The State of Pakistan only serves state employees while public work to gather money for state employees

MediaThe State of Pakistan only serves state employees while public work to...

Monitoring Desk: “There are thousands of retired government employees who are taking half a million each as their pension and there are thousands serving state employees who take salaries and perks over one million a month each while poor adopting prostitution to clear their electricity and gas bills”.

This was observed in an article titled “Pakistan’s dilemma: State is serving only the State Employees” written by international award winning journalist Agha Iqrar Haroon that was published by Daily Pakistan Today.

   

The writer maintains that the state of Pakistan serving only state institutions and state employees while the economic opportunities are squeezing every passing day for the 230 million population with over 50 percent youth. He said that foreign media claims that Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities have virtually reached $130 billion that according to foreign media is 95.39 percent of Pakistan’s GDP. Pakistani media is conforming that inflation is at its highest in 48 years as food inflation reached 42.9 percent compared to 12.8 percent last year, bringing the country into a severe economic crisis. In these circumstances, the State is ensuring that its kids— State employees must get more benefits.

State of Pakistan only serves State employees while public work to gather money for state employees

Citing an article by Dr. Ishrat Husain titled “3.2 million government employees: Is the bureaucracy too big?”, the writer added that total government expenditure is around 22% of GDP. The strength of government employees in 2009-10 was 2.7 million—federal 0.9 million and provinces 1.8 million. In absolute terms, there has been an addition of 0.4 million over a decade – almost all of it in the provincial governments, which now have 2.2 million employees, or 70% of the total – up slightly from 66% a decade ago. He writes that the wage bill of the four provincial governments was Rs. 350 billion in 2009-10 and has escalated more than four times by 2019-20.

The federal wage bill multiplied 2.9 times during the decade, while the strength, which had actually been on a declining path until 2016, remained unchanged at one million. In 2016/17, the federal government added 116,000 new employees, the majority of whom were in lower-level positions. For the first time since then, there has been a reduction in the number of employees in 2019/20 due to the restructuring of the federal government but this reduction is only in lower grades.

Dr. Ishrat Husain says that from a citizen’s, perspective, the critical question is what functions these 3.2 million employees perform in the delivery of basic public goods and services for which they are paid.

While providing a break-up of services he indicates that 35% of federal employees are serving in security. Law and order agencies (civilian armed forces such as the Rangers, Frontier Constabulary, police, FIA, Intelligence Bureau, and civilians working at GHQ, PAF, and PN headquarters and establishments), 20% were engaged in the provision of infrastructure services including in Railways, postal services, highways, ports, and aviation. Power generation, transmission, and distribution, and oil, and gas have 18%. The remaining 27% are engaged in social sectors, commercial and trade promotion, tax collection, regulatory, judicial and quasi-judicial (tribunals), training and research, external relations, media relations, parliamentary support, and the Islamabad Capital Territory. A reader is better to judge what kind of services they are providing to a common Pakistani who is serving them with her or his blood and sweat. None of them looks ready to sacrifice for the country by accepting reductions in pensions, salaries, perks, allowances, etc. Why should they sacrifice their packages because the country had readily available 230 million sacrificial heads if ever there is a need for enhancing tax collection?

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