Pakistan’s economy could face a Greece-like collapse within the next 10 years, warned Sindh’s Education Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar.
According to Dahar, challenges like illiteracy, poverty, inequalities, corruption, energy and governance are hurting the economic growth in the country.
Director of the Applied Economics Research Centre (AERC) director Prof Dr Samina Khalil said Pakistan is inching towards a social and economic disaster that will hit it hard. Former adviser to Sindh government Dr Qaiser Bengali Bengali observed that the country’s exports were reducing while imports were increasing. The deficit created from this difference between exports and imports was being financed through debts, he explained.
A report by Pakistan’s central bank showed :
– 60.6 per cent of the population do not have access to cooking fuel
– Half of all children are deprived of a basic education
– A third of the population have no access to a primary medical facility
According to Rashid Amjad, a professor at the Lahore School of Economics and former VC of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, the rural economy, where poverty is most concentrated, is in deep recession due to poor harvests and collapse in global prices. With no recovery in manufacturing sector, there is an overhanging dark cloud, he added.
The unemployment rate in Pakistan is the highest in the last 13 years while the educated class is more than twice jobless as compared to the illiterate, the Institute for Policy Reform (IPR) claims quoting the recently released government’s Labour Force Survey 2014-15.
It added that over one million males aged between 15 to 29 years are neither undergoing education nor searching for a job and thus are perhaps more vulnerable to crime and militancy. By the end of 2014-15, the number of unemployed workers was 3.6 million.
Pakistan’s first ever official report on multidimensional poverty launched by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, has said that among the provinces, multidimensional poverty is the highest in Balochistan (71.2 per cent) and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where half of the population (49.2 per cent) suffers from acute poverty and deprivation.