council (EAC), consisting of prominent personalities from different fields and experts on economy, in its first meeting on Thursday recommended that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government to take tough decision on the economy. It unanimously recommended to the government to revise the 2018-19 budget on the plea that it was built on unrealistic assumptions that require to be adjusted in accordance with the emerging ground realities.
There is no doubt that the economy was not in good shape as it received continued jolts during the last two years because of internal and external factors. The situation is so serious that the country needs hefty external inflows to run its affairs and these options are also not without risks. The government surely will have to take tough decisions to improve things but this should be done without putting further burden on the common man. There is general impression that there was unjust distribution of wealth and resources and instead of making the well-to-do to pay according to his/her income, the burden is always put on the ordinary soul. The recommendation of the EAC that the budget for the current financial years may be revised is fraught with political implications and might add to woes of the people who have pinned great hopes on the new government.
One would agree to EAC that there should be no increase in gas or electricity tariff as these are already on the higher side. The recent government decisions to increase electricity tariff by Rs. 2 a unit and unprecedented 46% hike in gas price would not only upset household budget but also render Pakistani products uncompetitive due to increase in cost of production. Increase in tariff is not rationale answer to circular debt in power sector and Rs. 50 billion loss in gas sector but steps to plug theft and line losses. Similarly, reversal of tax incentives offered in the budget would mean unbearable reduction in carry home salary for fixed income groups. Instead, industrialists, businessmen and landlords are presently paying either nothing or fraction of what they should be paying as income tax but is the government in a position to offend them.

Share this post

    scroll to top