PARVEZ JAMIL, CBM/Institute of Business Management (
Nov 03 - 09, 2008

In view of the current financial crunch that the nation is faced with, a panic-stricken approach will further drag us into an imbroglio of incalculable proportions. It is only orchestrating a calm, composed and calculated strategy according to our objective conditions and contemporary demands that the nation can best be salvaged from economic bankruptcy.

Life may be injected to a lifeless economy through a twin strategy of following what our traditional, pressing and fashionable demands of "borrowing for survival" are as well as innovating a mindset of positive, pertinent and practical change through amiable, workable and durable measures for the future.

While our track record seeking financial aid or assistance from international donors and our traditional endeavors in seeking support from the "friends of Pakistan" to salvage the sinking economy need no introduction as usual as a pressing need indeed, it costs our financial experts nothing or they have nothing to lose personally if they care moving a fraction bit from the set, stereotypical and standard trends of seeing an economy sink to debris and looking for its revival through crippling dependence.

Internal readjustments, international borrowing, inflation, tariff and taxation for the public may be the same old conventional answers to the current economic fiasco. If we are able to withstand the unparallel pressures of the current financial crisis, our future survival and stability shall rest with blending interdependence with independence. After over six decades of physical independence, we now need to be creatively independent as a nation with our illustrious men of letters and men at the helm of affairs needing to transform into practical reality what they have been saying or sermonizing.

Our PhD prodigies, managerial messiahs, economic wizards and government gurus with their big degrees, high talks, lofty ideals and intellectual acumen need to focus on such a viable strategy whereby emphasis is laid on blending mass production with production by the masses, revamping the educational system from exorbitant parrot-like cramming or the fashion show degree syndrome to affordable vocational training and professional excellence, creating a mindset and belief in soul searching rather than forced accountability, setting personal and practical trends replacing wasteful expenditure and conspicuous consumption with the drive for austerity.

Sooner or later and somehow or the other the current economic chaos shall dispel falsely in view of our experience and expertise in giving such sugar-coated names to the begging bowl or crippling dependence on foreign masters as partners in development or development cooperation. However, the long term remedy lies not in the begging bowl but in the will power to rise over and above petty interests and to think beyond the set, standard and stereotype but failed remedies in crippling dependence. Given the claimed or cherished academic, intellectual and professional ability and acumen of our political, economic, social and educational headship, the only expectation from men at the helm of affairs is seeing beyond the stereotype in financial and economic turmoil.

It needs a shift from chicken-hearted, shortsighted and narrow- minded practice to lion-hearted, far-sighted and broad-minded advance to socio-economic salvation. It is a question of being courageous enough to think anew in terms of setting the mindsets on resource mobilization reverting to school banking, providing children with saving incentives and teaching them how to economize. It is a matter of informing, educating and inspiring the public of innovative ways and means in maximum possible utilization of minimum available resources through alternative uses of little money. It is an issue of convincing the opulent neither to be misers nor to be spendthrifts but to exercise moderation in the routine business of life. As such, it is the children, the public and the wealthy that all have to be impressed, informed and inspired on what is called resource mobilization.

The majority of people willing to save in national savings schemes are shy and apprehensive to do so. Resource mobilization may be materialized on mass scale only by simplifying the procedures on national savings whereby the vast and illiterate yet financially willing and well-to-do section of the public is encouraged to invest. It has to be ensured that the red tape is not made too tough and tedious as well as horrendous and hazardous to hurdle. Resource mobilization is basically public mobilization as banking needs to be a harmonious blend of public trust, appealing returns, simple procedures and public saving and investment opportunities towards a better and brighter tomorrow.

As financial, government and media experts continue to ponder and prioritize ways and means like international relief, overseas Pakistanis help and internal monetary and fiscal measures are to combat the current economic fiasco. A long term commitment to socio-economic salvation lies in a pleasant-sounding blend of our economic, media and educational experts, specialists and authorities rising over and above petty interests and sharing with the nation fresh ideas, insights and initiatives in such self confidence, self-reliance and self-accountability where money is important but brains are vital.