by Khurshid Anwer
Dr Farrukh Saleem’s comments on the national budget:
Rs 1,000,000,000,000 is the difference between what the Government of Pakistan (GOP) earns and what it spends.
GOP looses Rs 300 crore a day, every single day.
Rs 11 crore per hour or Rs 20 lakh per minute for every single minute of the entire year.
GOP would have lost Rs 60 lakh by the time you will finish reading this brief commentary.
GOP is now less of a government and more of a black hole. When nature creates a black hole, nothing can come out of it because its density and gravity increases to infinity while its size shrinks to zero.
Pakistan’s one trillion rupee black hole created by the GOP has no chance of shrinking because it is just like cosmic drain which is going to suck jobs, dreams, aspirations and wishes of the Pakistani public.
Presidency cannot survive without a Rs 3.5 crore injection a month, every month of the year.
The PM Secretariat cannot survive without devouring Rs 50 crore a year.
The Cabinet Secretariat with an army of ministers gobbles up Rs 100 crore a month.
Then there are ‘developmental funds’ – nay political bribes – to be paid to all of our honourable legislatures.
At 100 senators, 342 MNAs and 728 MPAs that’s a cool Rs 300 crore a month down the drain every month of the year. Imagine; lawmakers doing gutters.
Then there are at least half a dozen black holes within the real black hole;
- Pakistan International Airlines,
- Pakistan Steel Mills,
- Pakistan Electric Power Company,
- Pakistan Railways,
- Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Utility Stores Corporation.
Among them they loose at least Rs 250 billion a year or Rs 70 crore a day, every day of the year.
Then there are others:
- Tomato Paste Plant,
- Roti Corporation of Pakistan,
- Pakistan Stone Development Company,
- Pakistan Hunting and Sporting Arms Development Company,
- National Institute of Oceanography,
- Pakistan Gems & Jewellery Development Company,
- Technology Commercialisation Corporation of Pakistan,
- National Industrial Parks Development & Management Company,
- Technology Up-Gradation and Skill Development Company,
- National Productivity Organisation,
- Centre for Applied & Molecular Biology,
- Council for Work and Housing Research,
- National Institute of Electronics,
- Pakistan Council for Science and Technology,
- Pakistan Council of Research in Water Technology,
- Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research,
- Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority,
- Central Inspectorate of Mines.
Wait there are more:
- National Insurance Corporation,
- Heavy Electrical Complex,
- Machine Tool Factory,
- Services International,
- National Power Construction Company,
- National Fertilizers Corporation,
- State Engineering Corporation,
- National Construction Limited,
- Pakistan Steel Fabricating Company Limited,
- Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation,
- Ghee Corporation of Pakistan,
- Republic Motors,
- Pakistan National Shipping Corporation,
- Pakistan Railways,
- State Cement Corporation of Pakistan,
- State Petroleum Refining & Petrochemicals Corporation,
- Trading Corporation of Pakistan,
- Cotton Export Corporation of Pakistan,
- Rice Export Corporation of Pakistan,
- Pakistan Industrial and Technical Training Centre and
- Pakistan Engineering Company.
From here onwards budget making is a piece of cake – add every ‘Demand for Grant’ from the president downwards, deduct the IMF-allowed budgetary deficit and surprise, surprise you have the final revenue figure.
By the end of the next fiscal year, the president, the prime minister and everyone below them would end up overshooting their allocations by 10 to 20 percent.
Surprise! Surprise! By the end of the next fiscal year GOP will give mother nature another Rs 1,000,000,000,000 black hole.
My comments: Revenue generation in a big way is required to undo the above. This cannot be done without growth in Industry and agriculture. Industry needs input of mega quantities of power and agriculture needs input of mega quantities of water. To produce these mega quantities we need mega dams. The 'Sindh' and 'Punjab' Cards will never allow mega dams to be built. So we are back to square one, one step forward, two steps back.
All talk of stopping Drone attacks and blocking NATO routes is nonsense. US will come down on us like a ton of bricks. National sovereignty will not come without economic sovereignty.