Ad-hoc policymaking and frequent U-turns may have made the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) an easy target of mockery in the political sphere, but it is doing far worse for the economy of the country. Uncertainty – the bane of growth – reigns supreme, which coupled with the government’s propensity to take back policy decisions if the backlash is too severe, is egging on stakeholders to fight back against even considerate decisions. The cherry on top of this dismal picture is the government’s clear insensitivity to the masses suffering under their policies. The aftereffects of the wheat shortage still haven’t died down, and now it emerges that the government plans to include even electric fans in the list of “luxury items” to be taxed in the next budget.

“Those who included the electric fan in luxury items have air conditioners in their bathrooms. Perhaps they should include the hand fan as a luxury item too”, Chaudhry Shujaat’s taunts hit close to the mark. In a country that faces searing summers, with heatstroke claiming lives each season, the government’s decision is a torture sentence for many. The lowly electric fan – the majority of which are produced locally – is the only thing that provides the sweltering masses any relief between frequent power outages. How can such a common and widely used item be considered a luxury? How can the government be so out of touch with the rest of the country?

The insult added to the injury of a sputtering economy aside, such policy proposals betray a deeply flawed sense of thinking on behalf of the government. Instead of seeking to improve revenue collection from among the wealthy the PTI is happy to shunt the burden to the common man; no regard for his well-being or paying capacity. These quick cash-grab polices are simply unsustainable extortion.

But who can we hold responsible for such short-sightedness? It appears that even the PTI government doesn’t know. Amid yet another protest by exporters and the business community - who threatened to close down their factories and businesses – against yet another power tariff increase, different divisions of the state are busy blaming each other after hastily revoking the tariff increase order. National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue and the Power Division are both divesting themselves of responsibility and blaming the other. Who is in charge here, nobody seems to know.

With the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Customs Division in similar states of leaderless flux, and an International Monetary Fund (IMF) review fast approaching, it doesn’t seem as if this government has anything under its complete control. Well into its maiden term, amateur hour for the PTI should have been over – but it seems like it has just begun.