Voice of the People

55

Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.

Kodak Moment

Kodak was established 135 years back in 1888. It enjoyed a market share of 80% in photography in 1970. However, it failed to scan the changing environment of digital photography and ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2012. In fact the first digital camera was invented by a Kodak employee Stevan Sasson.

Nokia, founded in 1865 was the largest cellphone maker in 1988 but its CEO Stephen Elop ended his speech saying, “we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.” Upon this conclusion, he and the entire management team publicly wept on the sunset of Nokia.

Pakistan, a nuclear state, is facing its *Kodak moment*. Historically it thrived on participation in conflicts and developed a War Economy. It has not planned for a Peace Economy, ie, how will we get dollars when there is peace? Not surprising that the nuclear weapon country is threatened by a looming default today.

On the other hand, Dubai, a mini sheikhdom on sands is thriving. 4000 global millionaires have thronged to Dubai recently. KSA has reinvented itself and has shunned exporting Wahhabism. Qatar population is equal to a middle size district of Punjab like Sahiwal or Okara but is hosting FIFA World Cup this year.

Pakistan needs to reinvent and reorient itself. It needs a paradigm shift from drawing mileage out of a conflict to one where we reap benefits from peace. It has to devise ways and means to gain dollars without participating in a conflict. Lewis Bentley once said, *The light bulb did not come from the continuous improvement of candles*. A strategic paradigm shift is warranted to escape our *Kodak moment*.

IFTIKHAR MIRZA

Islamabad

City under heavy rain

Just go on Google earth and watch the topmost financial, business streets of the world they would find in excellent condition, whether it would be a matter of cleanliness, standard or maintenance even in torrential rainy days they would never be dilapidated in any case. See the Wall Street Journal you would be amused and feel ashamed comparing our I.I. Chundrigar Road Karachi.

Ironically, here in Karachi the dilemma is that 70 different taxes are taken by the government agencies from the citizens of Karachi and in response citizens are living their life in miserable conditions having broken roads, filthy transport, dirty stagnant rainy and sewerage water and bulk of garbage.

It is notable that I.I. Chundrigar Road is the financial area of the city. The recent rain completely destroyed this road and the concerned authorities didn’t take any action for initiating the process of repairing yet. This would not only generate revenue for the country but would also ease the pain of the general public. But it seems that to those in power or with influence, the woes of the general public do not matter — after all, what can be more important and urgent than the speedy repairing of the road for running transport and business smoothly? The coalition government is turning out to be a tale of too many shattered dreams.

Similarly, Mumtaz Hassan Road adjacent to State Bank of Pakistan having charged parking and a lot of money is being made in terms of parking, while the condition of the road is embarrassingly worst to the authorities who are charging for parking. Such loot and plunder have happened too often right under the nose of the State Bank and Sindh Police Headquarters located near this road. While, Sindh Chief Minister is given benefit of doubt on the plea he is not aware of it.

SYED SADAQAT HUSSAIN

Karachi

Inflation

and us!

Continuous price increases signal a weak economy. When it comes to the Pakistan economy, inflation has no pauses; it is fast-paced, and the reins are far removed from the hands of governments and experts.

Poor planning, deficit financing, challenges and frequent changes in taxing techniques, population, industrial concerns, accountability systems, constant political upheavals and blaming others for our lack of control all contribute to it escalating and remaining elevated.

It impacts both the affluent and the poor, as rising prices harm the business community just as much as the fixed-income stratum and the destitute, and exports suffer as well.

There are concerns that prices are rocketing high, producing great concerns at all levels and putting our people in a difficult financial situation. The real estate sector and allied businesses generate job opportunities for our people and provide investment prospects as well, therefore, nourishing the country’s economic and financial status.

Prioritizing enterprises that improve the economy, such as manufacturers, builders and dealers, with long-term plans to avoid a sudden spike in prices, is advised.

The significant spike in worldwide oil and commodity prices has put Pakistan’s economy in jeopardy, and the country is reliant on the IMF for assistance. Pakistan receives financial objectives from the IMF to meet in order to avoid an economic downturn.

However, it will result in significant food inflation of 28.77%, power price increases in the double digits, and transportation price increases of 64.73%, in addition to the previously mentioned fuel price increases. The State Bank of Pakistan is forced to hike interest rates, raising consumer costs and reducing government subsidies.

MARYAM NAWAZ KAYANI

Islamabad

 

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