KARACHI: According to one report, 38.8 per cent of Pakistan’s population lives in poverty. A majority of the rural population (54.6 per cent) lives in acute poverty while this ratio is only 9.4 per cent in urban areas, emphasising the need to make rural-centric economic policies. In Sindh, 43.1 per cent of the population is extremely poor due to lack of education, health facilities and poor living standards. In Gilgit-Baltistan, 43.2 per cent people are poor while in Punjab, three out of ten and in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, four out of 10 persons are poor. Fata is followed by Balochistan (71.2 per cent) and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), where half of the population suffers from acute poverty and deprivation. Except K-P, where the poverty level remained almost the same over a period of two years, in the other three provinces, the acute poverty level declined between 2012-13 and 2014-15.
Mr Dar said that in the survey from 2007-08, overall poverty stood at 17.2 per cent, while minimum wage was considered $1.25. “I disagree that the daily minimum wage in the country is currently $1.25.” Unfortunately, politicians of Pakistan are not well aware of the modern global system, the processes to achieve progress and the needs of the country. Due to bad policies, Pakistan faces a lot of problems today.
Poverty can be removed by breaking its vicious cycle. Control on inflation is compulsory to eliminate poverty. The government should provide more facilities to investors to increase investment and reduce unemployment. It should also adopt the use of modern methods of production and subsidies in utility charges. Development of the agricultural and industrial sectors will reduce poverty in Pakistan. The government should also focus on the availability of various types of credits.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2017.