Tuesday, 15 June 2010

From the Ecnomist on the Budget Deficit

The following Article is take from "The Economist".
You can view the article at http://www.economist.com/node/16333407?story_id=16333407&fsrc=scn/fb/wl/ar/slashnbounce

DO NOT expect much applause when you are chopping your government’s deficit. Chancellor Angela Merkel touted as an “unprecedented feat” her plan to save €80 billion ($96 billion) from Germany’s federal budget by 2014 when she unveiled it on June 7th after a two-day cabinet meeting. But the reviews were mixed. Opposition politicians denounced the plan’s “social callousness”. Businesses targeted with higher taxes fumed. Economists noticed that the savings were neither as big nor as certain as Mrs Merkel suggested. The feat may need revising.

Yet in one sense it is a breakthrough. For the first time since her re-election last September Mrs Merkel seemed, if briefly, to be in charge. Before this the Free Democratic Party (FDP), junior coalition partner to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), had forced tax cuts upon her that she did not really want. She reluctantly bailed out wobbly members of the euro zone. After Horst Köhler, the German president, quit suddenly on May 31st she nominated a successor to placate powerbrokers within the CDU. The budget package, by contrast, is largely her handiwork. She chose investment over redistribution.

Its main purpose is to cut the federal government’s structural deficit—that is, the part not related to the business cycle—from an expected 2.5% of GDP this year to 0.35% by 2016, as required by a recent amendment to the constitution. That is also supposed to set an example to profligate members of the euro zone. To avoid crushing a fragile European recovery, the savings will be phased in. Growth will be dampened but, says Eckart Tuchtfeld, an economist at Commerzbank, “the economy seems to be pretty resilient.” Investment in education, research and infrastructure, the sources of future growth, has been largely spared.

This does not mean that the package has been fully thought out. Many of the proposed savings are to come from schemes that do not yet exist. Producers of nuclear power are to contribute €2.3 billion a year; in return they want to keep the plants running beyond a deadline for closure set by an earlier government. That is a sure way to mobilise banner-waving crowds. Banks are to kick in €2 billion a year through a “transaction tax” as penance for the economic crisis, but that may depend on securing international agreement. Many subsidies undeservedly survived the cull.

The proposed cuts to benefits, by contrast, look brutally concrete to many Germans. The government plans to eliminate a heating subsidy for the poor and to stop paying welfare beneficiaries’ contributions into the pension system, saving €1.9 billion a year. Such cuts are defensible: the contribution subsidy raises pensions by a negligible amount, for example. But while shaking down the unemployed, Mrs Merkel proposes to spare the rich. The FDP, which reluctantly gave up the idea of further tax cuts, vetoed increases in income and consumption taxes. That apparent unfairness dismays some of the chancellor’s allies, as well as the opposition. Norbert Lammert, the Bundestag’s president and a member of the CDU, called for raising taxes on top earners.

Having just about regained the political initiative, Mrs Merkel could quickly lose it. A row over health reform between the FDP and the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), has descended into name-calling. The Bavarians are “wild pigs”, said an FDP official in the health ministry; the liberals are “bush leaguers”, shot back the CSU’s general secretary. No one is enthusiastic about Mrs Merkel’s pick for the presidency, Christian Wulff, the stolid premier of Lower Saxony. The opposition candidate is more exciting: Joachim Gauck, an East German human-rights activist who presided over the opening of the secret-police archives after unification. Mr Wulff ought to prevail in the Federal Assembly, which convenes on June 30th to elect a new president. If not, Mrs Merkel will be in real trouble.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Historic Day March 31, 2010

"March 31 is a historic day in the parliamentary history of the country. Why? Because after 77 meeting in 9 months the committee formed for the 18th amendment got the signatures with the consensus on the report. The committee was chaired by Raza Rabbani and for me they’ve done their work. I wish that we’ll soon get the good news when both the houses will pass this report.

Even though I may not like some of the clauses in the 18th amendment but this we should respect it. Why? Because after so many years it is passed with a consensus in the presence of different parties which shows that even if they have ideological or political differences they came up with some special thing which is accepted to everyone.

Fehmida Mirza announced that the room in the parliament house where the committee had conducted over 77 meetings in the past nine months for the revival of the 1973 constitution in its original form should now be called the constitution room

I was thinking that issue of renaming NWFP was also in the constitution and ANP leader and JUI-F leader was not there (However, Afrasayab Khattak and Haji Muhammad Adeel (ANP), Rehmatullah Kakar (JUI-F), were present there and signed the report) and I hope in the end no one would say that even the renaming issue which should be the issue of NWFP people and it is passed in Punjab through the consent of PML-N and PML-Q or you can include PPP as well.

Those who signed the consensus amendment document included, among others, PPP’s Raja Pervez Ashraf, Babar Awan, Haji Lashkari Raeesani and Mian Raza Rabbani, PML-N’s Ishaq Dar, Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan and Hassan Iqbal, PML-Q’s Wasim Sajjad, S.M. Zafar and Humayun Saifullah Khan, Muttahida’s Dr Farooq Sattar and Haider Abbas Rizvi (MQM), Afrasayab Khattak and Haji Muhammad Adeel (ANP), Rehmatullah Kakar (JUI-F), Justice (retd) Abdur Razzaq Thaheem (PML-F), Srarullah Zehri (BNP-A), Prof Khurshid Ahmad (Jamaat-i-Islami), Mir Hasil Bizenjo (NP), Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao (PPP-S), Abdul Rahim Mandokhel (PMAP), Shahid Hasan Bugti (JWP) and Munir Khan Orazkzai (Fata). Karamat Hussain Niazi, secretary of the National Assembly, and Raja Muhammad Amin, secretary of the Senate, also signed the document as parliamentary officials.

What will happen to Islamic clauses of 1981  or in other words the Islamic clauses made in the era of General Zia-ul-Haq. Hudood ordinance has already been abolished in the Musharraf era. Thus it will be restored when 18th amendment will be abolished or these are few things which they are considering in the 18th amendment, related to the powers of Prime Minister and President. In that case Politicians are just doing it for their own sake without taking into consideration of the will, wishes and well being of the people. I am not saying here that hudood ordinance is or isn’t the will, wishes and well being of the people but generally, is everything will be abolished what Musharraf did or few things from his amendment.

Talking more about the religious laws, what about the Blasphemy law are they going to change it? I was listening to one of the high ranked Islamic scholars who is also a mufti that hudood ordinance under the law is accurate but the main problem is system. I would say first correct the system and then implement hudood ordinance. Similarly, if Blasphemy law is not implemented accurately then let’s correct the system first and the implement the law, otherwise we’ll end up with killing innocent people without any reason. Though I believe that before the law non-Muslims were killed without taking the name of this law and now they kill them by taking the name of Blasphemy law.

I would hope that after these amendments, politicians will be looking into the other problems, such as consumer protection rights, price control measures, law of institutions, and above all they will form a committee who will actually work and give some solution within a year that how to implement the laws, regulations in the country.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Put everything behind

Put everything behind, do we have manners to speak in a forum or even do we have manners to talk one-to-one.
Talking of Kashmala and Dr. Fridous Ashiq Awan, Both Parliamentarians, live on TV, Dr Firdous abused Kashmala so much that Kashmala stopped syaing anything.
Two supporters of PPP at Machester TV were talking and suddenly one person started hitting other.
Similar kinds of incidents happen everyday in each city. Is it egoistic problem? Everyone wants to win a arguement. I know that everyone his/her own opinion and we should respect every opinion and listen to others quitely and tolerate even if we do not like the opinions. We can definitely disagree with the opinions but we should not start hitting others.

Another case which was recorded by The NEWS is;
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The civil judges of Lahore and Arifwala have requested for one month leave against slapping of a civil judge by a lawyer in Faisalabad whereas four additional session judges and ten civil judges have resigned in Depalpur.

Conclusion is;
Can we just talk in a good manner, I think it'll resolve some of the social problems in our culture.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

I am sad today, very sad

I am sad today. Why? Because there were 6 explosions at Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore and 2 at RA Bazaar, Cantt, Lahore. More than 50 people died on the spot and several injured. Where are we going. Who is leading these attacks. Who are these coward suiciders, brain washed by some, killing innocent people. Aren't they thinking what are they doing. Can't they think whether the people who asked them to do this have no agenda but the Kayos. Is our intelligence so weak that they cannot track these people. Does common person do not have basic awareness or common sense to report any suspecious activity or their duty is just to read news and abuse government and others. as Sohail Ahmed said "ainan nun Ted khurkan to ilaawa kam hi koi nahin".
Above all Mr Munawwar has given a remarkable statement that It is all done by Blackwater and Interior Minister is also involved with them conducting these attacks. I would jsut aks Mr Munawwar that does he has any evidence for it. He knows in Islam blaming anyone without evidence is wrong, when he knows that he is presdient of the largest Religious party of Pakistan and people listen to him. If he has evidence then why don't he show it to public so that everyone knows the culprits.
Who is doing this is the Big Que. Everyone has their own opinion but how do we stop them is the main question. Though most of the Pakistanis have the answer for this Que as well. Is it a good time for documentation. Documenting the records of each person living in the homeland, documenting the raw materials coming from and then who is purchasing it so that Govt or intelligence knows that who is buying what. Moreover people should be aware of what is happening in their area and instantly report any suspecious activity.
May Allah Bless or Country and us (ameen)