MashaAllah our so concerned experts can comment best on important budget focus as on military, agriculture, industry, energy, infrastructure, education, health and, above all, inflation etc. Seldom shared yet vital budget points here:
First point: How can a nation embark on the course to economic development when its overwhelming majority of masses are not contributing to resource mobilization! According to the State Bank of Pakistan, bank accounts stand at 46.8 million in a population of 220 million. That means 80 per cent or so do not have bank accounts and keep away from being partners in economic development. What shy them away from national savings are confusing and complicated provisions and procedures in opening bank account. This needs budgetary measures in public confidence building in resource mobilization and suitable bank personnel training.
Second point. How can a country be relieved of crippling dependence on foreign aid, assistance, grants, loans or so-called development cooperation! Budget provisions are direly needed for public confidence-building on self-reliance by media and education personnel, who, themselves need to be trained in and acclimatized to imparting training in job-oriented trades that enable them to stand on their feet with grace, dignity and honor in the comity of nations.
Third point: So vital with the macro-economic level national budget is the micro-economic level family budget. Imagine the dilemma of one hand feeding many mouths and the financial burden of the whole family falling on the lone bread-earner! This can be addressed when all family members contribute to the family budget. Females can even work indoors for orders in embroidery, stitching, sewing, cooking for home delivery by family children who need to be familiarized with harmoniouly adjusting school, play, rest and work routine towards a brighter family life.
Fourth point: Though idealistic, but provisions are so crucial in inculcating at the grassroots level in kids mindsets tips on savings. Best topic in this regard is “How to manage pocket money”. Here children learn alternate ways and means of little savings and spending as future architects of society and the nation. It may sound too idealistic as for example a counselor impresses a child on how to spend a hundred rupee note on four little heads like “gola ganda” for himself for Rs. 20, jubilee chocolates for his little sister for Rs. 20, newspaper for his mother for Rs. 20 and “paans” for his papa for Rs.20 yet saving Rs. 20 for the rainy day.
It has to be borne in mind that unless leaders curb ego, rise over self and become trend setters, masses shall continue to be helpless, rudderless and leaderless. The other way round is all towards a better and brighter Pakistan.#
The writer, a senior faculty in media management, corporate communication and public relations, contributes to media on national and international affairs.