Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Great Bluff

As the judicial probe of impropriety against prime minister Nawaz Sharif approaches its logical conclusion, there is a crescendo of noises by the ruling party that the imminent disqualification of their leader would apply brakes to the wheels of progress in the country. It is true that the motorcade of the prime minister’s daughter has grown from 3 to 15 vehicles and some highly cosmetic infrastructure development projects have emerged in Lahore which are of little use to the general public. There has been no improvement in education, health or water, gas and power supplies services. Crimes are as prevalent, roads are as unsafe and jobs are as scarce as before the PML(N) government came into power.

Let us look at some of the statistics.

1.       Power Supply: The government has been claiming that there has been tremendous economic and industrial progress as in the following tweet of the Defense and Power minister:

If you add the average generation and shortfall you get the total electrical power demand for the year in question. Simple arithmetic giver the average demand figures as follows:

Year                                         June 2012            June 2013            June 2016            June 2017
Total Power Demand               17070                   19742                 19684                  20841

This shows that there has been a growth of only 5.57 percent in 4 years ie less than 1.4 % annually which is even less than population growth rate. Thus there has been no growth in either industry or people’s standard of living. Actually there has been perceptible deterioration.

2.       Trade: The following trade data has been taken from the government website and tells a sad story of the utter failure of the businessman prime minister:

There has been a steady fall in the volume and value of exports over the last 4 year period and the government has done nothing to arrest the decline.  The textile and garment manufacturers have been running from pillar to post but have not had any success.

3.       Stock Exchange:  The success of Karachi Stock Exchange now Pakistan Stock Exchange has been told as the great achievement of the incumbent government. Here is the 5 year progress report taken from their own website:

Above chart shows that although the 100 index has been blown out of proportion, the number of listed companies has remained stagnant and a meager increase in base capital has taken place. The only IPO in 2017 so far was for an iron works owned by Sharif family.  During this period there have been about half a dozen upheaval and mini-crashes in which more than 4% market capitalization was lost in one day causing heavy losses to small investors.

4.       Currency Parity: When the present govt. came to power in 2013, the PKR-USD parity stood at Rs. 108. Mr. Dar played some quick tricks and brought it down to Rs.98 and touted it as a financial miracle. Soon afterwards heavy borrowings were made from WB and others and the parity was maintained at on average at Rs. 104 against the demands of exporters. Recently it jumped back to Rs. 108 and SBP declared that it reflects the current economic situation. The result of maintaining low parity is that Pakistani families that depend on remittances from family members working abroad have lost nearly 400 billion rupees in money exchange and textile and garments have become uncompetitive and reduced production and cut jobs. The only beneficiaries of this policy are those who have been sending their money abroad for buying properties in Dubai, Qatar and UK etc as they got more dollars for their Rupees.  It has also helped to show higher GDP in dollar terms to fool the world.

If one takes all above facts into consideration, it seems that the government of Mr. Nawaz Sharif has been working intentionally to harm national interests and the people of Pakistan. Take into account the Dawn story plant against the armed forces, the tirades against the judiciary and the family friendship with pm Modi and other Indians with deteriorating border situation and silence on the arrest of Indian terror mastermind one can’t help but wonder if the stage is being set for something like the French Revolution.

Swift justice and early elections may avert a disaster, I hope and pray.


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