JUDICIOUS DISTRIBUTION OF NATIONAL RESOURCES
KEY TO PROVINCIAL HARMONY & POLITICAL STABILITY
Sep 07 - 13, 2009
Besides other challenges faced by the government of the day is the fair distribution of national resources which are the key to much-sought after provincial harmony in the backdrop of prevailing sense of deprivation among the people in the less developed areas of the country.
In order to exploit the disturbed situation prevailing in the tribal areas some elements with vested interest like in Balochistan are unleashing parochial feelings to harm the concept of federation in Pakistan.
The function of the National Finance Commission is to pave the way for judicious distribution of the national resources among the federating units of the country. However the distribution of resources instead of confining on the basis of province should be redefined and should be people specific rather than political or provincial considerations.
It is unfortunate that so far the resource allocations have been made on the basis of political considerations or on the basis of liking and disliking of the authorities, which has created a wedge of mistrust between the provinces.
It is the time that the national leaders irrespective to their political affiliation should sit together with a focus on national priorities and decide fate of resources allocation that should be issues specific rather than under political pressures of the provinces. In any society which looks forward for growth and development the most sought after thing is the existence of a strong judiciary or judicial system to ensure check and balance as harmony among the society and the province could only be achieved when a sense of security and freedom is ensured by the judicial system. Hence the judiciary is the central point which ensures balance in the system of any society.
Hence the top area of national priority is a strong judicial system which our national resources should use without any fear of contradiction. The next priority comes to education. The secret behind the success of all the developed economies and the societies is the development of education.
Education should be declared as the national priority for allocation of resources according to its merit. However, the concept of using funds for developing buildings and raising salary structure is absolutely non-productive. In fact the resources should be used as subsidy for the students as the cost of quality education is beyond the reach of 90 percent population of this country except well-off and moneyed people from trade and industry and corrupt bureaucracy.
The government of the day however realizes the significance of national integrity through provincial harmony and working on these lines to address the sufferings of the people for which it has chalked out short term, medium term and long term strategies.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani who was in Karachi last week talked in details about judicious distribution of national resources and the strategies before the National Finance Commission to achieve the desired results.
While conceding in principle to the economic needs of the provinces aimed at creating a sense of provincial and economic autonomy among the federating units, he referred the recent move to allow the total management of Thar coal field to the province of Sindh. The coal based power projects planned for Thar would provide adequate resources to the province of Sindh to generate sufficient revenue as well as power need of the province.
Referring to deliberations of the recently held National Finance Commission's meeting the Prime Minister said that this government is determined to allow economic autonomy to economically strengthen the federating units and the provinces.
In this respect, the government has moved a suggestion to the President of Pakistan for transferring the management of Thar coal to the province of Sindh. Similarly steps would be taken in other provinces for the economic prosperity of the provinces.
On the issue of local government, we are of the opinion that it's the provincial issue and the provinces should be allowed to decide future course of the system whether it should be local government or other form in accordance to their ground realities and for the benefit of the people and for the development of a culture of good governance in the provinces.
In order to create a sense of belongingness, the government is actively considering allocating 15 percent shares to the workers in the organizations which are in the pipeline for privatization. In fact this would help developing sense of participation and sense of ownership among the workers as well.
He said that anti-democratic forces were trying to create speed-breakers in the way of democracy, however the government which was given five years mandate by the people would continue to march ahead.
The prime minister was a little bit critical on what he called the negative approach of the elements that started thinking to dislodge the government from the first day of its installation.
The PM referred the elections elsewhere in the world like United States, UK, India etc. where people irrespective to their political affiliation support the government's program in the larger interest of the people and the country. He said in a firm tone that this government that has come to power after endless sacrifices and with the support and mandate of the people has come to stay to serve the cause of democracy and for the economic, political, and social empowerment of the people.
Commenting on the feedback on the recent decision of extending democratic rights to Gilgit, Skardu, and Northern area belt, he said some elements were fanning feelings that the government seemed to have lost its stand on Kashmir. He made it clear that Kashmir is the cornerstone of the policy of the present government and there is no change in its policy and would continue to extend its support to the cause of fundamental rights of Kashmir.
He said that the government was determined to carry out a massive plant for reconstruction in Sawat, Malakand and other areas which faced destruction in the war of terrorism. He said that NATO forces were operating in Afghanistan for the last four years but Pakistan's arms forces carried out an eight week operation in Malakand and Sawat and got the desired results.
He paid glowing tributes to the efforts and sacrifices of media and judiciary for restoration of democracy in Pakistan and that is why this government has ensured freedom of expression to protect the rights of the people. He said that this government welcomed the constructive criticism and took it with sportsman sprit for the good of the people and the country.
PAKISTAN'S LIQUID FOREIGN RESERVES POSITION
The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $ 14,307.0 million on 29th August, 2009.
The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as under:-
|i) Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan:||$10,791.6 million|
|ii) Net foreign reserves held by banks (other than SBP):||$3,515.4 million|
|iii) Total liquid foreign reserves:||$14,307.0 million|