ISLAMABAD: Three out of ten Pakistanis live below the poverty line, the government revealed on Thursday, as opposed to the previous figure of one in ten. As opposed to the previous 20 million, 59 million Pakistanis are now officially classified as poor.
The new figures emerged after the ministries of planning and finance devised a new methodology to calculate the percentage of people living below the poverty line. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar unveiled the new method in the presence of international development partners on Thursday alongside the revised figure of the country’s poor population.
Pakistan has shifted from a formula based on food energy intake to one based on the cost of basic needs aimed at making the definition of poor more realistic. However, the government again did not change the unemployment definition, which has also become obsolete, recording a 5.9% jobless rate.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2016.