Govt fails to check prices in Ramazan
BEFORE the advent of holy month of Ramazan, the government func tionaries like in the past, this time too, made tall claims of taking steps towards checking the prices of essential commodities but all these proved to be mere hollow statements - much to the distress of the poor and middle classes which are actually feeling the pinch of price hike.
Even before the start of Ramazan, the profiteers and hoarders had started looting the pockets of helpless consumers by sky-rocketing the prices of different items, especially pulses and fruits as well as chicken. During this month when the consumption of many items, particularly fruits, go up manifold, the profiteers are leaving no opportunity to gain the maximum benefit. The fact is that price hike has put many staple foods out of the reach of the poor people. The regrettable part is that by announcing small Ramazan packages and opening ‘Sasta bazaars’, the Federal and Provincial governments give the impression that they have fulfilled their responsibilities. The Provincial Ministers are also seen paying customary visits to these so called Sasta bazaars mere for photo shoot and personal publicity but nothing concrete is done on the ground to ensure adequate and quality supply of items there. This time around people are also complaining that the items being sold at these special bazaars are not only of low quality but there is no much difference in the prices of items when compared with the open market. The fact is that the price mechanism system has totally failed due to the obliviousness of those entrusted with the responsibility. A national price monitoring committee often meets under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar but this has only been turned into a platform only for presentation of data and statistics by the officials concerned. Nothing concrete is being done on its part to save the consumers from the cruel hands of cartels and profiteers. Sizzling heat and frequent power outages have already made the lives of common man miserable and the bomb of price hike is nothing but adding more salt to their wounds. We, therefore, will urge the government to take practical steps and establish a robust mechanism to save the people from the evil clutches of profiteers.
DESPITE Obama administration’s full backing of India’s bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group, (NSG) the facts on the ground principally advocate that undeserving India’s desire for joining the NSG, can hardly be fulfilled precisely because India remains incapable of satisfying the ‘required criteria’. Though the US has said it is not about an arms race, but about peaceful use of nuclear energy, there appears much qualified skepticism, that an Indian membership to the NSG, will unfalteringly‘ escalate nuclear arms race’in South Asia. While considering the Indian case, the 48 member NSG body can’t ignore its adherence to the ‘Guidelines’. The NSG Guidelines aim to ensure that nuclear trade for peaceful purposes does not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The merit of this argument upholds that India’s ‘legitimacy’ is waning over this issue.
As for the NSG membership criteria, the most important prerequisites are : the ability to supply items (including items in transit) covered by the annexes to Parts 1 and 2 of the NSG Guidelines; adherence to the Guidelines and action in accordance with them; enforcement of a legally based domestic export control system which gives effect to the commitment to act in accordance with the Guidelines; full compliance with the obligations of one or more of the following: the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Treaties of Pelindaba, Rarotonga, Tlatelolco, Bangkok, or an equivalent international nuclear non-proliferation agreement; and support of inter-
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