LAHORE/ISLAMABAD – Pakistan is one of those countries where government plays in the hands of Multinational companies (MNCs) as local industry’s growth is almost zero and Multinational Companies (MNCs) have fully captured the market, the evidences may be seen in the upcoming vanaspati Ghee crises.
Even after the fall in palm oil prices in international market, Pakistan Ghee Mills Association was asked repeatedly for reduction in price.
The Industries secretary Dawood Muhammad Barech referring the Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act of 1977 had said “Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers vesting in the undersigned under Section 3 of the Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act, 1977, the undersigned is of the view that a minimum reduction of existing price by Rs15/kg/litre across the brands would be the fair price. I order accordingly. The ghee/edible oil shall, with immediate effect be sold at the reduced price as aforesaid.”
But the ‘mafia’ refused to do so and ‘offered’ Rs5/kg/liter reduction only, with the warning of supply suspension if the government will impose ‘fair price’.
This is not new in countries like Pakistan where Multinational companies determine the political and economic direction of states.
All the free countries are practicing some rules for MNCs and local Mills, like
- Government determines the prices in Market not the Mill owners.
- MNCs are bound to re-invest certain percentage of profit, they can not shift all capital from country.
- Technology is transferred in the country within five to ten years period.
- Joint Ventures are launched to boost the local industry.
Our ‘toothless’ “Monopoly Control Authority” has no powers against this mafia. Mills owners and companies are not allowed to form any association to avoid monopoly but these associations in Pakistan are so powerful that MCA is helpless against them.
Here question rises on the people sitting in the government.
In 1998, Dawn newspaper published a report about the privatization of national assets by Mian Nawaz Sharif in 1988 when he was the head of ‘Punjab Privatization’. Government-run ‘Pasroor Sugar Mill’ was sold out to a private ‘United Sugar Industries’ for Rs1 (one) only, the token money fee of that bid.
Mian Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif are the business partners of Mansha Group (of Mian Mansha), the group always ready to purchase our national assets. Now Sharif brothers are in government and one month back this government had decided to privatize twelve main national assets including HBL, Pakistan steel Mills (PSM) and Pakistan International Airline.
What government is doing if privatization is the solution of problem rather than enabling the weak institution to perform better. Governments with an ‘Army of Minister’ can only suggest one solution, privatization, even an individual can do that, then why heavy and increased taxes for wages of ministers. Is this their performance ?
A source on anonymity told that Utility Stores Corporation (USC), the profitable organization of Pakistan with the largest store chains in the country, will be privatized to Mian Mansha soon as he told that the officials of Mansha Group were given offices in USC Head Office in Islamabad with complete record of USC for preparing their reports about privatization of USC.
This is the practice in Pakistani politics that institutions are politicized and incompetent people are inducted in there deliberately so that the institution may collapse. Considering the pubic protest on privatization, it is easy for governments to privatize a non performing institution rather than a revenue generating institutes. This is another fact that the same non performing institution starts performing immediately after it is sold out, MCB, ptcl are examples.
After privatizing the profitable institutions, and empowering the ‘mafias’, the government expects that it can impose the prices on their own………such a fun.
The opinion presented here is author’s own and does not represent the Editorial Policy of PakistanTribe at all.
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