GIDC waiver

One step forward, two step back

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The prime minister who was supposed to take bold, unpopular and innovative decisions has proved exactly the opposite of that. At best he is doing the fire fighting and does not have a clue as to what is expected of him.

In the recent GIDC move, either he was trying to play smart or was playing in the hands of the powerful lobby. And apparently he could not wait to get it through as he requested the president to sign an ordinance. This way it took effect almost immediately besides opposition was left to wail as the move was meant to bypass the parliamentary debate and/or vote.

Yet the opposition feeling squeezed from all sides did not waste this opportunity and let out an orgy of criticism both on traditional and social media. They brought out the PM’s own statements where he criticized the then PMLN government for recklessly spending public money. Now this amount that is in access of Rs280billion that apparently has been waived off to the powerful businesses was totally out of line, if one went by the past PM’s logic.

After an initial day and half of defending their decision, the government thought better of it and the PM Office issued a statement rescinding the ordinance and deciding to approach the apex court in this regard.

At a time when all sorts of subsidies are being taken back, fares for metro buses and trains are being jacked up, tariffs for electricity and gas have gone up by multiple times, medicines and daily use commodities are beyond the reach of common man, such a huge waiver was bound to receive the kind of reaction it did.

That ordinance is withdrawn reflects that the PTI government does not care for the public and is willing to take any step that gets them out of the current chronic economic crisis, that largely is of their own making, to begin with.

Bypassing parliament is another worrying aspect that the government does not look willing to address. It has shown its disdain for the opposition parliamentarians umpteenth times and does not seem to take them on board for any legislation. In fact the PM in the past has indicated to run his government through ordinances as legislation would mean sitting with the ‘crooks and thugs’ in the opposition ranks. In his view this would mean compromising on the accountability drive against politicians and lending them legitimacy by talking to them.

This is not the kind of naya Pakistan that people dreamt of when they voted for PTI. A parliament that does not care a fig about the parliamentary practices. The PM shall be well advised to think through his decisions before executing them.