This government inherited a lot of baggage in terms of outstanding debts, stagnant economy, power generation, energy crisis, spiraling prices, poor law and order, state corporations on verge of technical insolvency, a rising deficit, worsening Tax to GDP ratio and terrorism at its peak. The problems that Pakistan faces because of years of poor governance and failure to enforce rule of law are gigantic and it requires immediate measures and decision, otherwise the situation is very bleak. In 200 days except for improvement in power generation, principled decision to initiate treason charges and efforts to curtail crime in Karachi, there seem to be no structural changes, nor reforms in offing, neither any strategic move to widen tax base, nor to improve working of state corporations through better governance and strict regulatory controls.

What we are witnessing is a repetition of tax amnesty schemes for tax evaders, which will only promote tax evasion, because no country including Pakistan, has ever managed to increase tax collection through numerous schemes launched by any government to give amnesty to tax evaders. In countries where taxes are collected efficiently, the Tax Collector puts onus on individual holding and assets, bank accounts, movable or immovable properties to justifies the source of income for such possessions. Tax evasion in such countries is considered a more heinous crime than even murder, because the very edifice of state machinery and its obligatory welfare and law enforcement capacity stands shattered if taxes are not collected from the rich and those earning above declared minimum annual earnings.

As for governance issues, just take the case of PIA, where this government has failed even after 200 days in office, to put in place a professional team of management with integrity or capacity to enforce vital structural changes to arrest decline and curtail either losses or pilferage. Since July 2013, PIA has posted an all time high loss of over Rs 21 Billion in just 6 months which is comparable to total annual losses incurred in 2011. Not only are almost same executives at the helm, under whose watch, this organization went from bad to worse, but even persons like Ijaz Haroon who were forced under public pressure to leave PIA, are being rehabilitated. Lessons need to be learnt from Kishenganga debacle, where poor choice of advisers, has brought this country damages, hard to endure in the coming years. This government came in with a lot of fanfare and promises but has failed miserable to deliver anything. The nation needs professionals who are running successful personal businesses to take Pakistan seriously and work hard at fixing all that has gone wrong. The saying you will reap what you have sown should be very clear to the Sharif brothers.


Lahore, January 1.