Budget 2021-22 – Behind the Scenes

Do you know what is happening with the upcoming budget (particularly the development – taraqqiati – budget)?

Do you know what the plan is and how all the MNAs and MPAs (particularly in Punjab and KPK) are being cooled down with the new methodology adopted under “District Development Packages”?

Have you noticed that all the whispers of fights within the ruling elite are gone? No more talks of forward block in town, at least for now, and at least till the budget revelations.

Let’s get into it.

The resources are the same. Say we had Rs.100 for 20 projects in FY 2020-21. Out of those 20, 10 were fully funded and completed.

Now, with the same Rs.100, we are planning for 90 projects in FY 2021-22. Almost 70 of them are non-feasible.

Do you know how this system of development (ADPs) is going to crumble?

Thousands of “new” projects are going to be part of ADP in the coming financial year, without thousands in pipelines as “ongoing” already.

On the directions of Chief Ministers of the two provinces, the bureaucracy is all ready to succumb to orders. As they have neither spine nor future insight of what they are going to leave for the people.

At the moment, P&D Boards and Finance Departments are on way to one of the biggest robbery of the country. All under blue collars. In air conditioned halls. With the nodding ‘cream’ of the country.

With more projects in the pipeline, doesn’t the number of potential projects to be completed go down?

There are still projects across Pakistan, which were initiated more than a decade back, and are yet to be completed. Most of them were too expensive and too big to be handled by the ‘democratic’ regimes that followed.

So, this time, we are going to have a budget which is going to look elegant to everyone. With so many development projects. New roads. New schools. New dispensaries. New hospitals. Most of them non-feasible. Most of them adjacent to the already under-utilized ones.

This is for the MNAs and MPAs, particularly of Punjab. To make them happy that their projects will be part of the ADP portfolio and they will be able to cut ribbons right before the next general elections.

But NO.

With not enough financial resources, most of these projects will remain incomplete. They have no ground to stand. But, just for the sake of parliamentarians to be happy, to be with the government; the government is going to rob not only this generation, but upcoming generations as well.

The cost to complete current projects in future years (aka MTDF) – is going to be in trillions of Rupees, which the provinces of Punjab and KPK cannot even cover in the next 2 decades. This burden will be on the public. The public which is yet to gain consciousness of their futures being robbed.

Relax! You can’t do anything.

The bureaucracy, which has the mouth and all the words to talk when it comes down to them, is not going to take a stand. They are going to go against their own junk of policies and laws. Because they follow orders. Just like they want the orders to be followed. Without question. Without sense. Without any strategic foresight.

To be honest, they don’t have the sense to go that far in thinking. They don’t have any idea of the future. They will do meetings, long meetings, longer ones, with engaging gibberish and zero output.

Establishment – civil and not-civil – is the curse of this country.

They won’t resign. They won’t apologize. They will get this mess done with all the aristocratic manners. And you cannot make impactful noise.

So, calm down. Snooze all the alarms. Let your dreams take you to Naya Pakistan, all along the watchtower, where the joker is having a talk with the thief.

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