According to a top headline in 11th December’s Jang and The News, public’s trust in government has plummeted as Rs. 60 billion withdrawn from Defense Saving Schemes. Now, we all know about the credentials of Jang and The News in “Investigative Journalism” but combine that with “Economic Investigation”, we have a doomsday scenario in our midst! Jang’s reporter, Syed Minhaj ur Rab has painted a picture that because of corruption and misgovernance, public is losing trust in National Savings Organization and that their have been huge withdrawals from the Defense Saving Certificates (DSC) of the National Savings Organization.
Syed Minhaj ur Rab is correct that there have been net withdrawals from the DSC’s to the tune of Rs 32.45 billion in 2009-10 and Rs. 27.44 billion in 2008-09. That is how the magical Rs. 60 billion figure has been arrived at. However, it is incorrect to say that people have lost trust as in entirety, various schemes of NSO have attracted Rs. 224.76 billion in 2009-10 and Rs. 267.22 billion in 2008-09 bringing the two years sum at Rs. 491.98 billion. Off course, I am not coming up with figures on my own, these are taken from State Bank of Pakistan’s website and can be accessed here: http://www.sbp.org.pk/ecodata/savings.pdf
A screen shot is provided below:
It is also worth noting that in the first three months of the current fiscal, DSC have attracted Rs. 1.13 billion while the overall NSS have attracted Rs. 42.45 billion. God knows how the staff at Jang thinks, investigates and reaches their conclusions. They are for sure “out of the box thinking”.
Now you look at the figures above and tell me has the government been losing the public’s trust? It’s oxymoronic to see that more money is being deposited with the state even though there is a lot trumpeting of ‘trust deficit’ with the government especially by the likes of Jang, The News and Geo TV.
Our journalists must realize that by giving a spin to a fact, you are not doing good to anyone but playing in the hands of those who want us to stumble and even fail!!! Everyone thinks in our journalists community that they know everything and especially in economics, without realizing that their writings and spinning of facts is detrimental to public confidence in the State.
It is indeed sad that in a time we need more and more investments to flow into agriculture, industries and infrastructure, nearly Rs. 550 billion has been parked with the government in the form of savings. I for one am against too much investment with the government as this money can be better utilized for projects and private sector credit.