Long march, change of govt will not promise revival


Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) on Sunday said the long march or the attempts made for change of government will not guarantee economic revival, instead, positive and unpopular decisions will prove more beneficial to the country.
IWCCI President Farida Rashid while speaking to businesswomen said the government and opposition were not concerned with economic revival, as they were only pushing forward their own agendas which were leading the country towards a debt repayment default.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led government had not done anything to prevent the economic meltdown and instead their activities have bled the economy white, she said. Other political parties have yet to suggest a concrete framework of policies to improve the overall growth rate and to ensure that all regions and segments of society reaped the benefits of a booming economy, she added.
She said that the incumbent government had utilised all their energies to promote the country’s elite which had yet again disappointed the masses, frustrated the business community and had left the economy in a state where it was gasping for breath. Rulers intentionally avoided economic reforms despite insistence of friendly countries and the country’s business community, while it had developed a habit of relying on false figures, tall claims and flowery statements which amounted to nothing in the end, she added.
She further said that the present crises emerged out of mismanagement and had snatched jobs from millions of people, while it also compromised the ability of tens of millions of wage earners to provide sustenance to their families.
Farida said that the government had missed no opportunity to promote the interests of the rural and urban elites at the expense of the poor that had resulted in an internally weak country living off a fractured social fabric.
She also said that the welfare of feudal nobility remained the main focus of the government dominated by politicians belonging to the feudal class which had resultantly given rise to many problems, adding that prices of land had also increased100 percent in the villages alone.
Prosperity of the urban population and business community remained confined to the statements given by government functionaries that had frustrated the business community to an extent that they were shifting their businesses overseas, she added.
Rejecting the claim that the ruling party was too busy defending democracy to focus on putting the economy back on track, she said that it was not possible that the rulers had failed in all unenthusiastic attempts to provide relief to the masses but were successful in all their initiatives that supported the mighty and wealthy class.
Furthermore, the IWCCI president said that employment chances in the job market remained bleak while all experienced people were acting like political gimmicks on the part of the federal or provincial governments, adding that such a situation in turn triggered street crimes, terrorism and also multiplied the number of children on streets. All we saw was increased food and energy insecurity, lack of shelter and sanitation, diseases, and desperation which gave rise to serious crimes like violence, lawlessness, theft, robberies, and fraud in the country, she observed.
Lack of electricity and gas, and the reign of lawlessness have forced many industries to either shut down or operate below capacity, she said. Exports were stagnating while imports were rising, exchange rate and reserves were depreciating and the balance of payments situation could invite external debt default at any time, she added.
Moreover, Farida said that all public sector enterprises were being looted, inter-agency debt was on the rise, the rate of investment and savings had touched the lowest level while reckless borrowings by the government continued unchecked.
The State Bank of Pakistan was busy in printing currency notes to finance the government’s wasteful expenditures which amounted to providing support for efforts which were meant to drive the country towards bankruptcy and destruction, she noted. She said that in the absence of any land reforms, absentee landowners continued to take away large share of untaxed income to be spent on fulfilling the requirements of a lavish lifestyle, while leaving the poor farmers high and dry.
Terming all the official statistics as window-dressing and an effort to hide the government’s mismanagement, corruption and exploitation, Farida said that the economy had been brought to the brink of bankruptcy, while the government and opposition were yet to seriously consider the issue of economic revival, knowing that the economy was very sick and would die if ignored any further.