- As opposition limbers up for action
One of the major failures of the PTI government is its inability to keep the prices of the commodities of daily use under control. Those hired from abroad to look after the economy displayed little understanding of the impact of their policies on the common man’s life. The Prime Minister is not knowledgeable about the working of the economy. While it was convenient to blame the rising prices and shrinking taxes on the corruption of the former ruling parties, the PM is at wits’ end when required to resolve the same issues. For two years he has blamed his predecessors for his own failures. Now he is setting up a PTI’s Digital Media Wing, manned by party’s cyber warriors, at the state’s expense to glorify the PTI government and demonise its opponents. But can empty words fill stomachs?
The shortage of wheat in Punjab is the outcome of the government’s own incompetence exemplified by Food Security Minister Fakhar Imam’s bizarre remark on the National Assembly floor wondering where more than six million tons of wheat purchased by the government had “vanished in the market”. Despite reducing its wheat procurement target to 3.81 million tons from 4 million tons, Punjab managed to purchase only 3.62 million tons this year. The government of Sindh on the other hand surpassed the procurement target of 3.8 MMT by purchasing 3.852 MMTs.
The Sindh government is being treated as a new whipping boy. Two PTI ministers have demanded the release of Sindh’s stock of wheat, failing which the Sindh government could be sent home and Governor’s rule imposed. A few days back the PTI government increased the prices of petrol and HSD within weeks of a major rise in their prices. This has already raised the price of every commodity of daily use making people’s lives miserable and further bringing down PM Imran Khan’s ratings.
It would be suicidal for the PTI government to impose Governor’s rule in Sindh. The PPP, being the only opposition party ruling a province, has been hesitant to join hands with those keen to overthrow the government at the earliest. The removal of PPP’s government could be the harbinger of a countrywide change.