The recently reported disclosure by head of IMF mission in Pakistan that there is a deficit of 16.24 trillion rupees in the annual income and expenditure of the country largely due to massive thefts of electricity and writing off bank loans is alarming. The prolonged dependence of generating power from imported fuel instead of hydel energy is in fact responsible for prohibitive power rates of Rs 16 per unit while the inhibition in building mega dams to produce cheap power at Rs. 2 per unit is the prime motive for power theft.

This point has not been conveyed to our political rulers, or maybe they are just waiting for their term to end and they can pass this to the next government. The next government will harp on the bad governance for the next five years and we will sink down in this never ending bog of international loans.

The IMF diagnosis of our financial troubles lies in power thefts and loan defaulters that have sucked the country dry. The IMF says that the 16.24 billion dollars deficit cannot be removed by more loans or rescheduling of loans but only by serious restructuring of the economic policies of the government. This is however a moot point as it does not seem possible when a person like DG OGRA runs away with 82 billion rupees of public money and the government so far has failed to apprehend him in spite of clear orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

DR.MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI,

Lahore, January 19.