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May 20, 2018
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The PML-N manifesto

Opinion

May 20, 2018

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Manifesto promise 1: To bring down transmission & distribution (T&D) losses to 10 percent. Fact: According to a presentation given by the managing director of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) to the Public Accounts Committee: “The line losses of the Sukkur Electric Supply Company are 37.9 percent, followed by 32.6 percent of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company and 30.6 percent of the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company.” Fact: In early 2018, annual power sector losses had reached a colossal Rs360 billion.

Manifesto promise 2: “We will completely resolve the issue of circular debt; permanent elimination of circular debt.” Fact: According to Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, federal secretary for the Ministry of Water and Power, the total amount of circular debt now stands at a colossal Rs1 trillion.

Manifesto promise 3: To stop political interference in state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Manifesto promise 4: To appoint independent professional chief executive officers at SOEs. Fact: In 2013, PIA’s accumulated losses stood at Rs192 billion. Over the past five years, PIA’s accumulated losses have gone up to Rs360 billion. Fact: Collectively, SOEs have lost Rs3.7 trillion over the past five years.

Manifesto promise 5: To depoliticise police. Fact: Nothing done. Manifesto promise 6: National education emergency will be declared. Fact: Nothing done. Manifesto promise 7: To substantially increase the number of judges. Fact: Nothing done. Manifesto promise 8: To revise the Pakistan Penal Code. Fact: Nothing done. Manifesto promise 9: To computerise court records. Fact: Nothing done. Manifesto promise 10: To dramatically reduce the time spent in litigation. Fact: Nothing done.

Manifesto promise 11: To ensure accountability of all major development projects. Facts: In the last six months of the PML-N government, the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) are trying to deliver on that promise. Manifesto promise 12: To establish an autonomous NAB. Fact: In the last six months of the PML-N government, the National Accountability Bureau is trying to deliver on that promise.

Manifesto promise 13: To strengthen the role of the ombudsman. Fact: Nothing done. Manifesto promise 14: To create a Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Fact: Nothing done. Manifesto promise 15: To increase tax-to-GDP ratio to 15 percent. Fact: In 2018, as per the estimates based on the collection by the Federal Board of Revenue, the tax-to-GDP ratio stands at 11.2 percent, which is an improvement over the previous year but misses the target by a wholesome 3.8 percentage points. Partial fulfilment.

Manifesto promise 16: To extend land record computerisation to all provinces. Fact: Not done (I think it is more of a provincial responsibility). Manifesto promise 17: To establish a merit-based system. Fact: Nothing done. Manifesto promise 18: New laws to replace the 2002 local bodies system. Fact: Promise fulfilled. Manifesto promise 19: To hold local government elections in six months. Fact: Let us say, promise fulfilled. Manifesto promise 20: Expeditious setting up of coal and LNG import terminals, and coal transportation facilities. Promise fulfilled.

P S: All manifesto promises have been extracted from the PML-N’s election manifesto that was released on March 7, 2013.

The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad.

Email: [email protected] Twitter: @saleemfarrukh

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