The Pakistan Paper Association has warned that due to the paper crisis in the country, the books will not be available for students in the new academic year starting in August 2022.
While the cause of the paper crisis is global inflation, the current paper crisis in Pakistan is also due to bad government policies and the monopoly of local paper industries.
All Pakistan Paper Merchant Association, Pakistan Association of Printing Graphic Art Industry (PAPGAI) and other organizations associated with the paper industry, as well as the country’s leading economist, Dr Qaiser Bengali, spoke at a joint press conference. At the press conference, they warned that due to the paper crisis, the books will not be available to students in the new academic year starting in August.
There is a serious paper crisis in the country, the paper prices are skyrocketing, the paper has become so expensive and its price is increasing day by day and the publishers are not able to determine the price of the books, a local Pakistani media reported.
For this reason, textbook councils in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will not be able to print textbooks.
Meanwhile, a Pakistani columnist posed questions to the country’s ‘incompetent and failing leaders’ asking how they are going to solve economic problems at a time when the country is trapped in a vicious cycle of taking out loans to repay debts. previous loans.
Ayaz Amir, while writing for local Pakistani outlet Dunya Daily, said: “We have seen the rules of Ayub Khan (former President of Pakistan), Yahiya Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. We’ve seen governments of dictators and they all had one thing in common, take loans to solve problems and then take more loans to pay off the previous loan.” He said this endless cycle continues and Pakistan has now reached a point where no one is willing to give the country new loans. “We could not solve the economic problems of our country when the population was 11 crores under the rule of Zia ul Haq. How are our incompetent and failing leaders to improve the economy when the population has doubled to reach 22 crore?” he asked in his column, local media reported.
Meanwhile, China has struck a tough bargain with Pakistan over the repayment of its loans and other investments in Pakistan. In fiscal year 2021-22, Pakistan paid about $150 million in interest to China for using a $4.5 billion Chinese trade finance facility. In the 2019-20 financial year, Pakistan paid USD 120 million in interest on USD 3 billion in loans.
China was quite strict in recovering the money from Pakistan. Take for example the energy sector in Pakistan, where Chinese investors have repeatedly insisted on solving problems with existing project sponsors in order to attract new investment.
Some Chinese projects in Pakistan are facing insurance issues for their loans in China due to Pakistan’s massive circular energy sector debt of around $14 billion.
While China is heavily responsible for Pakistan’s debt problem, it is the mismanagement of Pakistan’s economy by successive governments that has led to the current impasse.
Large loans from China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as 13 International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans over 30 years (with most loan programs canceled mid-term for non-compliance lending), are a major cause of the economic downturn.
The $6 billion IMF loan in 2019 is also on hold, and China has responded to Pakistan’s frequent requests for help. Paradoxically, Pakistan, for its part, does not hesitate to play addicted to loans. This strategy has not borne fruit and only pushes Pakistan deeper into debt. Pakistan needs to watch developments in Sri Lanka closely as it could be the next country to face the consequences of poor economic policies and a heavy debt burden.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)