Isn’t it that Cocomo symbolizes the economy of Pakistan? The Cocomo is a chocolate-filled biscuit brand, mostly consumed by school and college-going youth. It is made by a company owned by the incumbent finance minister Mr. Miftah Ismael. He also owns the largest toffee-making concern, Candyland, in Pakistan. Mr. Ishmael is known to us as the Bisco-toffee man of the country, in addition to his stint as a politician with PMLN.
Why Cocomo, the favorite snack and heartthrob of millions, is in danger? A proverbial story goes like this: In the early 2000s, it used to come in a ticky pack of PKR.5 that contained 10 Cocomos in it. Owing to high prices of inputs during the 2010s, the Cocomos in same the ticky pack was reduced to 5.
Today, the same ticky-pack contains only 3 to 4 Cocomos
Recently, Miftah said that inflation is to be blamed for stealing Cocomos from the ticky pack. He was adamant that a time is about to come when one ticky pack of PKR.5 will contain only one Cocomo, or still worse down the road, a half or quarter of it.
The moral of the above story is: now we should be content with lesser and lesser for the same or more amount of money. Mr. Miftah Ishmael is applying has credentials and experience in running the Cocomo business to run the economy of the country. As finance minister, recently he has given in to all the IMF demands, abruptly and with no hesitation, ranging from imposing additional taxes on existing taxpayers, and withdrawing of subsidies in various sectors to the exorbitant hike in fuel prices and petroleum levy.
This has been an unavoidable strategy to avert the danger of default and bankruptcy in the short term, creating potentially daunting consequences in the longer run. IMF money is needed at all costs no matter the consequences. The economy is indeed in serious trouble the way Cocomo has become lean and feeble over time. This has severe economic and political consequences for the people, political parties and all the white elephants in the country.
Read more: Miftah Ismail lands in hot waters
We cannot afford to let the Cocomo fall apart. We got to save it. Using all locally produced ingredients including chocolate is the essential first step towards saving its legacy. We produce no chocolate, so using gurr or sugarcane mast instead can be useful. Relying on our own resources and improving their quality using various ways of value addition can be a good starter. One final suggestion to Miftah: Save Cocomo and save the country’s economy, not brutally but prudently!
Written by Ashab Baig
The writer is a development consultant based in Islamabad. He can be reached at: email@example.com. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.