Bio-gas, no doubt, is an answer to the energy crises if implemented in right earnest. It is sad to say that many such projects of use of Bio gas from animal faeces for domestic energy need and running of tube wells from solar energy have been tried successfully in the country side in say sixties/seventies under foreign aid/grant, but could not continue persistently due to wrong policies and rampant corruption in the government agencies. Government does everything for the elite class of society, whereas, the poor are neglected. Moreover, whatever is done in this respect does not initiate at grass root level which is why the efforts remain futile.
M. Aslam Chaudhry LAHORE
It is troubling, though not entirely surprising, to note that inflation has outpaced income growth over the last few years, meaning dipping real incomes for the bulk of the population. What is really surprising, though, is that food inflation has remained much higher than overall inflation for most preceding years. Taken with the next worrying finding, that unemployment too has not so steadily risen, and you have a disturbing mix already wreaking havoc in far too many places in the world for authorities in Islamabad to continue fearlessly with their complacency. Unfortunately, the government has been behind the curve on most of its promises, meaning budget debriefing at the fiscal-end will likely be the usual rerun of justifying falling short of targets, again. But with elections approaching, and governance in shambles, and development and growth targets badly off track, there is a real possibility of food inflation turning into the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. With three-fourths of the population comprising youth, three-fourths of which is unemployed, the situation is grim. And it is made worse for those investing large sums in education only to find place in the unemployment queue. Food inflation, which stokes unemployment, is yet another tale of inefficient use of limited resources. The government extends billions in subsidies and bailouts, most of which is channeled to non-productive avenues, which only bolsters the cycle of inefficiency. The time has come when Islamabad can no longer dilly-dally on issues of pressing concern. If inflation is not tamed, with special focus on food prices, the government will have only itself to blame if people-fury turns into a violent, rioting mob. The sums it would then spend to control agitation would be far greater than targeted subsidies needed to rationalise price distortions in the food market.
If we take it on face value, the introduction of Indus Air, which is the newest, cheapest and upcoming domestic airline in Pakistan; is a surprise package for a number of Pakistanis. But in order to facilitate these airlines, PIA has decreased its flights both on the domestic and international front. This decision of the management is harmful for the interest of the passengers of PIA, who are already suffering from the terrible service being provided by them. The management has its own vested interest in the introduction of the new airlines which need to be brought to the notice of the people. Ali Khan Lahore
OGDC and Nashpa well two The latest discovery of oil in the Nashpa zone is a major boost to a nation that is being hit hard by the power crisis on a daily basis. The rich reserves that have drawn everyone’s attention are like a ray of hope that becomes visible in the darkest times; seriously, there could not have been a more opportune moment for the discovery. Let’s hope that OGDC and other stakeholders ensure that this reservoir is properly utilised. So often our inner problems become our biggest hurdle, hopefully the divisions and political brawls will stay clear and we can truly prosper from this promising situation. Amjad Tariq lahore
It is clear that Europe is in a mess. The financial crisis is spanning from the eastern front to the western front and is creating havoc over everything in between. Berlusconi stepping down is not really the answer to the Italian problem and a united effort is needed on the Italians part to ensure that things begin to improve. Yes, Berlusconi was at fault on many instances and his reform policy was absolutely pointless, but pinning the entire blame on one individual is inappropriate. Whoever replaces the former Italian Prime Minister has a huge tasks on his hands and only time will tell whether things have a potential to improve in Europe. Sarah Farooq islamabad
It is said that the government is going to buy uncertified and substandard sugar, since none of the local sugar producers and millers who are members of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) holds the license issued by Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA). Just for the record, PSMA should remember the time when in order to stablise prices in December 2007, a few importers ventured into the Indian market with the asking price of Rs24 per kg as against the then PSMA ex mill price of Rs30 per kg. At that time, the PSMA tried hard to impound the shipment at Wagha Attari. Qasim Shah Lahore
The Italian crisis is a huge problem for not only Italy or Europe, but indeed for the entire world. The Europeans were already fighting for survival on the Greek front – to name one – but now the Italian problem seems like a problem too many for the Europeans. Berlusconi was never going to be the answer to the hole that Italy finds itself in, and hence his departure was inevitable. Italians would need to muster up all of their energy to dig themselves out of this mess. I hope for the Italians’ sake that the man who replaces Berlusconi comes up with a better reform policy than the previous Prime Minister.
The continuous weakening of the rupee against Japanese yen and US dollar will surely decrease the gross profitability of Indus Motors this year. As the Pakistani currency is devaluing day by day, this is yet another industry that will have to face losses as a result. I believe that the problem does not only lie in the currency devaluation, but the Pakistani taxation system is also one of the major problem makers. The prices keep on getting inflated whereas, the quality of cars remain almost the same. At least, this is what I have been experiencing for the last three to four years.
The article raises a number of very important issues. Unfortunately, the education system of Pakistan is such, that rote learning is patronised instead of being discouraged. And this is not only limited to Pakistan but also, many developed countries as we know them. There is a need to completely revamp educational structures, but for that to happen, as you rightly pointed out, we need to redefine the definition of education. The modern system is a process of standardisation where batch by batch students are churned out, without much value addition. Also, as pointed out in the article, the definition of literacy courtesy UNESCO is not only ambiguous but immensely bizarre.
Pakistan and India are traversing through their worst energy crisis. It is time to resolve them. The TAPI project provides best opportunity besides the IP project. Pakistan must serve its national interest and it is in the interest of Pakistan that it must adhere to both IP and TAPI projects to meet its energy needs. If geopolitics could be averted on granting the Most Favored Nation status to India, it should also be averted on both IP and TAPI projects. Let economic forces work and build trust and peace. There is no Afghan-like irritant on the IP project. Geopolitics should not affect these projects, as they would bring enormous prosperity to Pakistan in the near future.
Every government strives to pursue the policies best suited to their own interests; is a phenomenon true regardless of time and space. Granting of MFN status to India is beneficial for both the countries. The article unfolded a very balanced view in a most unbiased manner. Every sensible Pakistani is well in favour of free trade between India and Pakistan, believing enough is enough as we are sick and tired of animosity and useless acrimonious wrangling between the two neighbours. But at least the field should be leveled for the both players to void future complications. Ahmed Shakil Lahore
MFN status was given to India as a gesture which was indeed in response to India's waiver of objections to the preferential trade agreement. The NTBs that exist on India's part which also hopefully come down as trade between the two countries flourishes. This has to be done in small incremental steps so that it gives the market a chance to adjust. I say we let bygones be bygones and improve the relationship between the two countries, and there has to be an understanding between our two peoples that we have to live peacefully next to each other. The animosity must end now! Saad Ali Karachi
The dip in the practice of animal sacrifice this Eid was pretty obvious, and it was clearly because of the inflated prices of the animals. It is a shame that we haven’t even spared our religious customs from becoming means of unethical profit making. I, for one, could not afford even one of the modestly priced goats and had to make do with sharing the sacrifice to prevent a burning hole in my pocket. Although, we are used to escalating prices, but it is my humble request to the government that they should help an average man perform his religious duties; at the very least.
There has been a great increase in the prices of fertilisers, seeds, electricity and pesticides along with the other input prices, which is why the farmers are reluctant to cultivate wheat. Similarly, the government is not even providing enough subsidies and high wheat support prices to the farmers, which is why the farmers are facing a lot of losses. These subsidies are without any doubt, going to the pockets of the ministers. If the government does not take immediate steps then we are very much likely to face a wheat production shortfall and the farmers will surely miss out on the wheat sowing target. It is time the government makes an efficient and effective plan to aid the farmers. Sajjad Ali karachi
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani is said to approve or reject the monetisation package for cutting perks of the civil servants. It is a good step and I am glad that the government has finally realised that other than spending so much money on these perks, they can allocate the same money elsewhere in order to benefit Pakistan. But there has to be something done about the politicians etc as well. How about putting up an estimate of the privileges of the generals and politicians? After all, everyone in Pakistan knows that currently, no one else other than them is enjoying the most remuneration and perks. Saman Saleem Islamabad