Any development or change in global economic variables has a direct impact on almost all countries, mainly due to their connectivity and interdependence. Developing countries, which are largely dependent on imports for their development and the maintenance of their economies, have to bear the brunt of the rising raw material prices that they have to import. This is a phenomenon beyond the control of economic managers in these countries.
Pakistan is currently facing a similar situation. The galloping inflation caused by the rise in world prices for oil, wheat, sugar and other commodities has hit people hard, a reality also recognized by Prime Minister Imran Khan during the inauguration ceremony of the Kamyab Pakistan Program (CPP) on October 4th He said, “The government is aware of the difficulties that people are facing. Commodity prices have risen mainly due to imported inflation. The government imported important raw materials, including wheat. The government imported four million tons of wheat. The price of petroleum products is up 100 percent, but the government has only increased prices by 22 percent. Wheat prices rose 33 percent and sugar 40 percent in the international market, but the government increased their prices by 12 and 21 percent, respectively. The government has not shouldered the full burden of the rise in the prices of raw materials and petroleum products and will suffer a loss of 400 billion rupees in revenue for cuts in sales tax and oil levy. “
He added that oil prices in Pakistan are still lower than in other countries and that the government will provide targeted direct cash subsidies to 40 percent of households for ghee, sugar and flour. The Prime Minister’s rationale for explaining the current economic situation in the country is beyond reproach, as are the steps the government has taken and is considering to alleviate people’s suffering while taking the economic situation into account. The prime minister’s passion for poverty reduction is reflected in the initiatives the government has already taken under the umbrella of the Ehsaas program, in line with its vision of empowering people, creating jobs and providing affordable housing for the poor. He has also taken other steps to fight poverty.
The launch of the CPP, under which the government plans to provide Rs. 1.4 trillion in microcredit to 3.7 million households, is another big step towards that goal. The program aims to transform the lives of marginalized populations by providing them with much-needed financial support to improve their livelihoods. This is the first program of its kind in Pakistan’s history to link the lowest income segments to banks through microfinance institutions. The concept is based on the philosophy of raising people’s income levels in order to free them from the shackles of poverty.
The program consists of five components: Kamyab Kissan, Kamyab Karobar, Sasta Ghar program, Kamyab Hunarmand and Sehatmand Pakistan. Under the first three components, microcredits are paid out to eligible individuals registered with Ehsaas data collected through the National Socio-Economic Register (NSER). The last two components will be integrated into the government’s existing initiatives. The Kamyab Hunarmand program is to be integrated into the government’s ongoing qualification program for providing education and training to talented people. The KPP also includes an easy-to-use portal called the Kamyab Pakistan Information System (KPIS), which will be integrated with the Ehsaas and NADRA databases to verify beneficiary eligibility in order to make it easier for institutions to finalize funding arrangements in the most efficient and transparent way .
This bottom-up approach to achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth represents the sincerity and commitment of government to benefit the poor and vulnerable sections of society. It is rightly said that there cannot be islands of prosperity in the oceans of poverty. It has uncomfortable economic, social and political effects. For any nation seeking a peaceful society that has embarked on the path of sustainable development, it is imperative to focus on poverty alleviation, which is undoubtedly the greatest engine of economic progress. China has shown the world how it works by making phenomenal economic progress based on its poverty reduction philosophy.
The fight against poverty is also a pillar on which the building of a welfare state is built. Speaking of the challenges facing the then-new country, the Founding Father said in his speech to the Constituent Assembly on the 11th, focusing entirely on the welfare of the people and especially the masses and the poor. “The model the state of Medina, which the prime minister wishes to emulate, was also the perfect embodiment of a welfare state. This undoubtedly implied that promoting the welfare of the poor was also a religious duty of the state and government.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s unwavering focus on putting policies and mechanisms in place that will effectively contribute to poverty alleviation is a step in the right direction, provided that they can be seriously implemented as perceived to produce the desired results .
The author is a freelance worker.
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