This is apropos a Business Recorder op-ed "Balancing act needed" carried by the newspaper on Sunday. The writer, Ali Khizar, has no doubt presented a highly informed perspective on the situation. According to him, for example, "the foremost important message is to not fiddle with the international prices. The government is thinking for the past few months that international commodity prices to revert to mean and till that time it is fine to keep prices low by compromising on revenues and let the growth momentum to remain unabated. That is a dangerous ploy. It's near impossible to predict oil and other prices. A cautious and safe approach could be to pass on the impact to consumer so that demand can be rationed and let the momentum regain when international prices come down".
I wish to make a point in response to what the writer has said above. The government needs to adopt a strategy through which it is able to dole out targeted subsidies. Rise in global oil prices must be passed on to consumers. The government plan should be aimed at replacing subsidies on food and energy with targeted social assistance. An effective implementation of such plan will surely reduce waste and consumerism.
Sania Hafeez (Karachi)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021