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Much of our population is neglected by the government except for receiving a small handout to pacify them. The bulk of our people is only important to politicians at election times. Election is due by end of year. So government has gone into election mode giving out freebies. Still, many of our people are relegated to third class status. There is a racket in the approval and distribution of handouts (grants).
In doling out contracts, Hindus and Christians are marginalized. Even Muslims are not getting a fair share. If one examines the distribution of contracts, a narrow religious section of the populace of one faith gets the bulk of contracts. Hindus are about thirty percent of the population and vote almost exclusively PPP but are under-represented in awarding of contracts. Christians are also under-represented in awarding of state contracts. A small group of individuals close to the apex of the leadership of the PPP are major beneficiaries. Lucrative contracts and opportunities are channeled to a privileged 10% of the population who are in good grace with the government.
Close examination reveals that some 90% of the population are excluded from the new found oil wealth, large scale mining operations, and lumbering. Some people are preferred for handouts and contracts based on ‘connections’. The massive development that is taking place within the country is so streamlined so as to concentrate the wealth of the nation in the hands of a selected few. Projects conceived by individuals and organizations outside of that narrow group of the privileged and connected that would benefit the wider population are denied approval and stymied.
Some 85% of workers are employed in the public service, commercial, and agricultural sectors, inclusive of crops, livestock, lumbering and fishing. There is little for public servants, minimum wage for the bulk of the private sector workers, and unplanned handouts to agri sector/fishing workers to pacify them while their industries sink. Workers could hardly make ends meet. Commercial or private sector workers can’t feed themselves. The unions of public service employees are kept out of bargaining process for wages and raises were imposed on them.
The handout sector will grow in months and years to come as the non-energy and non-mining sectors are declining in size. Rice, for example, is declining to lowest levels in decades – only 75% of production from preceding year. It is lower than during APNU’s tenure. Sugar has been at its worst in the history of the industry, much worse than under the coalition. There will be a growing underclass in these two and other agricultural sectors who would depend on handouts for basic foods.
Instead of fooling people with occasional handouts and temporary part time unproductive jobs to sit around an office, why not engage in real permanent job creation that will result in productive labor of our people.
Clearly, the apex of leadership is not genuinely interested in the welfare working class. It is time that the masses find new truly representative leadership and dethrone the oligarchs who are taking them for a ride and making them more dependent on the state..