In the absence of any substantial evidence of performance, yet enjoying ‘high ratings’ due to their alliance with the media, the PML-N government in Punjab has in the last few months on an ambitious plan of winning over youngsters in the province by distributing laptop computers. While such a gesture should be appreciated in times when a treasury is running a surplus budget or there are no development gaps in the province, the laptop distribution as a means to gain public approval.
The PML-N, especially Shahbaz Sharif, has used the laptop distribution ceremonies as a platform to spread hate against the PPP especially the President. While we have written posts recently about the derogatory terms being used by Shahbaz Sharif, we find the silence of our media, especially the anchors, to be ironic. While the spend air time endlessly to discuss the ‘maujooda siyasi halaat’, wherein ‘krupshion’ and ‘bad gavernunce’ is the major theme, they absolve the PML-N government completely and turn a blind eye towards the laptop distribution scheme.
We have some questions which we hope someone in the PML-N would respond to, else we pray that either the CJP or the media anchors will do programs on them:
- How many laptops are planned to be purchased and distributed?
- What is the amount of funds allocated for the purchase?
- What make these laptops are?
- From which distributor these have been purchased or are planned to be purchased?
- Were PPRA rules, which our mindless Transparency International loves to cite, followed in the process?
- Have the distributors given any discount as we would consider the program to be a major purchase?
- How much is being spent on the distribution ceremonies and who is footing the bill for that?
- Under what arrangement is Mian Nawaz Sharif distributing the laptops?
- How has Punjab Government financed the purchase? Does it have the funds from its resources or are these the NFC funds which are being used?
While one cannot expect a clear answer, we do hope that media will spend some print space and air time on these nine questions.