How to reduce Begging Bowl dependency?
CONTINUING discussion on the next year’s budget in National Assembly on Saturday, opposition members termed the finance bill 2016-17 as a jugglery of facts and figures adding it would only increase the size of government’s begging bowl. Members of the treasury benches while defending budgetary proposals rejected concerns and assertions of the opposition. There is no denying the fact that no other country in the world is as much afflicted with dependency syndrome like us with no panacea insight to wean away from this lethal mindset.
However those criticising government today on the matter should not forget that this begging bowl syndrome is not the creation of last three years but is continuing over the past many decades. Though it is the right of opposition parties to criticise government’s policies but this should be substantive and based on facts. When present government assumed power, economic and security situation was very precarious with foreign exchange reserves and GDP growth rate standing at the lowest ebb. It was in this peculiar situation that the government had to approach different financial institutions including IMF and the World Bank not only to pay off old loans but also to put the economy on the right track. There is no doubt that the size of our begging bowl is increasing every passing year and the government needs to curtail it yet at the same time opposition parties cannot be absolved of their responsibility in this regard. Opposition parties are in fact the government in waiting and they should come up with plans, recommendations that could steer the economy to selfreliance. The regrettable part is that our economy has been hit hard by over politicisation, which has retarded its growth. As Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has repeatedly been floating the idea of charter of economy, we believe all political parties should join this endeavour in order to give future direction to the country. If we are seriously interested to reduce the size of our begging bowl, introduce culture of economic discipline and avoid extravagant lifestyle. This would enable the country stand on its own feet and make it truly sovereign.