Pakistan's VIP Culture
Pakistan's economic condition is severely weak but still the ruling class is living a lavish lifestyle. According to a newspaper report, The expenses of the President House have been increased by 12.88 per cent for the upcoming fiscal year.
Despite tall claims by the government that it would freeze its expenditures, the president has evidently decided that austerity does not begin at home.
The expenses of the staff household and the allowances of the president exceeded the allocation by 8.31 per cent in the outgoing fiscal year. As a result, the expenses of the President House have been increased by 12.88 per cent for the upcoming fiscal year.
The budget of the President's House was set at Rs427.25 million at the time budget 2010-11 was approved but the actual expenditures of the President house ended up at Rs462.81 million. So for the upcoming fiscal year the expenditures have been earmarked at Rs482.63 million.
It is noteworthy that the major chunk of the increase will go to pay for the increase in the salaries of the staff. However, the annual salary of the president remains at Rs1 million for the upcoming fiscal year too; he has a budget of Rs3.5 million for presents and charities and Rs15.8 million for entertainments and gifts. The president has kept his discretionary grant at Rs1 million for the next fiscal year.
The overall budget of the Prime Minister's House is Rs1.37 billion for 2011-12 against Rs1.18 billion in 2010-11. An amount of Rs2.8 million will be spent on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's foreign tours in 2011-12 as against Rs2.6 million in the outgoing fiscal year. The overall budget of the Prime Minister's House is Rs1.37 billion for 2011-12 against Rs1.18 billion in 2010-11.
The budget of Prime Minister's Estate Gardens is Rs14.33 million, with an increase of Rs2.78 million from last year budget of Rs11.55 million. Salaries of more than 70 gardeners will eat away Rs13.31 million, while more than Rs1 million have been allocated for the maintenance of Prime Minister's House gardens.
The Prime Minister's House has 180 servants whose salaries and expenditures stood at Rs45.41 million. The budget for the conveyance and motor cars of the Prime Minister's Secretariat is Rs24.63 million, which has increased by less than Rs1 million, mainly owing to higher fuel prices.
The budget of the prime minister and the president are under the head of charged expenditure which are merely presented to the parliament but the legislators cannot amend the allocations under the law. These are the expenses of the rich rulers of a poor country. In addition to that corruption scandals have been associated with the government throughout its term till now.
Other economic factors which are making the government unpopular are inflation, reduction in subsidies, increase in taxes and its failure to implement agricultural tax on the feudal.
Furthermore, bad law and order situation and poor performance of utility services (electricity is at the top of the list) can make people rebellious.
There are also lessons for the public in the French revolution. It teaches the people that when people become committed to end their suffering they will succeed in doing so as masses are massive enough to dismantle any system.
If today we the people become united to end all this corruption, VIP culture and other menaces we can forces the ruling class to bend on their knees and accept the demands of public.
The day of 14 July in the year 1789 marked the start of radical social, political, cultural, administrative and historical changes accompanied by a terrible and fierce epoch of bloodshed. What happened in France in the proceeding years became an eye opener for the ruling elite around the globe and made it a symbol of the power of the oppressed people.
On that day the people of France attacked Bastille (a prison and a symbol of French monarch's absolute authority and oppression). It became as a starting point of one of the most violent revolutions of the world history which implemented the intellectual products of the age of Enlightenment.
It was an indication by the common public who were being living a socio-economic discriminatory life as compared to their privileged ruling class that nature has allocated power to the public and if they would utilize it the ruling class will face a collapse.
The portrait of the French revolution is filled with the blood of many including common people, royal family including the king and the queen and some of the pioneers of the revolution like Maximilien Robespeirre. It taught rulers, aristocrats and feudal that they must not oppress their subjects to an extent to which they would explode and with that explosion their subjects would ravage them.
After 222 years of that symbolic attack still in many parts of the world the ruling class underestimates the strength of the public and we should not go far we can experience it in our own country.
If we compare our country's situation with the pre-revolution France in which the seeds of revolution were ripening there are many differences but some profound similarities too. France, in that era was a monarch and as compared to it we have democracy, effective judiciary and media but some of the most enormous similarities are the unsatisfactory performance of the government especially in context of economy, aristocratic attitude of the ruling class and sufferings of the people.
In 2010, Pakistan faced the most catastrophic floods in the 60 year history of the country. When the country was in such intense disaster, there were reports that some influential landowners and feudals have diverted the floods to save their lands and properties and because of this the rural masses had to suffer.
On this day of historic significance I request the government to take these matters seriously because history has taught us that if something like a bloody campaign will start then it would be very difficult to control it.
I pray to Allah to please give our ruling class wisdom to understand the situation that is transforming from bad to worse and give them strength to manage the situation.lavish lifestyle www.pakpositive.com