Mar 312017
 
CNG shortage

I want to draw the attention of the concerned authorities towards the issue of the shortage of CNG. We already have a shortage of electricity and water. Now the deficiency of gas is increasing the troubles of the public. The CNG stations remain closed during the days of shortage and majority of the transporters do not bring their vehicles on the roads. As a result, people have to wait for longer periods of time for their buses. When the buses arrive, they are fully packed with passengers. Moreover, the transport authorities double the fares due to the unavailability of CNG. Vehicles of public transport, other than buses, charge really high fares for shorter distances. Moreover, when CNG supply is resumed, people have to line up for long hours to get their vehicles filled with gas. This creates a lot of problems because people cannot reach their destinations on time. The concerned authorities are requested to look into the matter without future delay and take immediate steps to solve the problem. Syed Adnan Karachi ***** Lower and middle class people are the ones suffering the most in this country. The speed at which the CNG fares have risen is far greater than the speed at which the pay scale of employees has increased. This has resulted in inequality and unfair distribution of wealth, making it harder for people to survive today. The prices have risen due to the shortage of CNG. The question then is why can Pakistan not move towards [Read More…]

Mar 312017
 
Flawed economic model

This refers to the news report ‘Import policy favours consumers at domestic manufacturers’ expense’ (Mar 30). The said report has unravelled the faulty economic model of the government. It has rightly been asserted that “the tendency to keep supplies of all products stable through liberal imports has played havoc with both manufacturing and the agriculture sector”. While the agricultural sector is bleeding, the manufacturing sector continues to underperform, resulting in declining exports, increasing import bills and the highest ever trade deficit. The government is sacrificing long-term economic stability and sustainability at the altar of short-term expediency from a political perspective. The country has been turned into a consumer market of foreign goods while domestic investment and production have been ignored. Consequently, the country is surviving on the crutches of lending agencies and is trapped in serious debt. This speaks volumes about the government’s claim of economic turnaround. Arif Majeed Karachi

Mar 312017
 
Higher education

This refers to the letter, ‘Higher education’ (Mar 31) by Umar Khalid Dar and the article, ‘Ranking higher education’ (Mar 29) by Dr Atta-ur-Rahman. The quality of education in our schools, colleges and universities in the private as well as public sector is deteriorating. The CSS results of last year are sufficient proof. No mechanism for improvement has been developed yet. No doubt the number of research publications in both national and international journals has increased substantially but the impact of the research on our society is invisible. Moreover, higher education in Pakistan is expensive. M Phil and PhD programmes are offered in the public sector universities as distance learning and/or in evening shifts. Mismanagement in public sector universities, political interference and political polarisation of teachers/para-teaching staff are creating a lot of problems for teachers and researchers. This problem has not been considered in the ranking criteria of the universities. Furthermore, the four-year BS programme has totally ruined our higher education. Many colleges have started this system without adequate faculty members, books and laboratories. We do not focus on technical education that can produce skilled labour for the world market. Our whole economy is running on remittances sent by the unskilled labour working abroad. Dr Fazlur-Rahman Peshawar

Mar 312017
 
Overhead bridges

In Pakistan, pedestrians do not use overhead bridges that are made especially for their safety. Sadly, the students of Bahria University desperately need an overhead bridge outside their campus. The road outside the varsity is really dangerous to cross. Most of the students park their vehicles across the busy road. Many students have witnessed fatal accidents due to the absence of an overhead bridge. Students and the youth are the future of Pakistan. Their safety must not be ignored. The local authority, government and university officials should take notice of this issue and set up an overhead bridge to facilitate the students and teachers in crossing the roads safely. M Taimur Shahzad Rawalpindi

Mar 312017
 
Expanding health facilities

It is commendable that the Prime Minister’s National Health Programme has been expanded to include Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The two provinces were not part of the programme when it was initially launched in December 2015. The provincial governments of Sindh and KP had preferred to stay out of its purview. According to the reports, the programme which was initially launched in 23 districts has now been extended to as many as 60 districts throughout the country, including 11 in Punjab, four each in Sindh and KP, 12 in Balochistan, seven in Gilgit-Baltistan, 11 in Fata and 10 in Azad Kashmir. People earning less than Rs200 per day will be entitled to avail free medical treatment in the hospitals that have been duly notified for this purpose. It is also good to note that the federal government will be paying the entire premium for the enrolled families of Sindh and KP. Irrespective of whether the launching of the programme initially and now its expansion has anything to do with the general elections scheduled to be held in 2018, the programme is already benefitting people from low-income families. According to the reports, more than 17,000 patients have so far been admitted to 81 hospitals which are on the panel of the federal government for this purpose. M Z Rifat Lahore