We consume food and it gives us energy. And then there are the drinks, which provide us refreshment from the toxicity of the environment. The kind of impact a liquid makes on your mood depends on how much your mind is connected to it. For the time being, it seems like Pakistanis will have to make up their mind on only chai, lassi, and sattu.
New ‘Desi’ advisory in Pakistan
Our inimical neighbours have come up with a new solution for solving their financial crisis. They are now asking people to jerk off their dependence on imported products. According to a new advisory by Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission (HEC), Universities in Pakistan should start promoting local tea plantations, chai, and sattu among others.
The HEC thinks that increasing consumption of Pakistan-made products will increase employment and generate income for the country. Apparently, it would help in cutting down import bills as well. Additionally, the HEC has also effectively asked people to reduce using imported fossil fuels in motorcycles, busses, trains, and cars. Dr. Shaista Sohail, acting chairperson of HEC said, “I am sure that the honourable vice-chancellors will be able to innovatively explore many other avenues to create employment, reduce imports and ease the economic situation,”
A few days back, Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for planning had also urged the nation to cut down tea consumption. Data indicates that Pakistanis are heavily dependent on imported tea, for which their governments splurged PKR 83.88 billion in the year 2020-21. The move was heavily criticized on the Internet.
Reality on ground
No matter how bad you think of the appeals made out to Pakistanis, the fact of the matter is that the top authorities in Pakistani polity are the only ones aware of the on-ground reality. Currently, Pakistan is going through the worst economic crisis in nearly 75 years of its existence. The country is suffering from extreme inflation for at least 6-7 months. Every average Pakistani is facing difficulty in availing food for their family members. Strifes near ration shops are slowly getting normalised.
Add to that the sheer incompetence of the Pakistani civil and military establishment. The Pakistani administration has decided to double down on economic misery. It has now imposed a new tax on fossil fuels. The theory is that it will help the government bring in more than Rs 43,600 crores. Unfortunately, that is not going to fructify. Simply because Pakistanis do not have enough in their pockets to pay for higher fuel rate.
Unemployment is going to increase
Why am I saying that? Well, the Pakistani government has decided to impose what we would like to call ‘Competency tax’ on the businesses which are keeping Pakistan going. Depending on the income they generate, they will be charged with different tax rates. Higher the income, the higher the tax rate. No business can survive on that.
Businesses need lower taxes and a better regulatory environment to sustain them. The Pakistani state is providing exactly opposite of those essential requirements. Companies were already suffering from bad law and order situations. The new tax will further dissuade them. Factories will shut down and this will lead to more unemployment and hence reduced spending, impacting estimated fuel revenue. Ironically, Pakistan has named it as ‘poverty tax’.
Pakistan is a lag on planet Earth
Even if somehow Pakistan is able to generate that income, there is an extremely less chance that it will be invested in the economy. That is simply because Pakistan spends a major chunk of its revenue on exporting terrorism all around the world.
In 2019, Imran khan begged IMF for a $6 billion loan. However, his government failed to fulfil its collateral commitments, due to which only $3 billion has been transferred to Pakistan’s treasury to date. The problem of low financing has been exacerbated by the increasing drought-like situation in Pakistan.
India is soon going to choke the Indus River water, which will increase the problems for Pakistan. It is going to be a big dampener on-farm productivity, and even producing tea and chickpea for sattu is going to be difficult in upcoming years.
In short, Pakistan should now declare that it is a failed state. If a country cannot be Aatmanirbhar, it is not a country. It is a leech on the resources of Earth.
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