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Inflation and Governance Woes

by Dr. Ijaz Ahmed
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After the previous government’s tenure and the continuation of caretaker governments, inflation continues to burden the people. Each day, the caretaker government imposes new inflationary measures on the populace. The caretaker government, not having the people’s mandate, operates without accountability and rushes into arbitrary decisions. These decisions range from raising electricity bills and traffic fines to even regulating firearm licenses, leaving the public dismayed.

These decisions have only exacerbated public anxiety and simmering frustration. Moreover, they are likely to breed corruption instead of increasing the nation’s wealth.

As electric rates rise, people are forced to explore alternative, often illegal means of accessing electricity due to their inability to pay the bills. This, in turn, leads to increased instances of electricity theft, with some department employees turning a blind eye or even actively supporting such activities.

Similar issues arise with elevated traffic fines, particularly within cities, where questionable practices like demanding fines be paid at specific shops or facilitating easy loading have been reported.

The decision to regulate firearm licenses, in a nation already grappling with an abundance of illegal weapons, raises questions of justice. Noble citizens are subjected to invasive licensing procedures, which may further contribute to the proliferation of illegal arms. Banning license renewals and proposing higher fees for existing licenses will only discourage legal compliance and encourage corruption.

Increasing tax rates might seem like a revenue-boosting strategy, but it often backfires as people become more reluctant to pay taxes. Simplifying and minimizing taxes would likely encourage greater compliance.

Agriculture is a cornerstone of our economy, mainly reliant on small-scale farmers who own up to eight acres of land. These farmers face immense financial pressure, barely earning more than laborers. High costs of fuel for running tube wells, tractor operations, and fertilizers further burden them. The exploitative middlemen do not offer fair prices for their crops. Adding extensive reporting requirements adds to their woes, benefiting lawyers more than the farmers. The burdensome Patwar culture only exacerbates their challenges.

It would be prudent to consider land reforms, abolishing the Jagirs, and ensuring more equitable land distribution, as our neighboring country has done. Setting a minimum land threshold for reporting could also be a viable solution.

The rise in street crime, extortion, and confiscation incidents can be attributed to the inflation-induced desperation of the people. “The future looks even more alarming as these issues persist.

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