THE PML-N’s manifesto has been unveiled and the party claims to have kept its goals both realistic and very much achievable. But are they? Going through the list of pledges, the PML-N appears to have described a country that everyone would like to see five years from now: slowly sorting out structural impediments to growth, for example, the power sector; increasing basic services delivery by doubling allocations to health and education; and addressing sundry political challenges (new provinces) and even civil-military relations (focusing on “seniority and merit” in appointing service chiefs). The gap, though, between what is desired and what actually transpires is often very large. Start with the obvious benchmark for the PML-N’s ability to deliver on electoral promises: the performance of its government in Punjab over the past five years.

The PML-N has promised to raise tax-to-GDP ratio from nine to 15 per cent over five years, while, oddly enough, promising to cut taxes across the board — presumably because a six per cent rise in the tax-to-GDP ratio can be achieved, in the PML-N’s thinking at least, by closing loopholes in the tax laws and documenting the informal sector. But how much has the Punjab government done to help boost overall tax revenues in the past five years? Agricultural income tax, a provincial issue, is still a taboo subject and when the federal government had mooted the idea of a Reformed General Sales Tax, designed specifically to help document the economy and business chain better, the PML-N rode to the defence of its trader base. Doubling expenditures on health and education can also sound like a very promising measure — though really a worn-out pledge of many a government — but after the 18th Amendment, both subjects are in the provincial domain. So what is the PML-N’s promise supposed to achieve? Similarly, going through the list of economic proposals, they are long on promise and short on specifics, particularly on how political resistance to reforms will be overcome. And perhaps most stunningly, militancy continues to be treated by the PML-N as a side issue that can be addressed through jobs and growth.

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Comments (10)

bakar
March 10, 2013 8:14 am
they are industrial people
observer
March 9, 2013 3:40 am
Never mind. They don't mean to complete these promises. They just made these promises to get elected.
skchadha
March 9, 2013 3:42 am
PML-N in its manifesto promises that ?Pakistan?s strategic assets, acquired with the nation? s blood and sweat and in the face of grave international threats and pressures, would be protected and improved to ensure strategic parity in the region.? And I liked it.
ZI Ahmed
March 9, 2013 4:58 am
With passage of time each partiy will come with its respective party manifesto. PML(N) or any other party's (in Govt) performance should be reviewed and reported against its manifesto after every six months for public education. This country has great growth potential. We need honest, dedicated and visionary leader to harness the same. If our leaders' will watch personal interest and involve in corruption then this nation will continue to bleed profusely. It will be ideal if Dawn could analyze PPP's manifesto vs 5 years actual performance.
Ali Abbasi
March 10, 2013 9:42 am
well you must know that it was the PML-N government in the 1990s that imposed GST Tax which today is the only and strongest basis of our NATIONAL INCOME. So if PML-N can take such a big decision, I am sure we can do much more
D.J
March 9, 2013 10:10 am
whatever, i am happy that PPP-led govt. tenure is ending at long last. i wish a potentate person in govt who may help heal the wounds of our Baloch brothers, our Hazara Pakistanis, our Sindhi members. who may retrieve the lights of 'city of lights'. who may treat one who is burried under the burden of chouhdary in Punjab. one who may continue greenery in the vast plains of Sindh and Punjab. who may better provide fuel to our industry and vehicles.. i wish the prosperity of Pakistan. My beloved Pakistan and my zealous nation.
Rizwan Khan
March 9, 2013 11:22 am
I liked the promises made by PMLN in their manifesto, and i have a great hope that they will do something for the betterment, atleast i expect economy will be on the move, and they will work on education, health and infrastructure development......
M. Asghar
March 9, 2013 12:09 pm
One has already lived through what the PML-N has done in the past and this does not amount to much . Let us now go for the untried PTI that may try to do better.
Cyrus Howell
March 9, 2013 6:39 pm
No job too tough. No sacrifice to great. Duty first.
ali
March 10, 2013 5:14 am
Another thing which I was suprized by, was PML(N)'s pledge to hold local body elections within 6 months of forming government. This is again, a provincial subject, and PML(N) never conducted local body elections, during their 5 years in Punjab.
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