Imran Khan gets his math wrong on crowdfunding

 01 Oct 2018,  

Different ball game

The cricketer-turned-politician-turned-Pakistan Prime Minister has launched a quixotic campaign to build dams across the country in order to tackle Pakistan’s chronic water shortage — to raise $14 billion through crowdfunding. But here’s why his plan may never succeed:

Headcount problem

Headcount problem

Imran Khan is banking on the country’s population, of 20.17 crore and its expat population of 7.6 million — though 24.3% of its domestic population, or almost 5 crore people, lives below the poverty line of $1.25 a day.

Multiplication problem

Multiplication problem

Khan wants each of his expat Pakistanis to contribute $1,000 each, which would raise just $7.6 billion, or just a little more than half the amount needed. Which means that the balance amount of $6.4 billion is to be raised from 15.17 crore people, who will need to contribute $42 each, while their per capita income is $1,641.

In pic: Tarbela Dam spillway is pictured in Tarbela, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province.

Khan is banking on the expat remittances, which last financial year ended June 30 were $20 billion, apart from the $8 million donated by the army and $9,740 donated by the national football team, not to mention the Pakistani Rs 23 lakh the government earned after auctioning 8 buffaloes of the disgraced ex-PM, Nawaz Sharif.

Record breaker

If it succeeded, the campaign would be the largest crowdfunding effort in history — shattering the current Kickstarter record 700 times over. The biggest crowdfunding effort in the world to date, a Kickstarter campaign for the Pebble Time Smartwatch, raised just over $20 million in 32 days, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Dam good idea?

The country is rich in glaciers and rivers, but has just two large-capacity dams, and has for decades slept through warnings of a water crisis. With its surging population experts warn Pakistan faces “absolute water scarcity” by 2025.
 Part of the plan

The Pakistan government’s plan is to build two facilities: the Mohmand dam in the country’s northwest, widely seen as feasible, and the much larger, troubled Diamer-Basha project in the north, first mooted in the early 2000s.

Its location in territory disputed by India means major international donors have refused funding, while financing terms proposed by ally China were rejected as too harsh.

Experts also question whether the Diamer-Basha dam is feasible in an earthquake-prone region, while others point out that simply patching up Pakistan’s current water infrastructure and rethinking its water policies would be more efficient.


2 replies

  1. Dear Muslim Times
    Once again, you use Indian media as a source malign Pakistan, especially in a complex issue of building dams through fundraising. Please try to listen to Indian politicians, experts, academics and journalists on internet and see how anti-Pakistan, they are.
    Besides, such propaganda is counterproductive to your efforts to appeal to Pakistanis to be sympathetic to your own plight in Pakistan.
    As far as Imran Khan’s effort to raise funds for the building of dams, it was not Imran Khan but the Chief Justice of Pakistan who stayed the appeal.
    If you agree with Indian critic and think that fundraising is the wrong idea, please tell me an alternative. Perhaps, you do not know that Pakistanis are the top charity givers in the world and I have no doubt that dams would be built with their support.
    Kind regards
    Bashy Quraishy

    • My personal alternative advice would be to confiscate all the ‘Panama Paper Funds’. There is a lot of talk about Panama Papers but, strangely enough, little is said about where the funds actually came from. – but yes, I will take more care about Indian News re Pakistan. Of course it is biased, I agree.

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