Can elections address Pakistan’s woes?

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Can elections address Pakistan’s woes? | Baaghi TV

Elections for Punjab are literally around the corner. This will no doubt help settle uncertainty, but critical questions remain.

First, we need to keep in mind, elections are never an end to an issue. It is only means to an end.

Second, Pakistan at this juncture is facing an all-time high inflation. This was recorded at 30%.  It is also facing critically low foreign reserves bringing imports to a grinding halt and production of goods is low, consumer buying power is poor and life has never been this difficult for the common man.

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Third, the single most critical point in the coming elections, both provincial and national must revolve around the financial budget and it’s provisions. People are interested to know what are the budgetary policies of the political parties. How they can improve the lives of the common man. How the cost of goods can come down. How can they be provided with a livelihood?

Fourth, can elections bring back the investors confidence in the economy and the system? What steps can each party propose to achieve this?

Fifth, Pakistan is on the higher end of import-dependency, in particular; area of energy. The global hikes in gas prices and global oil makes the impact on economy acute.

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A total of 56% of tax revenue is ear-marked for debt servicing for financial year 2022-23. GST has increased manyfold. Higher cost of production can logically signify more factories & businesses closing down, having more people out of jobs, resulting in less tax and increased burden on those in business. It can become a vicious cycle. As this piece was being written, news filtered in of Lakhra and Kotri power plants being shut down on grounds of being too costly. This validates the point of economy spinning into a vicious downward spiral.

As voters, we must question and critically analyze the financial strategies of every party contesting. These elections are not about popular slogans. It is about Pakistan’s survival. Our survival. One fears only one thing. None of the parties so far, have focused on any financial strategy!

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The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled ‘A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan.’ She can be contacted at: yasmeenali62@gmail.com and tweets at @yasmeen_9

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