A report in this paper on the rise of domestic debt by Rs 813 billion brings under focus just one aspect of the multifaceted bad governance that characterises both the federal and provincial administrations. It should be alarming that in the first two months of the current fiscal year, domestic debt expanded by Rs 211 billion bringing the total to a whopping Rs 4.863 trillion. This is despite the warnings by the SBP of the roll-over risks involved, and by private bankers that this could lead to the crowding out of private sector from the banking system. The government continues to take recourse to borrowing because while it is unable to check its expenses, it is unwilling to tax influential landlords controlling provincial assemblies and fly-by-night businessmen with access to the centers of power. A similar lack of financial responsibility prevails in Punjab where the government has borrowed with abandon, raising the borrowing slab of Rs 4.4 billion in FY 2008 to an unimaginable Rs 62.3 billion in FY09. Heavy borrowing by the federal and provincial governments has contributed to high inflation making life hard for the common man.
One is often forced to conclude that one hand in the government doesnt know what the other is doing. One day the Interior Minister announces handing over police powers to the FC in Balochistan, the next day he is reprimanded by the Prime Minister for acting against the Governments policy. The overall shoddy governance continues to add to the miseries of the flood affected people, as the countywide protests against the failure to issue Watan Cards to thousands of flood victims indicate.
The present elected administrations have consumed more than half of their tenure and unless they drastically improve their working, they would betray the trust of millions who made sacrifices for democracy and for a better future. It is ironic that Musharraf who played havoc with institutions should take the opportunity to quip that the greatest threat to the country today is failure of governance rather than India or Taliban.