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How to Combat Economic Terrorism within Pakistan?

One is baffled by the fact that how the Afghani currency (73 to a USD) is about 46% expensive viz a viz PKR which is currently trading at 130 to a USD?
If the value of the currency is measured in absolute terms, then as per latest world gold rates one gram gold is quoted in USD @ 39.97 and in PKR @ 5101.1, which means a USD should be equal to PKR 127.62 and not at PKR 130.
However, in the forex market, the value of a paper currency is generally expressed in terms relative to the value of other paper currencies, rather than in absolute terms.
The market determined value of a currency, typically responds to the long and short-term economic prospects of a  particular nation; and to its business and interest rate cycles, in comparison with any other country’s currency.

We can compare the fluctuations in stock market rates with the currency rates in the forex market, the same way as a corporation’s stock reflects the public opinion of the corporation’s worth; the currency of a nation tends to reflect how the world market values the economic prospects and the future of a country in relation to other countries.

If a company (read country) is doing well, with increasing earnings and higher dividends to its stockholders, the stock of that company will tend to appreciate. This takes us to analyze the reasons of the sudden dip in the forex market of the value of Pakistani currency, which was valued in December 2017 at PKR 105 to a USD and is now being valued at around PKR 130.

The few cogent reasons for this economic terrorism committed with the Pakistani nation are explained as below:
1. IMF, World Bank etc.,  in cohort with its  hitmen of successive so-called democratic governments in Pakistan from 2008 to 2013 and from 2013 to 2018 entrapped our country (with the ultimate aim of disarming Pakistan from its nuclear weapons in a soft manner) with such an unbearable debt burden that now its payment of loan instalments from non-existent financial resources is well neighed impossible. Just to have an idea of how much odious [ In international lawodious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is a legal theory that says that the national debt incurred by a despotic regime should not be enforceable. Such debts are, thus, considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state. In some respects, the concept is analogous to the invalidity of contracts signed under coercion.] loan was granted to these so-called democratic Pakistani governments by the international loan giving agencies, the following details shall suffice to be an eye-opener:
Foreign loans obtained by all the Pakistani governments during the first 52 years:
From 1947 to 1999….. $ 34 billion
Foreign loans obtained by the Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf’s government during his tenure of 9 years:
From 1999 to 2008….. $ 4 billion
Foreign loans obtained by the PPP government of Asif Ali Zardari during his tenure of 5 years:
From 2008 to 2013….. $ 18 billion
Foreign loans obtained by the PML-N’s government of Nawaz Sharif during his tenure of 5 years:
From 2013 to 2018….. $ 38 billion {This amount of $ 38 billion alone is $4 billion more than the total loan Pakistan obtained during the first 52 years of its existence}
With the reckless borrowings of PMLN’s government, the total loan (internal + external) now stands at over $ 270 billion.
Despite such a huge accumulation of total loan of $270 billion the reserves with the State Bank have fallen to a dangerously low level. The foreign exchange reserves fell by $416 million during the week ended on 24 July 2018. The reserves held by the SBP now stand at $9.063 billion while those held by commercial banks are $6.613 billion. Total foreign exchange reserves come to $15.682 billion.
For the new fiscal year, the International Monetary Fund has said that Pakistan’s gross external financing requirements will be a minimum $27 billion. This includes over $8.5 billion in foreign loan repayments.
The gap between imports and exports is also sharply increasing to dangerous proportions.
The State Bank data released on Thursday 19 July 2018 showed total import of goods and services in FY18 reached $ 66.2 billion compared to $58.6 billion in the previous (FY 17) fiscal year. On the other hand, exports of goods and services increased to $29.9bn compared to $27.6bn last year.
The above numbers are alarmingly adverse, but the rapid decline in the market value of PKR viz a viz USD is indicative of a full-fledged emergency situation, demanding extreme levels of following austerity measures, including the recently reported austerity measures imposed in Croatia, by its very popular President Ms. Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic:
1. Sold the presidential plane.
2. Sold the 35 Mercedes Benz
that was assigned to Ministers and

other officials and she returned the money to state coffers.

3. Lowered her own salary and that of Ministers in half.

4. The costs and salary of ambassadors/consuls were lowered to 60%.

We Pakistanis must know, that without any doubt, the easiest and surest way of moving ahead, is to stand on our own feet.

Foreign aid/loans can keep us afloat, but won’t allow us to swim. Actually, in constant homegrown methods of growth and development, lies our salvation.

 

Now, the time has come to separate the growth and development in the sectors of education, health, eradication of poverty, environment protection, human development, conservation of water resources and security of Pakistan, from the politics, forever. Politics and these issues of life and death can not go together.

In this regard, we can not put cart before the horse, which means that economic emancipation of the teeming millions and Pakistan’s financial stability, should be the topmost priority, over all other subjects including the democracy, which can wait, after so much waste (over 70 years) of time and resources.

Even democracy can never deliver without its foundations truly embedded, in rock solid and inevitable local bodies system.

It is just a false propaganda of the beneficiaries of the democracy (oligarchs) that if allowed continuity, democracy can work and deliver from the assemblies and Senate, without genuinely and financially autonomous grassroots level, fully empowered local bodies system; and not the sham local bodies system, currently prevalent in every province of Pakistan, very reluctantly allowed by the politicians, albeit, on the repeated orders of the Supreme Court.

If Pakistan has to be governed and developed with the current system of few provinces of huge areas having large populations, then it immediately needs a revamped and fully empowered local bodies or COUNTY system; else, we will have to convert every division, into a political and financial autonomous administrative units under the same name and boundaries of the current four provinces, so that no one can politically incite the people (for their own vested interest) in the name of division of a particular province. In this way, the name of provinces will stay without any changes in its boundaries, but the current civil divisions can be converted into autonomous administrative units, working with full fiscal independence.

In the meantime, a referendum may also be held to decide about switching towards the presidential form of government.

Further, the biggest reason in the collapse of our economy has been the higher than the highest level of corruption which has created an impression and culture, which ensures that the crime of corruption pays and is an acceptable norm of our society; plus the judicial system which has miserably failed to genuinely punish the big wigs (even if they are found guilty by the court of law) who are caught on corruption or criminal charges or even daylight murders, while providing such top-level culprits so much facilities (even permission to travel abroad on humanitarian grounds) during trials and after conviction, like the facilities of house arrests and stay at five star hospitals (during the jail terms) that it motivates others, to always indulge in mega corruption and other major criminal activities with impunity.

The level of mega corruption, in fact, puts Pakistan at the top of the most corrupt nation’s league in the world, whose government level financial irregularities are almost double its size of the budget, as depicted from the news quoted below:

The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP), Javaid Jahangir, has claimed that during the audit year 2017-18 auditors pointed out irregularities amounting to Rs8.276 trillion in the accounts of the federal government.It may be mentioned that this figure is almost double the amount allocated for the fiscal year’s federal budget that is Rs4.75tr.

We must re-vamp our judicial system to kill the notion that it always ultimately pays to indulge in mega corruption in Pakistan.

Until and unless, the culture of our country which loudly announces that crime of corruption pays in Pakistan, is not changed with radical steps of zero tolerance and no leniency, in (corruption cases) court trials and jail sentences; and severe punishments like DEATH SENTENCES are awarded in the corruption crimes, we will remain the Banana Republic of the worst category.

Under the circumstances, if certain basic changes in our political and judicial systems are not incorporated in our constitution, no dictator or even best of the best civilian leadership or political party, with all the good intentions, can deliver and succeed in pulling out this country, from the abyss.

It has been a good political tactic in the past by all and sundry, particularly by those at the helm of the affairs, to divert the attention of the masses, from the real issues, by mudslinging on politicians, civil and military servants, judges etc.

However, now we must put a full stop to this nonsense, which has wasted the entire 71 years life of Pakistan.

Nothing can match the benefits of the collective wisdom. Since, its a matter of impending economic collapse of the country, impetus for which is being provided by the numerous and rapid devaluations of the currency, since December 2017, which obviously is a sure recipe of disaster, for which all of us are responsible, in one way or the other: almost no one is exempt from the charge of hurting the cause of the country.

It looks that a certain gang of oligarchs within ourselves is forcing Pakistan (by design) to irreversible bankruptcy disaster, as if, to punish Pakistan, for its some unpardonable crime.

As such, we should take each and every segment and political/social force of the society in confidence, for a very transparent scheme of our future development.

In this connection, Mr. Steve Maraboli has very appropriately said that  “Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it. Shake things up today! Be You… Be Free… Share.”

Let us unitedly build a new economically strong and politically stable Pakistan, with our collective and prudent decisions; knowing very well that no political party, group or institution is so strong, to run this country, single-handedly, for a sustainable period, without the help and cooperation of each other.

Our urgent task must be to stem the economic rot immediately and on the EMERGENCY basis.

The government of Pakistan (GoP) must be duly warned that rapid devaluation of the PKR is no panacea for the economic stability and amnesty schemes are factually and cruelly legalizing crimes of the 1% rich at the expense of the 99% poor Pakistanis. Moreover, the latest amnesty scheme is so smartly designed that if we deposit 2% (Rupees 4 Crore) of saying PKR 2 billion, we can even protect/ legalize our FUTURE corruption of PKR 196 crore. Technically speaking the latest amnesty scheme can easily be used to whiten black money to be earned in future, as well.

Rather, devaluations and amnesty schemes are a sure recipe for disaster, which, as a direct side effect, are throwing back more and more Pakistani population, to below the poverty line. Our elite is absolutely hundred percent responsible for exploiting the power, authority, and resources at their disposal, to keep millions and millions of people below poverty line in Pakistan, thus, causing deaths of the hapless poor, because of the malnutrition, disease, miseries, and suicides, due to economic hardships.
Those economic managers of the country, who think that our economic slide into the abyss, can be controlled with huge doses of devaluations, re-defining or re-phrasing the definition of the total public debt, changing the definition of poverty to people who live on 2$ per day income to 1$ per day income; launching of amnesty schemes or issuing SRO’s and by fudging the economic numbers: are behaving like a pigeon; which closes its eyes, on seeing a cat.
We have been writing in the past that it’s a big misnomer and deliberate disinformation that Pakistanis don’t pay taxes.
The fact is that all the 220 million Pakistanis pay taxes on each and every item of daily use including medicines.
The devil lies in the fact that above 80% indirect taxes and less than 20% direct taxation, is the major cause of our backwardness; and on two dollars per day income basis, is the main reason, of over 130 million population, living below the poverty line.
Moreover, 10% poorest pay 17% of the tax revenue to the government; and the richest 10% pay only 10% of the revenue to the government.
Until and unless, these abnormalities of our economic system are corrected, it will be well neigh impossible, to take out major portion of our population (which numbers may well have now increased substantially over 130 million after the recent massive devaluations of PKR) from the below poverty line income segment of poor people, earning less than two dollars per day.
Massive devaluations of currency, launching of amnesty schemes, exorbitantly high direct taxations, rampant corruption in government departments, issuing SRO’s for benefitting the ultra-rich and regularly increasing the POL prices and rates of utility bills are all anti-poor measures and thus, in a society where hundreds of kids are dying due to malnutrition, these acts must be classified as crime against humanity.
In this regard, the fastest way to reduce the poverty is to ensure direct foreign investment into Pakistan, for which our foreign missions must be given specific urgent targets.
Other means includes:
– Immediate and urgent orders must be issued for observance of most strict austerity measures in all the civil and military departments of the government, which must include ban on foreign tours, foreign medical expenses, purchases of new cars and air conditioners, reduction in petrol limits to 50% and ban on all official entertainments of every type.

Moreover, in Pakistan, we can easily control our expenses, if the following statement is adopted as a motto/mission; and implemented as an official policy, and is also displayed in the offices of the civil and military bureaucracy, just below the portrait of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah Sahab:

“Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him.”

– Immediately replacing the entire existing economic team of the government, because they are the very people who have led Pakistan to a virtual bankruptcy, may be on the advice or pressures of foreign lending agencies.

– By bringing back the billions of dollars illegal foreign funds and stolen properties of Pakistanis, a la the Saudi Arabian Model. For this specific purpose, it is recommended that Mr. Ikram ul Haq who is an international tax consultant and an advocate of Supreme Court may be appointed the chief commissioner (with the status of the federal minister) Recovery Initiative of the unlawful foreign wealth of Pakistanis.
– Recovery of illegally/approved under political pressure, all written off loans and bad debts, by imposing economic emergency laws, on the fast track basis.
– Immediate launching of a scheme for payment of 3% PA profit (payable bi-annually) on Foreign Currency bank deposits in Pakistan (backed by the sovereign guarantee of the GoP) with a suitable, but attractive fixed period. This is a foolproof scheme, sans any risk, which can boost up our foreign reserves, in a very short time, on extremely cheap rates, as compared to the foreign loans and international bonds, which were sold by the previous government of PMLN, at even 8.25% interest rates (Pakistan will be repaying USD 910 million for USD 500 million Euro Bonds) for which the then PM Mian Nawaz Sharif was requested to hold an inquiry, to fix the responsibility of the culprit(s), who allowed the sale of Euro Bonds, on such a criminally high-interest rates.
We must also realize that our personal safety and better future lies in accommodating and cooperating with each other, with the sole aim of building a STRONG Pakistan, under the slogan “Re-born Pakistan”.

In this regard, it is suggested that we should AIM to bring Pakistan, to the level of Singapore of 2018, by the year 2040.

All politics and other considerations should be made subservient to this TARGET for 2040, even if we have to abolish weekly holidays for the next 20 years & reduce our daily sleeping time to 6 hours.

All stakeholders, particularly, from the deprived sections of the society in Pakistan, must immediately come forward, for deciding about the direction of the future of the nation.

The biggest factor in any victory is self-confidence. Anti-thesis of terrorism is education, coupled with economic emancipation. But it must be remembered that no country or society has ever risen from ashes, without individual and collective sacrifices, hard work, and discipline, for example, Germany, Japan, China, Korea, Turkey, and Malaysia. Basically, these nations did not waste their time on feeding precious resources to top level democracy which automatically breeds oligarchy.

[Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobilitywealthfamily tieseducation or corporatereligious or military control. Such states are often controlled by families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term. Throughout history, oligarchies have often been tyrannical, relying on public obedience or oppression to exist. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which another term commonly used today is the plutocracy.

The achievement of these countries named above was not the outcome of democracy at the top level, but the participation of the entire population in the nation-building at the grassroots level. These nations have risen (from the conditions worse than Pakistan) by the honesty of purpose of their leadership, national discipline, engagement of all segments of society from the grassroots level and rule of law. We very recently watched the example of rule of law from South Korea, where their former lady president was brought to court handcuffed, for a trial on corruption charges.

As such, our nation must embark upon the following agenda, to resurrect our economy, without any further loss of time.

1. We should not expect any different results at the end of the five-term after the general elections of 2018 from what we got after the GE-2013. Why; because for any different result there has to be some change. In fact, the famous scientist Albert Einstein defined INSANITY as doing the same thing over and over again, without any change and expecting different results.

Now since this country of 220 million population can not afford any further waste of time with so-called democratic and dictatorship experiments, it will be prudent to look forward and immediately form a national government, which must be specifically government devoid of Hitmen of the lending agencies and controversial and dishonest people.

This homegrown government should consist of honest members from every segment of society for example laborers, peasants, teachers /professors, students, minorities, professionals from all possible fields and experts from the fields of media, law, military, diplomacy and civil administration.

2. This national government should request to all foreign donors for a 5 years moratorium, on all debt repayments by Pakistan, which is and has been a frontline state of the world’s war on terror (WOT). Here don’t forget that the world powers have totally written off loans of many countries, for much less cooperation than Pakistan, which is practically fighting their war for almost two decades; and Pakistan still NOT charging a penny for overflights in the ongoing war of terror being fought in Afghanistan.

3. 20% per annum reduction in all non-developmental government expenditures, plus total freeze in all perks paid from the national exchequer, involving foreign currency.

4. The maximum tax rate on each and every type of income in Pakistan should be fixed at 10%. This will not only bring huge revenues to the government by giving a fillip to the badly suppressed economy but will also discourage (to a very large extent) the tax evasion tendencies.

5. Increase in productivity & exports with liberal tax and tariff relief to industry, commerce, trade, and agriculture. In fact, our strong point is agriculture and our focus should be to revolutionize it with most modern technologies of smart agriculture, which easily has the potential to create five million jobs in just five years.

6. Set a target for 20% per annum increase in foreign remittances, by offering innovative incentives to expatriate Pakistanis.

7. Outsource the FBR (which will alone increase income by Rs.500 to Rs.1,000 billion) and IMPOSE FLAT 10% tax on ALL & EVERY TYPE OF INCOME (as already mentioned at 3. above), without any exemption or SRO’s (except for the Police and security forces personnel whose salaries may be doubled with expected receipt of unprecedented increase in revenues, due to the above suggestions). This will not only reduce income tax burden on salaried class (with a maximum tax rate of 10%) but will also result in so much increase in revenues, to the extent that government will not require any tax imposition, in the budget. Plus, the government will be able to give tax-free salaries to all the armed forces, rangers, police, and other security agencies personnel, who are shedding their blood, in fighting the menace of terrorism, for our and our children’s safe TOMORROW.

8. The collective financial loss of State Enterprises is above Rs.500 billion per annum. All such entities should be immediately handed over to highly professional, dead honest, most patriotic successful Pakistani and or overseas businessmen, to head and bring in their own members of board of directors, to immediately turn around and successfully run these organisations, like world-class companies, as a national cause service to the motherland, on war footings.

Few of the names which come to mind of our world-class successful Pakistani talented entrepreneurs, fully capable to serve the country in times of its dire need, are as below:

– Mr. Shahid Khan at the USA, with the net worth of $3.8 billion.

He owns Jacksonville Jaguars which worth $770 Million, plus a team in English Premier League ‘Fulham F.C’ which worth $300 Million and also He is the owner of Flex – N – Gate. He is the Richest person in Pakistan. He is presently living in the USA. His main source of earnings is from the business of Auto parts manufacturing. He is counted as the 490th richest person in the world.

– Sir Anwar Pervaiz O.B.E

He is the founder and chairman of Bestway Group which is known as the country’s second largest cement producer and 16th largest cash and carries operator in the UK, and also he is the Deputy Chairman of United Bank Limited Pakistan. He is one of the renowned investors. He is known as the great businessman in the country. His net worth is $1.5 Billion.

– Mr. Salim Ghauri is a renowned IT Entrepreneur recognized globally today. He is the founder & CEO of NetSol Technologies (1996).

– Mr. Razzaq Dawood is a highly reputed and successful industrialist and philanthropist. One of the founders of the famous LUMS university. He is the founder of Descon.

– Mr. Sikandar Mustafa Khan is Chairman Millat group of companies and heads many organizations and forums. He is credited in the country for successfully heading buyout of a government-run organization which is a rare example in the industrial sector of the country in which employees of the same organization purchased their company and created the history of a terrific success story under the professional and administrative leadership of Mr. Sikandar M. Khan.

9. Pakistan’s Foreign policy is excellent in theory, perhaps the best in the world. However, this policy should be implemented in its true letter and spirit with the core emphasis on PEACE particularly with its neighbors; and FP’s thrust and theme should be that any and every action must result in the economic benefit of the country.

10. Initiate steps (by imposing economic emergency) to bring each and every economic activity under the document.

There is absolutely no doubt that by the dint of sheer hard work, sincerity & honesty, which is imbibed in the bones of the Pakistani workforce, we can surely bring Pakistan, into the comity of 20 developed nations of the world, in the next 15-20 years.

The current leaders of Pakistan holding the destiny of this great nation, with the highest manpower potential and material resources in the world, must remember the following two adages.

~ NOT FAILURE BUT SETTING LOW AIM IS A CRIME.

~ IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE IT IS PRECISELY THE UNTHINKABLE WHICH MUST BE THOUGHT.

Originally published on 21 July 2018 here

 

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