Delusion of progress cannot feed the hungry

October 23, 2019

LAHORE: Every segment of society has suffered in the 14 months rule of the present regime. The rich might have curtailed foreign trips from four a year to three and the poor were forced to cut food...

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LAHORE: Every segment of society has suffered in the 14 months rule of the present regime. The rich might have curtailed foreign trips from four a year to three and the poor were forced to cut food uptake by half.

When the economic planners say that the nation would have to bear the difficulties for more time so that country could be put back on sustainable growth path, they ignore the fact that food is the basic need for survival.

The poorest of the poor have already been forced to live in a semi-starved state and making further cut in food intake would mean death. However, those who forgo one foreign trip a year also think that they have been very badly hit by the current recession.

For them the deprivation of enjoying life in developed economies is a greater punishment than the sufferings of poor that anyway were born into poverty and are ‘used’ to harsh conditions. In the current situation, each family barring the richest of the rich has suffered. An executive that used to go out for dinner with the family at expensive popular outlets might have reduced it to once in two weeks.

An entrepreneur, who used to change his car model every year, might have been forced to use the older model for a while. On the other hand, a middle class executive who used to gift his daughter the latest i-phone on her birthday may not be able to continue with this tradition now.

Then there are people who are not suffering at all. They are the mighty high ranking government officials, federal and provincial ministers, federal and provincial advisors or special assistants.

They are the ones who give public sermons about bearing with them for a while (two or three years). They can say that because they are not impacted by the deteriorating economic situation. Their power and mobile bills are paid by the state.

The state is responsible to provide them transport with petrol and driver. Their house rent is paid by the government. They draw high salaries.

Some of them have left their lucrative jobs abroad to serve their nation. Their expertise cannot be hired for free. They may love their country but they have family to look after. They will work in Pakistan as long as they are paid according to their status.

And they are the ones who decide what is right or wrong for the economy. If their actions bruise the poorer segments that is not their problem. All they can say is to bear this hardship if they want a bright future of their children. They are not bothered if they fail to survive the extra hardships thrust on them by the government policies.

We must salute these patriotic economic experts who have sacrificed their high paid jobs abroad to put Pakistan’s economy on the right path. They do not have the time to survey the job market where a highly skilled jobless worker is forced to look for unskilled jobs. Since his unskilled skills are not up to the mark, the more experienced unskilled hand gets hired.

In daily wagers market anyone who is lucky to get hired on a given day will be able to feed his family in the evening. All others who fail to get any work would go back to see the agony of their starving family members.

These workers have no other resource to fall back on except the daily wage that they earn. How can someone expect them to be prepared to suffer more? The do more mantra is not restricted to the United States it is commanded by everyone that wields power.

In the last 14 months, the number of children out of school has registered a steep increase. The health issues have multiplied. Poor families are avoiding treatment as the cost is unbearable.

The government hospitals do not provide medicines even in emergencies. The infrastructure has started deteriorating, as the development budget has reduced to a trickle. The difference between the haves and have not has sharply increased. Governance is in much worse state than it was 14 months back. Our rulers are rejoicing an imaginary turnaround when in fact it is the other way round for the masses.


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