Priority items on election manifesto By: - Articles Detail
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Priority items on election manifesto  Back
The date for election has been fixed for 11th May this year and voters are desperately waiting for Election Manifesto of political parties. Some have already announced their priorities in rather vague terms because no specifics plan has been announced to overcome three main deficits facing the countries. These are: 1) trust deficit, 2) current account deficit and 3) budget deficit.
T may be true that donors are reluctant to extend the required support because mudslinging has distorted image of most of the political leaders. Over the years opposition has been alleging treasury members for corruption but most of the parties have remained part and parcel of the government. These include PML-N (ruling Punjab having 65% of total population of the country) and PPP, MQM and ANP. Therefore, all of these can be collectively held responsible for the prevailing malice.
At this juncture Pakistan is required to maintain cordial relationship with two of the super powers (United States and China) and three of its immediate neighbors (Iran, Afghanistan and India). To be honest Pakistan does not enjoy reciprocal relationship as the rulers took many decisions which were not approved by the masses. Pakistan has enjoyed most amicable relationship with Iran and China but crakes have developed due to rulers being subservient to agenda of the United States.
Pakistanis wish to strengthen Pak-Iran relationship and also trade between the two countries but rulers tow the US foreign policy agenda. PPP took almost the entire term to decide fate of Gwadar port and Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. Some of the critics say that the decisions made a few weeks before the dissolution of assemblies are aimed at exposing the new government to extreme pressure from the United States.
Improving barter trade between Pakistan and Iran could have saved billions of dollars reserves. Pakistan could have bought oil, POL products and fertilizer in exchange for wheat and rice. While India is still buying oil from Iran in substantial quantity, Pakistan stopped buy oil on the behest that Saudi Arabia will fulfill country's demand. Very little success was achieved on this front as Pakistan continues to pay oil and fertilizer import bill from liquid reserves.
While it is true that budget deficit hovering at record level is the outcome not following prudent policies, it is also a fact that FDI inflow also dried and multilateral donors also remained hesitant in financing projects of strategic importance. Pakistan has been worst hit because of extensive load shedding of electricity and gas but no significant amount was released for the construction of hydel power plants and improving T&D network.
Pakistan was also not granted access to the US and European Union, at they considered it more appropriate to lend a few million of dollars rather than granting access to Pakistani goods at concessional tariffs. Energy crisis eroded competitiveness of Pakistani exporters and importers also remained concerned about precarious law and order situation.
Therefore, political must announce their elaborate plans to overcome the above stated three deficits. Promising to spend more on education and public welfare sounds hoax call. If they don't have enough funds how can they undertake projects of strategic importance?
Industrialists have a genuine complaint that if income from agriculture still remains tax exempt, why should they be paying huge tax? To put the record straight income from agriculture is not tax exempt but provincial government has been failing in recovering the tax.