THE occasion was celebrated with a bang but ended in a whimper. Nothing concrete emerged. An insipid show, to say the least. Someone read out a list of a number of achievements (perhaps completed on paper) and few others in the pipeline. Promises, promises and some more promises.
The incumbent government was in the ‘shadows’ during the last five years. After the general elections in late July, it took them another month to form the government. And then started the countdown to 100 days — a self-induced timeline).
Asad Umer was always touted as a ‘minister-in-waiting’ for finance and he should have known and worked diligently on each nut and bolt of the economy, much earlier than day one. He should also have known the resources available and the ones to be mustered from elsewhere (including their source) to keep the economy moving.
To make things further nutty, the government constituted unwieldy task forces, where each ‘expert’, perhaps, is pulling in different direction. “Too many cooks spoil the broth”, goes the old saying. And nobody seems to know the direction.
Five precious months have been wasted. Prices have been hiked of all utility items. The rupee has been mercilessly mauled. And still we are nowhere. The reason for all this fiasco is simple: incompetence, indecision and lack of initiative.
For heaven’s sake, stop heaping scorn and cursing the previous governments. It is your baby now. Please shun tall and lofty claims. Avoid hyperbole. Set small achievable targets. In case the present economic set-up is incompetent and found lacking (which it seems it is), replace them. A country’s economy is not child’s play. We already have had enough of it. The whole country has come to a grinding halt. Don’t mess with it anymore. It either makes or mars the destiny of a nation.
IMRAN Khan doesn’t have a magic wand to fulfil all his promises within 100 days. His major promises were a corruption-free Pakistan, increasing job opportunities, at least five millions houses and poverty eradication.
The government is working to achieve these targets. While the PTI government has a long way to go and several days to reach its goals, the opposition parties are measuring only 100 days’ performance.
Naveed Abbas Maitlo
Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2018