Progressive Alleviation of Poverty in Pakistan

Poverty is a state or condition in which income from unemployment cannot fulfill the basic needs of people. It is the condition of a state or community in which they have insufficient material possession. It includes the social, economic and political circumstances of a state. 

Types of Poverty 

There are different types of poverty, such as:

Absolute poverty

It shows the income below the fixed figure which ensures the basic needs of life like food, clothing, and shelter. 

Relative poverty

It is the type of poverty in which a person has income but not enough income.

Cyclical poverty

It is the type of poverty that spreads widely over the population but has a limited duration.

Case poverty

This inability generally relates to a lack of any basic quality that is needed to maintain a person or family.

Rural poverty:

Rural poverty is related to families or communities living in rural areas. Rural areas lack employment facilities.

Urban poverty

Urban areas have more employment facilities than rural but there is more competition for jobs and other resources.

Poverty in Pakistan:

According to the latest estimate, 24% of the population of Pakistan lives below the poverty line which includes 31% in rural areas and 13% in urban areas. According to the multinational poverty index, almost 39% of the national population is poor which is 54% in rural areas and 9% in urban areas. Poverty alleviation is one of the most important challenges for all countries including Pakistan.

Different factors like unemployment, economic and social vulnerability, inequality, natural disasters, environmental issues, instability of government, feudalism, high inflation rate, poor utilization of resources, overpopulation, epidemic issues, debts, illiteracy, improper income distribution, no foreign investments, the imposition of taxes, low productivity rate, dishonesty, corruption, poor law and order, nepotism, landlordism, etc.

A number of programs are indulged in improving governance and public sectors to be able to respond better to the poor by assisting them economically. Economic assistance should be given by providing more income and employment opportunities. 

Poverty Alleviations Programs  

The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) was established in 1988 by the government. The funding was provided in three phases with a combined fund of almost $1 billion for poverty alleviation programs and microfinance support. In addition to these phases, the world bank also provided a soft loan facility of $75 million for social mobilization in 2009.

The government of Pakistan also introduced various programs like:

  • The social security scheme in 1967.
  • The worker welfare fund scheme in the 1970s.
  • The employee’s old-age benefit fund scheme in 1976.
  • Different NGOs are working in rural and urban areas for the welfare of poor people.

And BENAZIR INCOME SUPPORT PROGRAM(BISP) is still providing funds to the poor for their basic necessities. 

Factors for Progressive Alleviations:  

National economic development is the key to success in poverty alleviation.  The poor should be empowered in a true sense. The four sectors of agriculture, industrial, information technology and energy like the coal and gas sector should lead to the revival of growth. The government’s target is to create millions of jobs by promoting growth in labor incentives. Social indicators should also be improved.

Agricultural growth:

Pakistan is an agricultural country. 42% of the economy of Pakistan is based on agriculture. It can be enhanced by improving the availability of good quality inputs like seeds, fertilizers, etc so the outputs would be more fruitful. 

Accelerating economic growth:

The interest rate should be low for the poor. If the inflation rate is higher than the nominal wages then there will be more poverty. So there should be increased nominal wages than the inflation rate.

Human Development:

Human development should be given more importance as giving people more opportunities and freedom to live their lives to overcome poverty. And also given environmental sustainability for example equality among rich and poor. 

Poor Fiscal Management:

It is the management of financial resources including external and domestic debts. The government should pay attention to the equal distribution of salaries according to grades on the national level. So that pay package and money would be equally divided.

Governance reforms:

The government should bring reforms on the national level like forming anti-corruption strategies, controlling inflation rate, providing equal justice, and the imposition of taxes at a minimum level, etc. 

Creating Jobs:

The settlement of labor intensives in rural areas so that the poor should have access to food, clothing, and basic life facilities. New organizations should be formed which provide shelter to homeless and poor people. Business opportunities for the people on a smaller scale also by providing necessary funds so that people can run their own business.
Vocational skills programs should be introduced which provide the people training and education of the different skills which later help them to work on their own. So these are the few factors that can be helpful in poverty alleviation.

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