Inefficiency quotient

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B.Crippling the government for all evils is not fair, but its inability to improve things cannot be tolerated. Basically we are an inefficient nation, our rulers work inefficiently and without discipline, as do our peasants, manufacturers and workers.

We have one of the most advanced canal irrigation systems in the world; Yet our crop production per hectare is one of the lowest in the world.

India, our neighboring country, has doubled its cotton yield from rainy areas in the past two decades. Our cotton yield has declined in two decades in the canal-irrigated areas, where the yield is typically twice as high.

We do not use our irrigation system efficiently and the farmers’ water supply is based on their influence. Our average wheat production is only half that of India just because our farmers are sluggish.

Indian farmers need more time to remove weeds from wheat crops, which doubles their yield. They irrigate their fields wisely while we waste water on over-irrigation. We do not use laser levels to ensure an even distribution of nutrients and water throughout the crop.

Sprinkling and other water-saving techniques are considered a waste of resources. We have not lined our canals to prevent water seeping away. Our agricultural marketing is in the hands of middlemen who earn more money per harvest than the farmer.

Our experts in the agricultural advisory departments sit in their offices instead of visiting far-flung fields and guiding farmers to better management practices.

In manufacturing, we mostly work with outdated technology. For example, an eighty-year-old tile-making machine might still make presentable tiles, but it uses twice as much energy and is inferior to imported tiles made on high-tech machines.

The local manufacturers complain about low import prices (some could also be under-invoiced), but are not prepared to organize their processes efficiently. The spinners fly high with the subsidized electricity and energy tariffs while they operate spindles that use 40 percent more electricity.

In other industries, power consumption is very inefficient. Industries work comfortably because consumers are trapped in protection from imports.

Our garment workers are less efficient than the Chinese, Indian, Bangladeshi or Vietnamese workers. We could improve our exports significantly if our workforce efficiency matches that of competing economies.

The inefficiency of our electricity sector is well known. The sector was inefficient when this government took power.

It has not improved or deteriorated further in the past three years. This can be seen from the fact that electricity prices almost doubled over this period, with no postponement of circular debt. The inefficiency of the electricity sector threatens the very existence of many public oil and gas marketing companies.

Our bureaucracy is famous for its bureaucracy that contributes to the inefficiency of the private sector. We operate the most expensive and inefficient transportation system in the world.

Despite the excellent railway equipment, our goods transport is almost exclusively carried out by truck. We are inefficient in clearing goods through customs.

Our culture is based on inefficiency. Our infrastructure is inefficient. Repairs are carried out after major damage has occurred. Most homes and offices also need lighting during the day, as there is no attention to the availability of sunlight during the day.

Check out how people overeat at parties or weddings. The food waste involved in these functions could feed thousands of people who are sleeping hungry.

We are insensitive to waste, especially when it doesn’t hurt in our pockets. We as a nation fail to recognize that inefficiency at any level ultimately harms the nation’s wellbeing.

Consumers are paying more to finance the inefficiencies. Our elected representatives are not immune to the inefficiency malaise.

In developed economies, elected representatives regularly visit their offices, move about with minimal protocol, and live in modest housing. The UK Prime Minister lives in a two-room apartment and the Japanese Prime Minister is only given security if he waits years for repairs in the service residence.

If he chooses a private house, he has to take care of his own private security. The Indian Prime Minister lives modestly and regularly attends parliamentary sessions.

None of our prime ministers or the head of the country has shown this modesty. If you live lavishly, you are cut off from reality – without knowing how most people live.


The author is a contributor

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