Pakistan has an estimated population of 195.4 million in 2016, however, the population was 191.71 million in 2015. In Pakistan, only about 1 percent of the population is registered in the tax system and the government collects just 9 percent of the country’s wealth in taxes which is the lowest in the world. Education is the most important instrument for human resource development; it has become a universal and an important component of opportunities and empowerment. There are 25 million boys and girls between the age of 5 and 16, who are out of school. A large number of empirical studies find that increase in women’s education boosts their wages and that returns to education for women are frequently larger than that of men, increase in female education improves human development outcomes. Lower female education had a negative impact on economic growth. In developing countries female education reduces fertility infant mortality and increases children education. 

Poverty in Pakistan has historical been higher in rural than urban areas. Poverty rose more sharply in the rural areas in the 1990s and in FY1999, the incidence of rural poverty (36.3 percent) was significantly higher than urban poverty (22.6 percent). According to the cost of basic needs CBN methodology, 29.5 percent of the population is estimated to live below poverty line during FY2014. Using PSLM data, the headcount of multidimensional poverty in FY2015 was 38.8 percent while the intensity of deprivation is 51.0 percent. Since FY2005, multidimensional poverty has continuously reduced in Pakistan. Inequality also increased in Pakistan during the 1990s, in both urban and rural areas. Which enhanced the negative impact on poverty of the slowdown in growth during this period. There is no general or universal social protection system in Pakistan. 

However, a number of initiatives aimed at helping the poor by improving governance and functioning of public sector institutions; creating assets employment and income generation opportunities and improving access to basic services are being implemented by the government and also by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) and the private sector. 

UJALA SARFARAZ, 

Lahore, November 4.