Rainy days ahead

"I would request the government of Hamza Shehbaz to review the decision of closing eateries at 9:00pm, as it is a matter of bread and butter of thousands of people attached to the sector"

In the middle of summer and at the start of the pre-monsoon, a season full of stuffy and oppressive moments, we are in the face of the budget.

These are the days when days are very long, but, in fact, they get shorter because of our national habit of rising late in the morning and starting our day by noon. Today, on June 26, we are already four days past the longest day of the year – June 22.

Summer nights used to be long in Lahore, but the government’s decision to impose time limits on businesses has shortened them too. As soon as the clock hits 9:00pm, life ceases to exist. You can only live a life indoors until the next day.

I would request the government of Hamza Shehbaz to review the decision of closing eateries at 9:00pm, as it is a matter of bread and butter of thousands of people attached to the sector. Medically speaking, late-night dining may not be good for one’s health, but given the harsh summer days and summer vacations in schools, one can be forgiven for occasionally eating out.

This statement may offend my newsroom people, who invest sleeplessness and late-night hours every night to bring out a quality newspaper for our valued subscribers. Do I need to tell my readers that since the day the Minute Mirror was born in June last, till this day, I have not hit the bed before 2:30am every night?

That’s what every newsman loves to do. That’s what I love to do. In the middle of summer, it is the financial bill that consumes the energy of the newsroom people.

Every time, the annual financial bill brings a lot of good news, and bad news for every one of us. I must correct myself: every time, annual financial bill brings less good news and a lot of bad news for every one of us.

I have never tried my hands on topics like economy, budget, trade deficit, current account deficit, bulls and bears in stocks, reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue, commerce, business, etc.

So far, I have resisted these topics, but the growing heat of production cost of the paper, high inflation rate and the flurry of taxes in every budget may force me to learn about the ABC of economics, budgeting and accounting. That should be a cause for worry. I am always interested in writing about light, pleasant parts of the life – my life, my friends, and the commoners. I want to give my opinion on issues that the people face every time and everywhere.

Is there light before or at the end of the budget?The budget days bring anxiety for the people already reeling from the heatwaves, humidity and load shedding.

In the peak of summer days, falls the monsoon, making July, August and September arduous months.

It is a constant struggle to avoid sweat, and remain hydrated.

No sweat?

But nowadays, more than sweat and sorrows, it is the inflation that is eating away at our earnings, and savings.

People in the media, social media and opposition and on the street often compare Pakistan to Sri Lanka.

I just read today’s editorial on the economy, published in the Minute Mirror. That speaks a lot about our habit of going to the International Monetary Fund for bailout packages.

Someone told me that Sri Lanka is only now taking loan from the IMF, whereas Pakistan, on the other hand, has been taking loans from the IMF since 1950.

Then there is a simplistic view to put down everything to corruption.

Ask anyone on the street about our problems, and they will blame ‘corruption’ for every ill we are facing.

How can we control or eradicate corruption? If a nation has failed to get rid of corruption in the last 70 years, it’s reasonable to assume that it will never fully get rid of it, ever.

Right now, I can’t write on economy and corruption. Maybe, after sometime. At least, not in the summer doldrums.

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