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Poverty In Pakistan: Causes And Consequences

1746 words - 7 pages

Poverty, a multidimensional global phenomenon, as defined by World Bank is an income level below some minimum threshold deemed necessary to achieve basic needs. This minimum level is usually called the “poverty line”. The things required to satisfy basic needs are highly time and society dependent. Therefore, poverty lines vary from country to country as each country defines and sets the poverty line limit according to its own level of development, societal norms and values. But the contents of the needs are more or less the same everywhere. Hunger, lack of shelter, being sick and unable to see a doctor, no access to school and education, joblessness, fear of the future are all the ...view middle of the document...

Due to poor progress in education, especially female education, and the high early mortality rates Pakistan’s population has grown unbounded. This increase in population has slowed down the momentum of achieving the targets of per capita income. Pakistan’s economic struggle in fighting poverty cannot be separated from improving the overall human development indicators.

As macroeconomic policies has strong impact on shaping a country’s economy and incase of Pakistan, the economic policies kept on changing with the changing governments and political system, therefore it is necessary to look at various eras of the Pakistani politics after its independence. The 1960s was the time of military dictatorship and Presidential form of government was prevalent. This period saw an economic growth at 6.8 percent per annum. The primary reason for the growth was economic development strategy, by which private sector development and foreign direct investments were encouraged and were given generous incentives. Economic policies were also favoring the large-scale manufacturing sector, as there were many tariff protection and generous fiscal for them. The later part of 1960’s was characterized by the Green Revolution. This revolution led to large increases in agricultural production and especially in wheat and rice.
Parliamentary democracy saw light of the day in 1970s, which lasted till 1970s. This period lasted till 1977. This period was characterized with growing control and involvement of the government in economic development through the nationalization of insurance and banking sectors. This period witnessed economic growth decline to 4.8 percent per annum, because of the reduction in private sector investment in agriculture and industries. Inflation rates were high, which were further fueled by Arab oil embargo and large-scale overseas migration to the Middle-East. Reforms in the education sector were introduced by which state took over schools and colleges and free primary education was provided, but these reforms didn’t help improve the quality of education
In the period between 1977 and 1988, military dictatorship returned to country which lasted till 1985. From 1985 to 1988 there was restricted parliamentary democracy. Again in this military regime Pakistan saw economic growth as GDP increased by 6.7 percent per annum. In this period like the previous military regime preference was given to private sector and foreign direct investments. There was a gradual dismantle of state controls. The focus was on denationalization and deregulation of industrial activity while economic and welfare measures were introduced to Islamize the economy. Also there was a rapid increase in remittance flows into the economy.
Post 1988 period saw return of complete parliamentary democracy. Total of nine different governments’, four interim-appointed and four elected ruled Pakistan in this period. This period saw increase in political instability. Despite the introduction...

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