THIS is with reference to the article ‘A pyrrhic victory’ (Sept 1), which covered important aspects of the economic situation prevailing in Pakistan. Without taking proper economic measures, such as strict enforcement of austerity in all matters, any amount of loan will not improve the country’s economic conditions.
One fails to understand why the government does not stop extravagant expenditure, such as giving luxury cars and bungalows to government officials who draw monthly salaries in six and seven figures. If vehicles are not provided free, they get drivers, petrol and maintenance allowances. Their bungalows come with free electricity, gas, water, phones and servants; all paid by taxpayers’ money. Why can’t we get out of this arrangement? This step alone will ensure massive savings.
In China, the government had withdrawn the facility of official cars to its staff, saving billions every year. And China did it despite the fact that its foreign exchange reserves were worth over a trillion dollars. It was done because it needed to be done in the name of rationality. Why can’t Pakistan take such prudent measures to reduce expenses? We need to do it out of necessity; not just rationality.
When the common man earning a monthly income of, say, Rs25-30,000 has to pay for petrol to keep his motorcycle functional, why cannot the highly paid officials pay for it? When the common man has to pay for electricity, gas, water and just about everything, why cannot the officials do the same?
By taking such steps the government can bring down the expenses by a great deal and there will be lesser burden on the taxpayers. Is it not what all of us want?
Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2022