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For a country like Pakistan with an agriculture-based economy, the attitude of every government including PTI was pathetic and criminal in dealing with the farmers. It defies logic, why there should be a shortage of fertilizer in Pakistan, which produces enough to meet its requirement. Other than black marketing, hoarding and smuggling, there is no other explanation.
We all know, the power of fertilizer cartel, owned by powerful quarters, who defy regulatory controls by the state. However, these are extraordinary times, and the State and all its institutions cannot overlook their responsibilities for the collective welfare of citizens. It is the primary responsibility of both Federal and Provincial governments to perform their regulatory functions diligently and honestly. Provision of essential seeds at affordable prices to farmers must be ensured.
I fail to understand that if Pakistan can afford to give endless amnesty schemes to powerful Real Estate Developers Mafia, who are converting fertile green agricultural land to concrete jungles, why it cannot address genuine demands of farmers. Given the severity of Liquidity Crunch, the government needs to wake up and set its priorities. The conflicts of interest of powerful stakeholders today pose a threat to national interests, given the scarcity of essential food items we need.
Almost one third of our crops have been wiped out by floods, yet fertile green pastures are being bulldozed by land mafia in nexus with governments of the provinces where it is occurring. If Pakistan can give gas and electricity subsidies to sugar, cement and fertilizer cartels, it can give subsidies to farmers to operate their tube wells. Sanity must prevail.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
Controlling the USD
The roller coaster ride of the US dollar exchange rate against Pak Rupee cannot be stopped unless the real reason for this exchange rate fluctuation is addressed.
In Pakistan after the 40,000 prize bond was discontinued, the 100 US dollar bill became the highest valued paper currency that can be bought and easily sold by locals. It is also a safe investment as the US dollar will increase in value overtime.
Investing in US dollars is also possible with a small amount with no paperwork and easy way to buy or sell dollars. It is because of these reasons local Pakistanis have started investing their savings in US dollars and therefore the exchange rate of US dollar is going up and down on its own.
To overcome this, the Government has to provide alternative investment options to the locals. The alternative options should be most importantly tax free, easy to buy and sell. For example, buying foreign currency in saving accounts in banks.
The government would also need to either stop local hoarding and investing in US dollars by imposing a tax on its local exchange, while allowing tax-free exchange of other currencies. Or start two exchange rates for US currency in Pakistan, one for local investment and one for imports and travelling.
The government should also promote investing in other currencies besides US dollars to locals and ask locals to convert their US dollars into Canadian dollars or Euro or UK Pound.
A simple request can help reduce the pressure on the exchange rate for the US dollar in the short term, while an alternative investment option will fix this problem in the long run.
SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER
Have we learnt our lesson?
It is a shame that we did not learn any lessons from the devastating floods of 2010. A decade later, we are facing the same crisis, same negligence and pretty much the same of everything, only worse.
We live in a country where the authorities seem to be unaware of the complete reality of the climate change phenomenon and do not plan or prepare to avert a disaster. The recent floods have left millions of people homeless. Tons of wheat have been washed away in floodwater and there is apparently not enough for distribution among the homeless and the needy. Tents and mosquito nets are sold at sky-high prices. Even potatoes are sold at Rs200 per kilogram.
We live in a wretched country where helicopters fail to rescue people from floodwater, but are available for any other purpose, however frivolous it may be. Funds and donations are consumed by the corrupt, while the victims remain hungry and empty handed. We all must wake up and feel the misery of our own people. We need to hold the relevant authorities accountable and make them do what they are supposed to do.
HASAN YASEEN MIRZA
Social media & education
As we know education plays an indispensable role in this competitive era. It provides numerous opportunities to get a better life by improving one’s knowledge and skills and develops the personality and attitude of an intellectual.
A good education is extremely essential for everyone to grow and succeed in life. It is education which assists you to overcome the hazards by expanding the creativity and mentality.
Education helps us to recognize our inner power and polish our skills; it makes us more energized and prepares us to face the world but with woefully I have to declare it that social media has brought a severe impact on the education system although it is beneficiary but it made the students more addicted with fruitless circular activities.
The new generation is too much engaged with the technical world that they have literally lost the importance of education. According to a research the results showed that 97% of the students used social media applications.
Only 1% used social media for academic purposes. Whereas 35% used these platforms to chat with others, 43% browsed these sites to pass time. Moreover, 57% were addicted to social media. Additionally, 52% reported that social media use had affected their learning activities, 66% felt more drawn toward social media than toward academic activities, and 74% spent their free time on social media platforms.
Lastly, I want to mention that these habitual behaviours can distract students from their academic work, adversely affect their academic performance, social interaction and sleep duration, and lead to a sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity, which in turn can render them vulnerable to non-communicable diseases and mental health problems.