- If you’re in a hole, stop digging
It is sad that the government is unwilling to accept that the country faces an economic crisis of unprecedented magnitude. It is more interested in blaming the opposition than in rectifying its course. The government’s blunders in its dealings with the IMF have led to a situation where, according to a former Finance Minister who is also a prominent conomist, the country’s net revenues will not be able to cover anything including debt servicing, armed forces expenses and development expenses which will have to be financed through loans.
The Opposition parties do not critcise the government for taking recourse to IMF, as maintained by PM’a Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday. The opposition however points out the two blunders committed by the government. First, the government delayed taking the critical decision to go to the IMF for 10 months. By the time it decided to approach the IMF the government was in a weaker position. Second, the PTI government gave a carte blanche to the IMF. It accepted a rise in power and gas charges, brought down of the currency by 40 percent, included additional taxation in the budget and carried out 30 percent reduction in development spending. Had the government tried to persuade the IMF to drop some of the measures, or delay them till next year, the floodgates of inflation would not have opened so wide. This has led the opposition to hold that the PTI government is incompetent.
The situation in the country further worsened when mafias were allowed to freely indulge in malpractices that led to sudden increases in the prices of commodities of everyday use, including wheat and sugar. On Tuesday, members from the PPP and PML(N) were on the offensive while speaking in the National Assembly over the rise in prices, the government’s failure to cope with the situation and the presence of mafias enjoying the protection of the government. But it was made clear by Kh Asif that the opposition would not be part of any conspiracy against the government and it favoured government change only through constitutional ways
Instead of indulging in confrontation with the opposition, the government should realize the gravity of the situation, and take measures to improve the economy.