Economy
 
Economic survey 2011-2012, “poor in highlighting aspect of poverty”
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June 17, 2011
The economic survey 2010-2011 does not contain any official statistics regarding poverty, and it has been accepted that disparity (difference) of income has increased by dangerous proportions so much so that any kind of growth rate failed to reflect on any just and equitable distribution of wealth. Work is in progress on survey regarding household expenses (HIES), which is a part of PSLM. Speaking on the occasion of launching of economic survey, the secretary finance, Waqar Masood informed that poverty statistics would be brought forth in the next financial year.

Hoarders, profiteers and inflation mongers use familiar excuses of energy crisis, the passé misfortunes of floods, energy crisis or terrorism, none of which could be legally entertained, as all have limited/ nil impact, compared to glaring, publicly acknowledged irregularities, scandals and daylight embezzlements of National wealth; all of which is an open, callous and ruthless joke with already downtrodden masses.

In its economic survey for the FY-2010-2011, the government has acknowledged that there has been a strong failure to attain the desired targeted results. As during this period, economic condition remained detrimental, with skyrocketing increases in inflation and official loans. All this contributed to failure to attain the desired budgetary targets. Growth ratio remained constrained at 2.4% against the targeted 4.5%; while inflation registered an increase of 14%. The government’s ‘maddening addiction to loans’ got it entangled into debts amounting to Rs.342 billion, with foreign debts’ graph mounting to U$.59.50 billion. The survey held such factors like aid of flood affectees, fluctuation in oil prices, law and order situation, and of course massive debt ceiling as being responsible for astronomical pressure on National economy.

Only 0.7% increase in per captia income was registered, with public debts surmounting to Rs.0.20 trillion; while the ‘standby agreement with IMF’ is also practically static, discouraging tranche from other global financial institutions, regarding disbursement of budgetary support funds. Official expenses have been frozen due to this very reason. The economic survey 2010-2011 does not contain any official statistics regarding poverty, and it has been accepted that disparity (difference) of income has increased by dangerous proportions so much so that any kind of growth rate failed to reflect on any just and equitable distribution of wealth. Work is in progress on survey regarding household expenses (HIES), which is a part of PSLM. Speaking on the occasion of launching of economic survey, the secretary finance, Waqar Masood informed that poverty statistics would be brought forth in the next financial year.

It has also been disclosed that difference in gene-coefficient for FY 2010-2011 has registered an increase in upper gene income; a financial disparity gone berserk, haywire. Hence despite tall claims of positive growth rate during 2000- 2006, the notion arising out of ‘figures and statistics’ that poverty had decreased was just a mirage by all means. The survey also gives rise to notion that whereas growth rate was more important, tackling poverty was least considered to be tackled. The survey holds the devastating floods of 2010 as being responsible for inflicting long-range economic toll, as it affected 20 million people, besides any efforts to contain poverty. However the areas affected were already sliding downhill, economically, as they even lacked any basic amenities before the floods, while floods just pushed them deeper into the abyss of poverty and backwardness: since the basic infrastructure was totally destroyed, discouraging any social services for these calamity struck regions This would be discouraging any attainment of millennium development goals.

It is traditional / official that all reasons for attainment / failure to attain the desired targets, all aspects of National economy, and details of failure or success of attainment of desired targets are publicly declared, well before budget. Any positive results of policies of government are also evident; while any failure exposes any tall claims of the government; while the advent of economic survey also ushers in a rampant loot and mayhem by hoarders, profiteers, and inflation mongers.

The economic survey report exposes the sheer failure of the government by revealing that facts that during the next fiscal year 2011-2012, the inflation has arisen by 14% while budgetary deficit stands expected at 5.7% instead of an anticipated 4%. The finance minister has accepted the fact that there was simply no escape from official loans unless the official expenditure is reigned in. This has simply become a part of the tradition that a storm of protest and criticism gathers after the release of economic survey and before the budget, while an indifferent and unmoved government simply stands by and watches from sidelines, refusing to hold any (even minor) accountability of hoarders, profiteers and inflation mongers. All of these elements use familiar excuses of energy crisis, the passé misfortunes of floods, energy crisis or terrorism, none of which could be legally entertained, as all have limited/ nil impact, compared to glaring, publicly acknowledged irregularities, scandals and daylight embezzlements of National wealth; all of which is an open, callous and ruthless joke with already downtrodden masses.

Any slight invariability in global petroleum prices gives the strongly entrenched cartel of National companies a ‘plausible excuse’ to raise domestic prices, unscrupulously, refusing to have slightest mercy, even over minor differences of rupee/dollar exchange rate. While the consensus committees formed to declare oil prices are highly partial, ‘exclusive’ and do not have any representation of government or consumers. These companies ruthlessly defend the rights of their billionaire owners, who devolve no benefit to masses if global petroleum prices dip. On the other hand, despite playing a strong full-fledged role in war against terrorism, Pakistan has hardly been ever lauded, while there has been plenty of criticism for doing ‘less than expected’. According to the colossal damage suffered by Pakistan, it has lost more than 5000 Army personnel and 35000 totally unaware and innocent citizens, martyred. Economic pundits have estimated a massive U$, 100 billion damage so far.

Considering all these glaring realities, highlighted by the released economic survey by the finance minister should have endeavored) the government to lend it’s full, credible and justified support to masses by announcing an end in its royal expenses, and ruthless genocide of National resources, alongwith immediate termination of any useless and non-productive developmental projects.

All of this would/should and could enable the masses to pull themselves out of the gloom and apathy they were overshadowed with, while empowering their buying power and even help government attain its desired targets and redeem itself in eyes of its mandate, while standing tall and proud. It is pertinent to mention here that energy crisis should be handles as foremost priority, as it has caused a lot of agony among masses.



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