Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



A Sectoral Analysis of Poverty in Pakistan

Since independence, the problem of mass poverty in Pakistan has been substantial. The number of the destitute has continued to soar. The problem of poverty now looks to be beyond control. The vast masses of the people, particularly in rural areas, are indeed, miserably below the poverty line. Moreover, the socioeconomic and demographic indicators are dismal. Official planning and the market economy system have failed to lessen poverty. The policies formulated to eradicate it have failed to achieve their objectives. The issue of poverty in Pakistan has its significance for sustainable development. Long run development is not possible without protecting the rights of the vulnerable groups and the participation of the entire population in the development process. Although Pakistan’s economic growth has been quite respectable for much of the last four decades but it has failed to trickle down to the masses. The country has experienced poverty and stagnation in 1950s, increasing poverty and growth in the 1960s, stagnation of growth but declining poverty in the 1970s, increasing growth and declining poverty in the 1980s and finally, increasing poverty and falling growth in the 1990s [MHCHD/UNDP (1999)].

Muhammd Ali Bhatti, Rashida Haq, Tariq Javed