Take note of the challenge’s magnitude. In real terms, the economy is contracting and regressing. Our indices of human resources are pathetic. A significant number of our school-age children do not attend. On well-being, we spend pitifully, and what is distributed is wasted or appropriated. There are no plans to make good use of the majority of allocations. In a fragile economy and a drifting society, the annual budget is only a pointless exercise because the majority of expenditures are already predetermined as obligatory debt repayments. The economy is only sufficient for subsistence and is based on agriculture. Others have made a niche out of it, advanced to industrial levels, and built on it. We cannot even meet our basic requirements. Instead, we import wheat net of value.
Comprehensive land records and ownership distinctions between state and private ownership are two of the few aspects of treating agriculture as an industry. The next step is zoning, determined by the climate and domestic requirements for staples and cash crops. Incentives that croppers and farmers need help keep the focus of the cropping strategy. Pursuing seed development adaptable to various growing seasons and rapidly changing climatic conditions is necessary. Additionally, a value-adding industry connected to crops is required.
It requires a mechanism and planning that are integrated, cooperative, and coordinated under the direction of a team and a leader with expertise in these areas. We don’t seem to have a single man who can think of a short- to mid-term strategy that would help the economy by reducing our imports and, as a result, the debt that comes with growing deficits. The same is true for industry, which must employ the most people. Instead, agriculture is. This correlation needs to be reversed to move the economy up the economic ladder. Governments must implement long-term, sustainable policies to make investments in these areas predictive, dependable, and fruitful. Red Tape prevents capital from inducing itself, so it must be explicitly removed to facilitate it.
Our products will become more competitive as production technologies are updated. Better regulation and competitive pricing of inputs are required. Our energy mix and distribution mechanisms must be changed healthily for this to happen. It will be necessary to plug the “black hole” that is the “circular debt,” which is already enormous. An intellectually useful scholar, the energy server, can doubtlessly foster an answer for a quickly engorging hellfire. Could it be that it isn’t known or perceived by our political initiative to turn the economy around? Does it require significant modifications to the matrices shown to fail? Anyone looking to earn foreign currency should follow these guidelines: identify markets and tailor products to those markets. Is it deliberate neglect? Or numbness? Or, on the other hand, an outlook that is prohibitive?
In services, then. Which of the money makers are they? IT? What have we done to help our unemployed youth become productive economic contributors by providing them with training workshops and related education and training? The untalented and not-so-knowledgeable abilities in accommodation and nursing for business sectors in the Center East can be shown. Why haven’t we been able to move up from base labor to higher-skilled labor? There is unquestionably sufficient literature on improving one’s skills to fill jobs and earn valuable foreign exchange.
On the other hand, the prime minister devotes all of his time and energy to disparaging a feared political opposition. He has never spoken about the problems with society or the economy. His method is always straightforward and convenient. A futile plan is for him to borrow more money to pay for more. He never discusses developing more or delivering more and how.
That is our problem: uninformed, uneducated, power-hungry, and purposeless politics with a penchant for public relations. Due to a lack of intellectual understanding, political goals are more about power than serving the public good. Newer or more progressive political approaches that are appropriate to the needs of the economy and society of the twenty-first century are shunned by traditional politics, which tries to maintain the status quo through tolerance, humble acceptance, and mutual accommodation.
We completely lack vision in leadership. ASincerity—or the lack thereof—and the empathy necessary to relate to the needs of the smallest segments of society are absent. The majority of attention is focused on one’s familial or tribal interests, given that some of the allocations will be used for personal gain and the rest will not be used for the benefit of the public. What is generally a cover for what is taken, which is most? Only the already rich and powerful elites gain from the legislation. Society is experiencing disruptions and turmoil due to the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
A government that relies on debt and deficits to function will not hesitate to delegate responsibility. The recent tendency of political parties to deliberately burden the economy with errors and costs burdens incoming governments, rendering governance impossible. The innocent majority suffers due to this polarised aversion to the other. The rupee lost value as a result of near-hyperinflation and unbearable living costs. There has to be a way out of this perplexing predicament. We face imminent default on our obligations. We are imbued with political machinations to achieve meaningless ends rather than investigating how the nation or government might chart a path out of this situation.
The 1142 individuals who serve as representatives for their constituents in the five legislative assemblies are housed in 500 families. The problem lies there. They primarily rely on their dynastic power to restrict representation to those families. Even when they lose an election, they lose to another family of dynastic politicians who are similar to them. The remaining 99.9% of the nation, blatantly neglected and left to their own devices, have been disenfranchised due to this power struggle between several individuals. As a result, a nation comes to an apparent end. However, based on the daily press conferences and events in parliament, one might conclude that the most immediate threat to us is a person or party on the opposing side.
Restructuring the entire governance structure is necessary, but special interests prevent anyone from doing so. As a result, we survive on system surplus oxygen. When leadership was lacking the previous time, half of the country was lost. This time, we need to ensure it won’t be the others. We still fall far short of the standard to safeguard the nation and its people from such evil.
writer is a political science student at Quaid I Azam University in Islamabad.