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Will Pakistan Have a Test

integrated whole, natural calamities taking place in one corner of the country are no concern either of the other parts or of the government at the centre; it is the government of the state where the calamity takes place which has the onus of taking care of the problems that arise in the wake of a drought or a flood. The ministry has been particular to stress the point that the national insurance fund it has in mind will not be contributed to by the union government, the contributions will flow exclusively from the states. Since all insurance schemes work on the principle of a ceiling of award or compensation, it also follows that, however devastating a calamity, a state government could, under the proposed new arrangements, expect to receive funds to cater to relief only up to a point. Beyond that point, human beings and livestock are expected either to liquidate themselves or to fend for themselves. The born-again cliche of socialism is only to impress the newspaper-reading crowd. This government, particularly this ministry, has imbibed its philosophy from president Ronald Reagan's administration; disaster relief must be privatised, and each state government must pay for the relief it wants; if it does not pay, or pays less than what the desiccated accountants and their computers say it ought to, it will be either cut off from funds or paid in driblets.

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