Is PM Imran Khans CRTF good enough to control escalating food prices?There has been a lot of policy debate on the making of Corona Relief Tiger Force (CRTF), which is still ongoing. But in the past days in particular PPP workers have stepped up on tasking the Corona Relief Tiger Force on checking food prices and reporting back to the PM.

Here it is important to understand what CRTF is and how it came into being?

CRTF is a special task force of volunteers which has been the product of novel coronavirus pandemic. In March 2020, because of country wide lock down, the PM and his committee were worried about handling situations like crack down on the national health system and controlling poverty. This poverty was actually a collection of funds from donors and distribution of relief packages to the labor force which lives below the poverty line and survives on daily wages.

So, it was stitch in time. CRTF did well in its early days by expediting relief efforts on the front line. According to Government shared statistics the force now includes over 300,000 students, 133,000 social workers, 40,000 teachers and 17,000 health workers.

The CRTF started its operations in the first week of May, after going through a lot of policy level debates and glitches.

Is PM Imran Khans CRTF good enough to control escalating food prices?: Resource

Where are we now?

PM Imran Khan had been under pressure because of increasing food prices and noise of masses. As one citizen quoted:

“PTI ruling has been a nightmare, where we were expecting Naya Pakistan offering relief to poor and riches will be accountable- Tehreek-e-Insaf had to be a movement for justice”

Where as PM replies this situation as:

“Hefty loans taken by previous Governments have left Pakistan in a fragile situation on financial end. Belt tightening does hurt and that’s what we are trying to do. We are in tough times, but once this is through everything will calm down. However, taking loans is not a solution it is not a relief, it’s an artificial tool which actually makes situation worse and Pakistan will remain in the vicious circle of debts

Having this situation in the background and adding to nation woes Coronavirus did its job by further hampering the economy. Being a statesman and ombudsman of Pakistan, the onus falls on the shoulder of PM Imran Khan. All fingers pointing towards him. The PM who is frustrated by the hardwired and orthodox state mechanism had no other option but to use the CRTF, which was redundant for the time being as the pandemic situation seems to be under control; markets, offices and schools have been gradually back to normal.

Stance of opposition and Legitimacy of Task force

As discussed earlier among the opposition parties PPP is on the front foot on raising eyebrows on CRTF checking food prices. PML named it a “political gimmick”. Hence, it was very much expected that use of CRTF for controlling food prices would spark controversy but the question is why PM Imran Khan needs to indulge a force of volunteers to combat such a huge, sensitive and important matter?

  • Current system is not good enough to handle such problems where multi-actors are involved
  • Is local bureaucracy paralyzed
  • Federal government lacks trust in provincial government
  • Do we think running normal affairs let local governments handle things but in a state of emergencies and emergencies there is a need for an “extra hand”?
  • Karachi stepped up and didn’t permit operations of CRTF, were they good enough to handle their problems themselves
  • What else do we have on plate to solve such perennial matters?
Legitimacy of CRTF

A very well written rhetoric was published in DAWN yesterday titled “Tigers Unleashed

In a review, I would like to add that if we agree that it was an idle force and the Government wanted to prove that it is still useful. This stance is not the matter of discussion in solving the business at hand. Yes, there should be some legitimacy in which CRTF can or can not do, exploit their authority.

The world of platform-based applications and technological advancement is giving New Business models (NBM) or Business model innovation (BMI). Let’s take an example of UBER, the business model innovation of running a taxi business revolutionized the way people use taxis and drive taxis. It was painful for current taxi drivers as they lost business but looking into the bigger picture it drove the economy, crossed borders in doing business, gave relief to consumers all around the world. And lately, those who were making noise and think it small had to pivot and became part of it.

“Initially it was just a business model, shaped up the economic infrastructure and slowly and gradually each country accepted its legitimacy in their own way”

Purpose of shedding light on Uberism is to help masses think differently. Now, it is not important to run affairs we have to depend on legacy systems. This system was borrowed from British rule and Indian way of running business. Let’s be innovative, give some space to innovation and solve the problem.

I agree it will hurt certain sects of the society; some sectors might phase out but the desired relief will be achieved. Democracy is by people for people, so these volunteers are the people who are serving the people. Supporting them might bring a new reign of prosperity and better Pakistan.

Tiger force Pakistan
Is PM Imran Khans CRTF good enough to control escalating food prices?

Is PM Imran Khans CRTF good enough to control escalating food prices?

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