Policies ensuring uniform progress demanded


KARACHI: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said governments across the world including Pakistan are ignoring poor in their struggle for better economic growth which has triggered poverty on massive scale.

Government should revisit policies and consider increasing social sector budget for the welfare of chronic poor to reduce growing inequality, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW, in a statement issued from Islamabad.

He said that there are around one billion poor in Asia in which 660 million are very poor. Majority of world’s poor lives in Saarc region with women in majority.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that reason behind poverty among women are indifferent attitude of policymakers, gender inequality, lack of education and microcredit facilities, apathy towards SMEs and preference of politics over trade.

He said that women on average get 40 per cent less salary in the Saarc region than their male counterparts while 80 per cent of the children who dropped out of school in China were girls.

He asked the Asian governments to focus on health, education, imparting technical skills, infrastructure development, revisit policies and facilitate cross-border trade to ensure additional benefits worth two trillion dollars annually.

Civil society and business community can play a limited role in reducing poverty as it is the government which can adjust fiscal policies to reduce gap between rich and poor, she said. Government that is indifferent towards the plight of poor is running high risk of unrest with a massive political cost.