Wake up call

January 31, 2023

LAHORE: As always the government announced measures that hurt the poor without showing any intent to curb the luxurious expenditures of the state machinery.Our economy is in a mess and even the...

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LAHORE: As always the government announced measures that hurt the poor without showing any intent to curb the luxurious expenditures of the state machinery.

Our economy is in a mess and even the current hike in petroleum products rates, or devaluation of rupee coupled with policy rate hike are not enough to enable us to sail through. More hard actions would be required in coming days to survive.

This government knew that this was inevitable. It must have announced strict austerity measures first that hurt the elite before further agonising the hapless ordinary citizens. The principle should be to minimise pressure on the poor and maximise it on the affluent.

We are a poor country. Our ruling elite and the bureaucracy do not deserve the luxury they live in. The colonial palaces for commissioners and deputy commissioners still exist.

Each department worth its name has posh rest houses at hill stations and at numerous other places. All are equipped with air conditioners and heaters. The government servants and the ruling party of the day use these rest houses for recreation at the expense of the exchequer, while the common man lives in misery.

Why are parliamentarians entitled to pension? Why do they get free air tickets not only for themselves but their families as well? They were elected by the people to serve them and not enjoy luxurious life at the expense of our resources. Why should ministers live in posh residences fully maintained at state expense?

They ought to serve the nation instead of being served by the state. Why cannot we reduce their mobile and petrol allowance by one fourth? Why should the exchequer pay for weekly visits of ministers and higher ups to their home cities? It is unfair that money must be saved for other needs of the state.

Those elected by the people must not betray the trust of the electorate. Most of them are already extremely affluent and must not waste state resources on themselves. We were a poor nation a few years back and now we are a basket case. In this situation we must save every penny we can.

We do not need luxury vehicles. These vehicles must be heavily taxed on a monthly basis so the user feels the pinch of showing off a luxurious way of life. The rulers must not be entitled to any duty free luxury car imports. What have they done for this country to be entitled for this concession?

Judges and the generals must not be allowed to import vehicles without paying custom duty. Why cannot we ask the judiciary to clear up the pending cases by working for at least 14 hours a day?

They are the highest paid persons with the highest pension as well. The tendency of putting off cases or adjournment requests should be strictly discouraged. It is high time that the affluent and the ruling elite rise to the occasion to share the burden of the poor. The citizens are living on edge as they find it impossible to live a decent life. Some of them are now unable to feed their families. The elite must act now or be prepared to face the ire of the frustrated hungry human beings.

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