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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Let's Corner The Government Again

As expected the confrontational politics is back in vogue, in our mother land. The divorce of PPP and PML-N in Punjab is not a good sign. Each of them trading accusation and counter accusations at one another everyday like school children. Both of them are providing the hungry media more to make us all laugh and occasionally cry at their amateur stints.

So here we go again, as this scribe had indicated in his last scribble, fasten the seatbelts for another uneasy ride. The Libyan uprising has added more pressure on World Oil Markets. The thousands of barrels that Libya produced a day are impacted. Needless to say, a price hike is pretty much universal. It is obvious that we have restricted supply and hence, we are all paying for it.

A couple of months back, Pakistan tried raising price of Gasoline (read Petrol), Altaf Bhai and his jiyalas held the PPP hostage and made the PPP Government reverse its course. Of course it was hailed as a major victory for the masses. What Altaf Bhai and his party did for the "ghareeb awam", was just unprecedented. In other words, the Government had to subsidise the oil for the masses.

I have no clue about the credentials of the "jiyalas" of MQM, but they certainly are ignorant of certain Economic principles. The government, when it subsidises an item, uses tax payer money to provide a subsidy. Which means it has to forego something to make up for this. The old saying of "there is no free lunch", holds very true.

When Altaf Bhai and his jiyalas put pressure on the Government to ease the pain of the masses by cutting back on spending, perhaps they should put their money where their mouth is. It is no secret, that "jiyalas" have to part with 10 percent of their income to feed the "Royal Guest of Edgeware Shareef." How ironic, the poor and deprived have to feed the "party of the poor" and its chief. So that is an indirect taxation on the poor and penniless public from the "only sympathiser of such class." How about giving them a break, so they can cope with a legitimate price hike, our dear Quaid?

The recent 10 percent of Gasoline price hike is pretty much a standard hike around the oil consuming countries including the US. We are feeling the same pain as Pakistanis are. The Europeans are in the same boat. But of course, in the season of ultimatums, here comes a new one from the champions of poor and deprived masses to reverse the hike. President Zardari has intervened and wants to hold talks with MQM Supremo along with the Finance Minister.

In any event, the way things are going, more pressure would be placed on the Government to reverse the hike again. Something, somewhere has to give. The fear is that certain elements want this to be politicised to the maximum. In the end, it is not a good sign and scene ahead, no matter what.

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