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Meaningless power games

78 5 6

THE budget for the next financial year was always going to represent a near-impossible balancing act and that is what it looks like but, given the rising global energy and food prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the rather short tenure of the government, there was no other option.

The ‘priority’ of each government over the years was to live beyond one’s means, borrow and spend, and as the direct tax base remained pretty much constant, disaster was always looming, with mounting debts/debt-servicing, as well as defence needs.

Of course, an already critical situation was exacerbated by the utterly mindless, unfunded fuel subsidy announced in February of this year as the government then was reportedly informed by intelligence that a vote of no-confidence may be in the pipeline, threatening its rather smug existence.

This fuel price subsidy or cut coincided with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. Already high oil prices shot through barriers not touched for nearly a decade and a half. In a ‘battle for survival’ mode, the government persisted with the subsidy in a seemingly insane gamble.

This budget and the next 12 months will be like treading a minefield

Although Imran Khan and his party continue to protest over their ouster from office, citing all kinds of bizarre, implausible regime change conspiracy theories, they should actually be pleased that they have not had to shoulder the blame for the spiralling inflation.

Their economic team........

© Dawn

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