PML-N-PPP beat about the bush as economy crumbles | Pakistan Today

PML-N-PPP beat about the bush as economy crumbles

ISLAMABAD – The two rounds of negotiations between the government and PML-N committees have so far not touched real issues plaguing the economy, as both sides have been working on cosmetic exercises, while issues such as subsidies, borrowing from the central bank and the much-needed mobilisation of additional revenue resources remain untouched.
A source in the Finance Ministry told Pakistan Today that most of the issues confronting the national economy lingered on since 1990s, as no government tried to address them because political of compulsions and evaded taking decisions in view of public reaction.
“The present exercise to reform the economy will end up in futility if unpopular decisions are not taken. The top agenda of the international development partners is additional revenue resource mobilisation and this issue remained least discussed in these meetings,” he said, adding that powerful businessmen, landlords and wealthy traders in urban areas were not coming forward to help the government increase its revenue base.
Similarly, the PML-N too had proposed curtailing the losses of public sector enterprises (PSEs) through the changes in boards and managements and cut in government expenditures through austerity measures, but it had so far not come up with a concrete proposal to give the economy a jump start.
The PSEs have remained buried in losses during the last several years due to over staffing, inefficiency, lack of investment, and non-professional managements. During the PPP’s meetings with political parties, all of them demanded a cut in expenditure and reduction in ministries. “This would obviously reduce the ministers but not the burgeoning size of the bureaucracy,” the source added.
“Nobody raised the issue of why the number of officers was on the rise and how they managed to create new seats every year,” the source said. The government team was mandated to brief political parties on the state of the economy and exchange views and suggestions to increase revenue and reform power sector, but the PML-N trapped the government and pushed it to recover all waived off political loans, and establish an independent accountability commission.
“The government would require more time on the real issues and it may become a cause for political point scoring,” the sources said.

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