How to re­duce Beg­ging Bowl de­pen­dency?

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

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.

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