Is the Street Economy A Panacea for post-COVID Recovery?

In his blog on the street economy, ZIa Banday reports that street vendors in countries like ours comprise a small portion of the urban population. Estimates range between 1.2 to 2 million in urban Pakistan, and they make up 5.5% – 9.1% of urban labor force. Revenues of this informal economic segment are in hundreds of billion rupees. It may not be the panacea for economic recovery in a post-COVID 19 period, but it certainly could play a significant role in blunting the sharp edges of economic deprivation a la Chinese way.

Islamabad: A City for the Rich

by Ms. Mariam Mohsin If you have ever been to Islamabad, chances are you must have visited the city’s celebrated Jinnah Super Market. It’s luscious green. Beautiful. Packed with local and international brand outlets. It’s brimming with life – so much so that you most probably did not get a chance to look down South.…… Continue reading Islamabad: A City for the Rich

Reducing Poverty Through Micro-finance

by Dr. Farhat Mahmood Micro-financing is a significant financial sector development that specifically impacts those without access to, or neglected by, financial institutions. The modern concept was formally introduced in the 1970s with the establishment of Grameen Bank by Professor Mohammad Yunus. Grameen is for exclusive use of the poor. Micro-finance institutions relax financial constraints…… Continue reading Reducing Poverty Through Micro-finance

Bikes, Density and Cars

written by Dr. Nadeem ul Haque Lord Keynes in a famous statement said that “Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years…… Continue reading Bikes, Density and Cars

Why are We Subsidizing Car-Use?

written by Dr. Nadeem ul Haque When I write about going high, everyone responds, “what about parking?” My response “we don’t need parking!” is met with shock. We are making cities for cars. There was a time people walked or biked in most of our cities. Since then an obsession with cars has widened roads to…… Continue reading Why are We Subsidizing Car-Use?

Where are the opportunities for the poor?

written by Dr. Nadeem ul Haque PM has announced an EHSAS program for poverty alleviation — an admirable step. But more than government aid the poor need to be included in cities of opportunity. Handouts and credit and online opportunities are not a substitute for opportunity. Think about it many of our poor have climbed into…… Continue reading Where are the opportunities for the poor?

Why not Khokhas Everywhere?

by Dr. Nadeem ul Haque Street-vending through kiosks (khokhas or dhabas) or mobile vendors (chabri wallahs, truck, bicycles or motor cycles) are all legitimate activities which allow the poor opportunities. All societies through history have had these activities. An unemployed person can with a small amount of money buy some fruit and serve it on…… Continue reading Why not Khokhas Everywhere?