INFLATION and price hike have affected everyone badly. High prices of each and every thing has made it very difficult for poor and middle class to survive and feed their families.
Our ruling and upper class has nothing to do with the issues of common people. They are enjoying all perks and privileges of their life without thinking about the poor.
Our channels and media houses are giving more coverage to upper and ruling class. Non- issues are discussed more while common and basic issues of general public are ignored and not taken seriously.
Politics and interests of ruling class are focused and given more attention while general publics issues like unemployment, inflation, terrorism, lack of basic necessities are not given much attention.
If we look at the figures and numbers given by government, everything seems fine but ground realities are entirely different.
Poor is becoming poorer day by day. People don’t have earning power. Job market is very shrunk and majority of educated, skilled and talented youth don’t have jobs.
Situation is getting worse and problems for the poor are growing by each passing day. People have nothing to do with the figures and numbers. They look at the ground realities which are miserable.
If we look at the developed and welfare countries, we come to know that they have excellent and people- friendly system and conditions for poor in general.
They collect tax and then use the tax money for the welfare of people. They do their best to make the life of common people easy and comfortable.
Prices in their societies mostly remain the same or raised rarely. With raise in the prices they increase the rates of minimum wages as well.
Prices hike doesn’t affect them as government provides them as much relief as possible, while our situation is entirely opposite.
Tax is stolen by powerful and the amount collected anyhow either goes in the corrupt hands or is used to facilitate the upper and privileged class.
We are an oil dependant country and unfortunately prices of our all items depend mostly on the rates of oil.
We have failed to promote and use the alternate sources for fuel. We haven’t worked effectively on solar, wind, sold waste, coal and bio-gas systems and just relied on petrol and diesel etc.
we are far behind in innovation, research and development. We are using traditional means of getting energy and are not using modern techniques and tools.
We should work on this important sector as well and should reduce our dependency on petrol and diesel.
All prices go up with increase in the fuel prices. Local vendors and investors raise the prices themselves.
We don’t have a proper monitoring and control system for prices at government level. We really need an effective and powerful prices control and regulatory authority.
People’s tax money should also be used to provide them the subsidy and burden of prices hike and inflation should be shared by government as well.
According to my research and analysis, if we streamline processes and minimize the leakages, we can reduce dependence on foreign loans.
We need to reform and re-organize our tax system. Main thing is transparency and honesty.
If tax is collected and used with full responsibility and in a transparent way, the things might go in good direction.
We have to get rid of corruption and without doing this we can’t achieve our goals. Tax rate is also a big issue.
Commonly used and basic items should be tax free. More tax should be collected from luxury items.
Unfortunately, we collect more tax from poor in the form of general sales tax and very less in terms of income and property tax from upper class.
We need to make a system to collect more from upper and privileged class and spend it to facilitate all.
We need to win the confidence of investors and rich as well. We have to ensure them that the tax collected from them will be used to facilitate them and the common people of the country.
We need to minimize the burden on poor and help this class to stand on their feet for bringing them in the tax net.
Current price hike and increase in the rates of fuel and dollar has badly hit the economy of the country.
The situation was so worst that there was no way other than to go to IMF for loan. Of course, they always have their strict terms and conditions for making such agreements but there was no other way to take the country out of such worst financial crisis.
Role of our Army Chief in finalizing the deal with IMF is much appreciable. General Bajwa proved himself a true well wisher of the country and a patriotic personality.
According to international media, General Bajwa asked the US to push the IMF for an early disbursement of $1.2 billion as Pakistan faces the risk of debt default due to dwindling foreign reserves.
Army Chief also used his influence within the network of our friendly countries for bailout packages.
Of course these initiatives from General Bajwa helped in managing the current economic crisis.
Whole nation is thankful to the Army Chief for his proactive role and putting in his sincere efforts for bringing the country out of this crisis and default like situation.
Our further motto should be to reduce dependence on foreign loans by strengthening our system and economy.
By reducing leakages in our tax collection system and applying a comprehensive economic plan we can achieve the goals of excellence.
Last but not the least, we need solid and practical actions to overcome the common people’s issues.
If we take up the matters with sincerity, nothing is impossible to achieve but the main thing is to take solid steps. Concrete action needs to be taken to make the country and people prosperous.
—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Muzaffarabad.