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August 22, 1999

Ludicrous Report

Want to hear a joke? The State Bank of Pakistan has claimed that the inflation rate in the country has gone down by two per cent to an acceptable 5.5 per cent.

While the salaried class is finding it harder and harder to maintain the link between body and soul the ‘report’ adds insult to the injury of the vast majority of financially deprived populace. The SBP keeps on playing the flute amid the raging fire like the infamous Nero.

I may have laughed my lungs out if the ‘report’ was not so cruel. The implications of the report is even more sinister— people are financially better off today than in the past and the credit for it goes to the sitting government. Instead of acting like an autonomous body SBP has become the mouthpiece of the ruling party.

The report conveniently belies the facts. The prices of essential and non-essential items have increased sharply during the last two-and-a-half years which have seriously eroded the purchasing power at the great financial hardship of the salaried class. Instead of recovering the loot gobbled by the rich and famous the majority of which occupy occupy ugslatucess the masses are taxed to the hilt to pay for the plunder of their politicians and bureaucrats.

Not a single day passes without stern warning to the people about the dire consequences that the failure to pay one of myriad taxes would cause to them. These taxes are unleashed by the rulers who show no intention to tone down their high-flying lifestyle at the expense of the people. The newspapers are full of imposition of new taxes everyday as if they have benefitted from the foreign and internal loans devoured by the powers that be.

While the rulers have find it fit to tax the common man to a hilt they refrain from measures to collect taxes from the feudals, burecrats and filfthy rich as they all belong to the same group. The burden of taxation thus is directed solely at the common man.

It is about time the Governor of the SBP alongwith his staff and workers join the ruling party to shed the cover of autonomous body. People will still laugh at the ludicrous ‘report’ but they will understand the reason behind such falsehood.

Karachi Javed Hassan


IT institutes

The smart Indians, feeling the advantage of the new job opportunities in the initial stage of information technology explosion around the world some three to four years back, had laid foundation for imparting training to its youth. It had provided education base for the young which has started paying back and today its software export alone is over $3 billion beside export of manpower which also contributing through home remittances.

As compared to that we in Pakistan have done in a haphazard way. Although some private parties have entered the field but the market related courses these private institutes offered are so expensive that youngsters belonged to middle income group cannot afford.

The institutes like Petroman run by the public sector although have afffordable charges but it is offering such courses which are obsolete now and have no demand both at home and abroad. Thus the students completed their courses from this institute have no job opportunities. Currently, Petroman is being run by PERAC, a government body, managed by the Ministry of Production.

It is suggested that the first thing needed to be done by the government is to hand over the Petroman to the privatization Commission to privatize so that the private sector could run it more productively in accordance to the demand technology both at home and abroad. The potential private sector buyer of this institute should be strictly asked to offer market related computer courses at an affordable charge(fee) as a part of the human resource development programme in this country.

Karachi Irfan Choudhary


"PETROLEUM "THERISINGFOUNTAIN"

It is very sorry to say that petroleum prices were increased to some high extent in the latest budget also. In result of which consumers are suffering more financial problems than before even in the case of "regular" petrol. The affluent classes who used to use "super" petrol are also avoiding because its expense beat their incomes as well to some extent. That's why consumers are compelled to fix CNG kit in place of petroleum engine which is also expensive around Rs. 25,000 but not up to expenses incurred by petroleum engine.

If the price of petrol is kept on increasing so, ultimately the petroleum industry will be winded up and CNG kit will prevail in the entire country, which is not bad or foolish step to take. By doing so an environmental pollution will be removed. Gas is our country's product, which is much cheaper in cost comparatively. To avert the "rising fountain " of petroleum we should prefer CNG kit to get rid of the debt each Pakistani is liable to pay in the course of IMF sanctions.

Karachi SAMEER AHMED KHAN