No Power to Wedding Halls, Shops in Debt Ridden Pakistan
Even as winter comes calling, a debt-ridden Pakistan is grappling with a humongous power crisis. People are also facing acute shortage of gas to run their daily lives.
New Delhi, Dec 21: Pakistan is going through a massive power crisis these days which the incumbent government is finding hard to tackle. It is taking desperate energy conservation measures, and the latest step to cut electricity consumption during marriage ceremonies is just one of them.
The winter has arrived but Pakistan is grappling under a humongous power crisis. There is not enough electricity and people are facing acute shortage of gas to run their daily lives. Hence, the government has asked the shopkeepers and restaurant owners across the country to pull down their shutters by 8 pm. Similarly, wedding halls have been asked to shut their business well before 10 pm.
A country that has wasted its resources sponsoring terrorism in India is going through a severe financial crisis. There are no donors as its traditional financer, the US, is not in frame of mind to do favour anymore, especially after its treacherous role in supporting Taliban covertly. In such a situation, Pakistan is finding it difficult to fund its power generation activities.
A country with begging bowl
It’s not that Pakistan is out with the ‘begging bowl’ recently. The country has been on a begging spree since its inception. Soon after it was formed, it begged for money from India so that it could get tents for its refugees. Now, the situation has come to a pass when even its friendly nations view it as a habitual beggar, a nation constantly asking for financial aid.
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Even Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif admits that this is the image Pakistan has carved out for itself in the international community. Sharif has been quoted saying that when he travels to any friendly country or makes a phone call, most of the time they believe that the call or meeting must be for requesting money.
High inflation & depleting remittances
Not just that remittances have dried up but the high inflation has made the life of an average Pakistani difficult. The current energy crisis is an indicator of the dire situation Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are in. The reserves of Pakistan’s central bank fell to $6.7 billion earlier this month.
Now the country pins its hopes on ‘big brother’ China, its new-found friend and major creditor in recent times. However, since China itself is going through a deep economic crisis these days, there does not seem to be any kind of financial assistance coming from it for Pakistan.
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Pakistan has perennially been asking for money from friendly countries like the Arabs and also from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Starting from 1958, Pakistan has asked for money hundreds of times and benefited from 22 IMF programmes. When we compare these numbers with India or Bangladesh, the number is less than 10.
Story first published: Wednesday, December 21, 2022, 14:52 [IST]
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