Should a Government behave like a business enterprise?

Md Rezaul Karim By Md Rezaul Karim, 2nd Oct 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1_-bdb00/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Now the government actions and philosophy is totally like an enterprise that really concerns about income and expenditure not the welfare and its people and country as a whole.

Subsidy vs. people: where should the Government put its priorities?


Who would do what?
Bangladesh is yet to understand the philosophy of Freedom, liberty and Capitalism, or yet confused whether to follow controlled economic policy of Soviet Union or go for free market concepts. People who are governing or making policies for the country are those who do not have faith in people’s power, freedom, liberty and free market.

Freedom is the free choice and liberty as an inherent right for all, i.e., one is free to choose, own and transact what is earned by his capacity and full rights and authority belongs to individuals who have it lawfully; believing this mean believing in freedom and liberty which is universal. Government’s job is to ensure or safeguard those rights and freedom, not meddling with private businesses as such. Moreover, Government is in no way should be involved in business and commerce or profit loss activities, rather could regulate with laws safeguarding unlawful business practices and violating public interests by any quarters.

In Bangladesh, Government, where it is considering as a business enterprise and has the same philosophy as any conglomerates have, does not understand this. Examples, it cannot provide enough supply of services and will not open up the functions to private sectors. More specifically, electricity shortage. When Government found itself not being capable of supplying or producing, should look for alternatives. Rather it will not allow anybody to involve directly. Nor it would allow alternative sources like Solar or wind power. Because, it would shrinkage the demand, which means slowing down of businesses, no conglomerates would stand losing market!

Yet, interestingly in the monopoly market did anyone ever hear companies incur losses! Bangladesh is the exception, where monopoly businesses do face losses not in one year but consecutive years! The difference between business firms and Bangladesh government enterprise is CEOs would have been fired or sacked if such losses are seen, here not (How can you fire a Patriot!). Don’t ask; don’t tell version of the US Military law- a perfect follower!

What happens in pursuing this goblet policy and philosophy, neither good governance, nor good business environments develops, consequently companies losing competitive edge strategically in the global competition context. Let’s come to the contemporary issue of fuel price hike and public sufferings. Nobody asks anybody what should be the price of fuel. Government fixed it and again hiked it. If you believe in controlling do it, why hiking? If you believe in price adjustment why not did it in the first place, why not prices go up and down with market price as any standard products do. When you jump before thinking peoples’ interest and conditions, reaction obvious and serious. As income is fixed, hiking price mean stealing from others pocket which is unethical in a moral standard. Who are not using fuel directly also being punished thru’ indirect chain effect on other goods, commodities and services of which one is not a part, nor responsible.
The reactions are not simply from people but the selling agents (Value adding services) too.

Transport owners declined the government-fixed fare rates.
The reason is based on the anticipation that a chaotic situation would set in. The official fare chart is not compatible with the increases made in the fuel prices, according to Bus authorities. Instances abound of serious public resentments over hiked up transport fare. Transport operators had to face public wrath, for they failed to comply with the officially fixed rates. No one is willing to rise up against another face-off with the commuters; which is why buses have been maintaining the old fare-rates. The communications ministry declared lately the new rate chart saying- increased bus fare by Tk. 0.05 and CNG-run auto fare by Tk. 0.14 per kilometer. While buses are yet to charge higher fares, CNG-run auto rickshaws and diesel-run human haulers have already started charging extra. It is important to remember that the government has already failed to enforce the fare in May 2011. Most buses in the city are charging anywhere between 100% -150% more than Government set minimum fare. There is indeed an imminent danger that the clashes that took place between passengers and transport workers, around the country lately.

This time, it is amazing to learn that the transport owners are showing some respect to the public concern over increased transport fares, unlike what they did in the past. They even tried to prevail upon the government to reconsider its decision for the upward revision of fuel prices. The government's logic for raising fuel prices is understandable; if only it had not done it within a matter of months, and proper formalities and processes. It should have an equally logical outlook about the public's limit of tolerance against the backdrop of unbridled rise in the prices of essentials. Clearly, costs of living have crossed common people's affordability level. At the same time, the government has to bear in mind that it is the poor and the limited income people who travel in buses. Bus owners themselves are in no better situation, with frequent hike of fuel prices being followed with a disproportionate rise in prices of tyres, spares and other necessary equipment. The government needs to indeed reconsider its decision to hike the price of fuels and CNG. While the government has forced ordinary people to undergo these adjustments already twice this year, there has not been any visible change in people’s purchasing capacity. Instead, the price hike has simply inflated the entire economy every time, the effects of which are being felt by people at all levels.

Tags

Bangladesh Context, Bangladesh Government, Bangladesh Government Procurement Policy, Bangladesh Problems, Business Ethics, Business Owner, Business Study, Businesses, Government Conspiracy, Government Contracts, Government Control, Government Experiments, Government Guarantee, Government Role, Government Sector, Government Spending, Governments

Meet the author

author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
I am a teacher engaged with the Southern University Bangladesh. I Like to use my spare time by writing and reading. I take it as a fun and source of inspiration in pursuing knowledge.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

Thank you Johnydod for approving the article.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

It is better for governments not to be in business but in maintaining law and order, health serivices etc. Hike in fuel prices is inflationary as every sector will be affected. The poor will have to cut expenses but already they are in shoe-string budget. Thanks Karim for this share - siva

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
3rd Oct 2012 (#)

Thank you for your additional para on this matter. You feel better as we are in the almost same condition, though Indian politicians are far better than ours.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

most interesting this Karim...thank you so much for the enlightenment...

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
3rd Oct 2012 (#)

Thank you cnwriter for this comments.

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author avatar Carol
3rd Oct 2012 (#)

This is a very interesting read, many thanks

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
4th Oct 2012 (#)

Thank you Carol for your time.

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author avatar Judy Ellen
22nd Oct 2012 (#)

Our elected officials talk about freedom yet they are controlled by the big banks! America is on its way to no longer being a free country! Thanks for sharing about Bangladesh!!

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
22nd Oct 2012 (#)

Thanks a lot Judy.

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author avatar Judy Ellen
8th Nov 2012 (#)

I am revisiting this and want to add that I am keeping you and your family in my prayers! I am so sorry that you have to live under these circumstances! Whatever you had to endure over the years has somehow molded you into the selfless compassionate human being you are today! I applaud your heart for humanity!! What is it about you, vpaulose and Siva that make you such good and humble people? Many who come from the same difficult past would grow up bitter with much resentment! I am just in awe of your positive outlook even through your many trials! This world is a better place because you are in it!!

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
9th Nov 2012 (#)

You are so kind and sympathetic Judy. Somehow, me myself not in a position to cry but there are people who are crying and so damned that can't even cry.... Good people are far away from the leadership, all those criminals and miscreants (not in a normal sense) are ruling the country or opposing the government. I have doubt about their feelings and ownership of the country. Still, we are waiting to see leaders like the developed countries have. Now the situation is like-
Oh Government we don't expect to do good jobs for us-
Don't upgrade our lives-
Don't do anything for the country-
Just let us live in peace-
Don't steal my money and property!

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