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Government of Punjab is criminalizing those who are delivering aid to those affected by the corona lock-down

 

 

This latest notification from the Government of Punjab, Pakistan is now effectively criminalizing those who are delivering aid to those affected by the corona lock-down, unless they register themselves with the government and ACT according to the directions of the Government in the modes and areas of delivery of the government’s own choosing

So basically for me this is a desperate attempt by an incompetent and imbecilic government to capitalize on people’s generosity and ultimately claim credit.

A government which not too long ago was suffering from an existential crisis over whether to lock down or not.

And when the realization dawned, it found itself fumbling ineffectively in how to organize aid delivery.

Now it is desperately trying to bring the entire “third-sector”/NGOs/private individuals…all under it’s wing ….so that it might have something to show for its “efforts”

There are many problems with this notification..some are to do with the pure administrative challenges, others to do with the curtailing of people’s civil liberties and the underhand dealing this will result in.

1. This is a centrally controlled bureaucratic nightmare.

2. It’s a nanny state which is now going to dictate whether I can give atta/rice to my neighbors or not.

3. This bureaucratic process is designed to encourage and divert private donations to the governments own fund…because ultimately people won’t be bothered to deal with the procedural bureaucracy of registration. Like they have nothing else better to do.

(The government’s own process of getting aid to the needy is highly bureaucratic and inaccessible for many of those who are in need. The disabled. The elder. Those who don’t have internet. Those who can’t read. Those who don’t have a phone! Those who don’t have ID cards.

4. This will deter philanthropy and charity and stop people from their social action as they now face a criminal charge unless they register and act as the government tells them to.

5. Ultimately those that will suffer are the poorest laborers in remote areas where no government aid has reached still

Imagine if the UK government decided to nationalize all food banks!

In short I see this as a desperate attempt to nationalize/provincialise philanthropy because the provincial administration is in-ept.