CHITRAL: Whenever the government wants to impose further taxes and levies on the general public in Pakistan, the Prime minister announces with an apologetic face that some ‘difficult decisions’ have to be taken in the interest of the country, followed by immediate increase in the prices of electricity, gas or gasoline etc. Never have these ‘difficult decisions’ translated into reduction of the perks and privileges of the ruling elite or government functionaries. They almost imminently mean putting more pressure on the already pressured lower strata of the society.
The free electricity, fuel, transportation, luxuries and all sorts of hidden perks enjoyed by those in government and establishment high ups amount to a heavy burden on the exchequer. The IMF also fails to address or purposely ignores these issues and instead is satisfied with the government pressing the public further to extract revenues.
The average person in Pakistan is already paying heavy indirect taxes through their nose, compared to the facilities they are enjoying. People are supposed to arrange for their own electricity in the form of solar energy, dig their own wells for water, and arrange their own private security as these service supposedly to be given by the government are unreliable and/or erratic.
No wonder Pakistanis are trying to flee their ‘beloved land’ founded in the name of their religion to live in more civilized and humane countries, which don’t boast of being founded on religion.
Bottom line is that whenever next time the Prime minister comes on TV and says we are forced to take some ‘difficult decisions’, it should mean drastic reduction in the cost of governance and abolition of undue perks and privileges of all those in the government at all cadres, both civil and military. Otherwise such statements would remain a hoax and business as usual’ will continue towards bashing of the common person. .. CN report, 26 July 2023