On Monday, the Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) said Pakistan’s major problem is not a bad economy but bad politics. The public is being dealt with harshly, and their buying power has been eroded while the wealth of the upper class is continuously increasing, it said. Poor are getting poorer, the middle class is vanishing under inflation while the rich are getting rich with an amazing speed, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of PEW.
He said that the claim of reducing government expenditure is false at best as it will not result in any change. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that according to the United Nations, the Pakistani elite receives benefits worth 17.4 billion dollars annually. At the same time, if implemented as claimed, the government’s announcement to reduce expenses will barely save Rs200 billion.
He noted that annually, six hundred billion rupees are used for development, while five hundred and thirty billion rupees are used for pensions, which is being increased yearly.
Pakistan is the only country in the world whose rulers call their nation tax evaders on domestic and foreign forums, while in reality, the people pay a lot of taxes, and the elite are tax evaders, he observed.
Dr Mughal said that in 2010, the people of Pakistan paid a tax of 1500 rupees, which has now increased to 9400 billion. Taxes are not decreasing but increasing, but at the same time, government expenses are also increasing.
In 2010, government expenditure was 2400 billion rupees, which has now reached 11000 billion rupees, which shows that the tax has not decreased, but the expenditure has become uncontrollable, he informed.
People have recently been given an electric shock of 250 billion rupees, the gas price burden increased by 350 billion, the petrol burden increased by hundreds of billions of rupees, and Rs170 billion in new taxes have also been imposed.
Dr Mughal said that one billion worth of electricity is being lost and stolen daily in the country; PIA is losing seventy billion rupees annually, while the railways are losing sixteen crores daily. All this loss results from political incompetence and corruption while the masses are made to pay for bad politics. At the same time, he said, people are being fooled by blaming the IMF, which is considered a convenient scapegoat.