Redistributive Effects of Fiscal Policy across the Income Groups in the Urban-Rural Areas of Pakistan

There exist a large number of studies related to the estimates of government budgetary redistributive effects and its related problems with regard to different countries of the world.1 Studies of the impacts of government expenditures and taxes in Pakistan have been conducted within the framework of either incidence of taxes or the impact of expenditures across the income groups. The studies carried out by Azfar (1972); Jeetun (1978); Alauddin and Raza (1981) Malik and Saqib (1985, 1989) cover different aspects of taxation—tax incidence, progressivity or regressivity of the tax system across the income groups/individuals and regions. These studies did not discuss the expenditure side of the budget. Shirazi (1996) analysed the impact of government transfer programmes (Zakat and Ushr) across the income deciles. Ghaus (1989) studied the incidence of provincial and municipal government service-related expenditure benefits in Karachi metropolitan and therefore, the scope of her study was limited to one city only. Despite the existence of a rich bibliography on the subject of government redistrbutive budgetary effects and its related problems, no study is available which covers the overall redistributive impacts of government budgetary policy in Pakistan. This study explores the impacts of government expenditures and taxes on the distribution of income across various income groups along with net fiscal impacts in the urban-rural areas of Pakistan. The rest of our study is organised as follows. In the following section, Part II, we describe the methodology and data set. In Part III, the results of the study are presented. The Part IV concludes the paper.