Poverty Aleviation Is A Goal Unachieved

(Noshin Bashir, Karachi)

Poverty alleviation is a goal unachieved in Pakistan, though fluctuations have been witnessed every now and then. Poverty was borne by birth of Pakistan because we inherited the portion of South Asia with least number of industrial units and did not get the duo share of military and financial assets. But this cannot be the satisfying to get portrayed as miserable. Bill Gates has rightly arguments: “If you’re born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake.”

Remembering another quote by Nelson Mandela that poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings. Poverty is said to exist when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs.
The poverty is characterized by the;
i. Lack of income,
ii. Non-fulfillment of basic needs,
iii. And lacking access to social infrastructure.

According to the business dictionary: “Poverty is a condition where people’s basic needs for food clothing and shelter are not being met.”

Poverty is said to be Absolute when one cannot obtain adequate resources to afford the basic necessities of life. The Relative Poverty occurs when people don’t get the certain minimum level of living standards as determined by government or constitution. In relative poverty people’s income is less than the average income for society.
The World Bank report says that poverty eradication is an uphill task for Pakistan and India.
The World Bank report: “Poverty and shared prosperity” – places Pakistan among the countries where the income of the poorest are growing faster than average. India has been placed among the countries where the income of the poorest are growing slower than average, although India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world.
The data shows that 21.25pc Indians live at or below the World Bank’s poverty line compared to only 8.3pc in Pakistan. However, India got an edge in WB report when it come to life expectancy, adult female literacy rate and dealing with the under nourishment.
The grim poverty give birth to so many discomforts in the society and in the life of people. A very few of them are:
i. Opting illegal means of earning,
ii. Organ trafficking,
iii. Smuggling,
iv. threaten the self-esteem of people,
v. suicides,
vi. diseases physical as well as psychological,
vii. and many others.

People becomes sick by the noose of poverty getting tightened around their neck and opt to the illegal ways of earning. Despite knowing the awe-full consequences they get ready for timely benefit and become a cause of headache to the other people. For example, if one opt for robbery in order to get relief will directly become a discomfort for those who will fall a prey to it. The poverty stricken people may opt for smuggling of goods and human being as well. The poverty threatens the self esteem of people when they become sub-ordinate to others from a financial standpoint. For instance, Feudal lords continue to exploit the poor and can engage them in heinous activities just because of their poverty.
The feudal lords treats the laymen like animals or even lower than this.
The serfs is to work hard all day long but still to a low-waged income and is restricted to live hand to mouth.
The organ trafficking is another way to fall a prey to get in kind if you are bearing the financial hardships. The organ trafficking which almost all the time is kidney trafficking. The organ trafficking was promulgated earlier in 2007 but the matter got the global outcry before it could be transformed into a law. All because of kindled approach of NGOs . In 2010, the National Assembly and the upper house passed the Transplantation of the Human Organ and Tissue Act followed by the promulgation of the transplantation ordinance.
The poverty stricken people often vended their kidneys to get some cash in return. They risk their lives to get the gruesome amounts to meet their daily life expenses or to return their longstanding debts. These people develops lethal diseases either due to the poor performance of the remaining kidney or in the form of infections. It is poverty which compels them to put their own lives at risk.

Some people end their life just because of confronting poverty and the resultant strains in their life. The poor have to suffer the physical illness due to malnourishment and their mental disturbances are a result of strained life from the financial standpoint.

The alleviate poverty one needs to assess the causes of poverty so as to reach the effective conclusions and suggestions.

The main causes of poverty in Pakistan are;
Energy crisis,
Least industrialization,
Lack of agricultural research and its implementation,
Scarcity of education,
Feudalism,
Lack of skilled workers,
Heavy taxes,
Lack of public awareness, and last but not the least is the poor public representation at political level.

The Pakistan is facing energy crisis since decades and energy is to decide the fate of an industry especially in the country with the little use of conventional energy sources for getting a constant supply of electricity. The industries are not going to get an increase in number until our energy problem settle down. The economy of Pakistan is mostly agricultural based so we need to opt for agriculture based research programs and the implementation of viable developments. This can help to increase our exports of cotton, wheat, rice etc.

The Pakistan’s education spending is lowest in South Asia dawn reported in the April this year. The report also said that there are about 24 million out of school children in Pakistan, the second highest figure in the world after Nigeria. Though the educational allocation of budget has been increased but still there exists vast disparities among the provinces.

The heavy taxes when charged to the people belonging to low waged income groups results in a dismay. The poor awareness on the part of public also brings disappointment. The lack of public representation at political level is also worth-mentioning. Until and unless true representation of public grievances don’t take the form of reality no considerable improvement will occur.

In our country, the poverty is often defined as pauperism. This means that providing relief is considered as poverty alleviation. The central objective is to pay-off in cash or in kind at a fixed rate to the specific number of households for a fixed duration of time. But actually it has nothing to do with poverty alleviation. It just provides a timely relief from the financial shortages only partially. One such program is the Benazir Income Support Programme(BISP) – started in 2008, provided relief of Rs.1000per month to the poor and needy. The cash relief was later increased to fifteen hundred per month and now reached to 18,800 per annum in April this year.
The experts are of view that BISP can never alleviate poverty. It can’t even cater the basic needs of its subscribers as the amount being granted under BISP is insufficient to meet the basic necessities of life.
The scope of Zakat programme has always been very limited in number and coverage as the number of beneficiaries hovers around 1 million in the poor population of 61pc.

The poverty alleviation can be achieved by undertaking the numerous steps. Some of these are:

Micro-financing,
Sustained economic growth,
Promoting economic growth,
Creating more jobs and income,
Reducing unemployment,
Increasing national minimum wage,
Providing benefits in kind,
Diversification of economy,
Reducing energy crisis,
Skilled-workers,
Progressive tax imposition,
Proper management of Zakat system,
Providing education,
Public awareness,
And lastly the golden words of Confucius:

“If your plan is for a year, plant rice. If your plan is for a decade, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years educate children.”


The public sector poverty alleviation programme include micro-financing. It covers about 3m burrowers. The criteria for micro-financing is the ability to payback due to which the most-in-need don’t get the opportunity and remain deprived. There is a need to review and improve the criterion for micro-financing.

Sustainable Development Goals put special emphasis on ending all forms of poverty.
The creation of more jobs can also contribute poverty alleviation. The low income jobs is not an answer to alleviate the grim poverty. Due to low income people are forced to live strained economically and unable to meet the expenses.
The government can increase the minimum national wages. This is an effective way to increase the income of low paid labors. The increase in national wages can also reduce the prevalent wage inequality.

The public and private sector can contribute equally well in reducing unemployment ratio. They can offer entrepreneurship to the unemployed persons after training them in concerned fields.
The skilled-labor is also a viable option to alleviate the poverty. The govt. can initiate different programs to enhance the trend of skilled labor among the population. One such example is the TEVTA(Technical Education an Vocational Training Programme). The institutions working under the label of tevta provide different skills to people and increases the work-force.

The provision of benefits in kind can also sort out the grievances of people. The government can provide the free health and educational facilities to the people. In this way, they will be able to get medication and education. Pakistan can follow the Chinese model for health provision in which a portion of health expenses is being paid by the public sector. This amount decreases in case when patients belong to the urban areas and reaches to the considerable potions if patient come from the rural areas.
The most recent programme to get in kind is the health provision under the umbrella of Prime Minister’s Health Care Policy. According to this policy, 50,000 relief is being given for common treatment and this amount reaches to 3 Lacs for major health issues. If a person gets short of funds during his treatment then this 3 Lcs can go upto 6,00000. This programme was initially installed in Balochistan. It’s serious drawback is the fixed number of subscribers.

Diversification of economy means going away from agriculture towards the manufacturing.
This can contribute well to the economic development. Proper arrangements of Zakat system can also satisfy the needs of the poor and the needy.


“Don’t kill your children in the basis of grim poverty”
(Al-Quran)
“Extreme Poverty can lead to kufr.”
(Muhammad PBUH)

The energy crisis needs a resolve in order to run the tyres of economy. Pakistan should opt for the alternative-energy means i.e., solar energy, wing energy, energy from biogas meet the demands of energy.
Imposition of progressive taxes can also alleviate the income inequality. The term implies imposing taxes on high-waged income groups so that tax return can be increased without stressing the already aggravated. The Education is most widely excepted and sustainable solution if we want poverty alleviation from the society. In order to build a peaceful society and internal harmony we need to kick-off poverty from our lives once and for all and this is undoubtedly nothing beyond human efforts. We cannot get away the truth behind the famous maxim that God help those who help themselves.


















Poverty alleviation is a goal unachieved
Poverty- lack of food, shelter and infrastructure
World Bank Report on Poverty and shared prosperity
Discomforts due to confronting poverty
Causes of poverty
Ways to Alleviate Poverty
 Micro-financing,
 Sustained economic growth,
 Promoting economic growth,
 Creating more jobs and income,
 Reducing unemployment,
 Increasing national minimum wage,
 Providing benefits in kind,
 Diversification of economy,
 Reducing energy crisis,
 Skilled-workers,
 Progressive tax imposition,
 Proper management of Zakat system,
 Providing education,
 Public awareness,
 And lastly the golden words of Confucius


Poverty alleviation is a goal unachieved in Pakistan, though fluctuations have been witnessed every now and then. Poverty was borne by birth of Pakistan because we inherited the portion of South Asia with least number of industrial units and did not get the duo share of military and financial assets. But this cannot be the satisfying to get portrayed as miserable. Bill Gates has rightly arguments: “If you’re born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake.”

Remembering another quote by Nelson Mandela that poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings. Poverty is said to exist when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs.
The poverty is characterized by the;
i. Lack of income,
ii. Non-fulfillment of basic needs,
iii. And lacking access to social infrastructure.

According to the business dictionary: “Poverty is a condition where people’s basic needs for food clothing and shelter are not being met.”

Poverty is said to be Absolute when one cannot obtain adequate resources to afford the basic necessities of life. The Relative Poverty occurs when people don’t get the certain minimum level of living standards as determined by government or constitution. In relative poverty people’s income is less than the average income for society.
The World Bank report says that poverty eradication is an uphill task for Pakistan and India.
The World Bank report: “Poverty and shared prosperity” – places Pakistan among the countries where the income of the poorest are growing faster than average. India has been placed among the countries where the income of the poorest are growing slower than average, although India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world.
The data shows that 21.25pc Indians live at or below the World Bank’s poverty line compared to only 8.3pc in Pakistan. However, India got an edge in WB report when it come to life expectancy, adult female literacy rate and dealing with the under nourishment.
The grim poverty give birth to so many discomforts in the society and in the life of people. A very few of them are:
i. Opting illegal means of earning,
ii. Organ trafficking,
iii. Smuggling,
iv. threaten the self-esteem of people,
v. suicides,
vi. diseases physical as well as psychological,
vii. and many others.


People becomes sick by the noose of poverty getting tightened around their neck and opt to the illegal ways of earning. Despite knowing the awe-full consequences they get ready for timely benefit and become a cause of headache to the other people. For example, if one opt for robbery in order to get relief will directly become a discomfort for those who will fall a prey to it. The poverty stricken people may opt for smuggling of goods and human being as well. The poverty threatens the self esteem of people when they become sub-ordinate to others from a financial standpoint. For instance, Feudal lords continue to exploit the poor and can engage them in heinous activities just because of their poverty.
The feudal lords treats the laymen like animals or even lower than this.
The serfs is to work hard all day long but still to a low-waged income and is restricted to live hand to mouth.
The organ trafficking is another way to fall a prey to get in kind if you are bearing the financial hardships. The organ trafficking which almost all the time is kidney trafficking. The organ trafficking was promulgated earlier in 2007 but the matter got the global outcry before it could be transformed into a law. All because of kindled approach of NGOs . In 2010, the National Assembly and the upper house passed the Transplantation of the Human Organ and Tissue Act followed by the promulgation of the transplantation ordinance.
The poverty stricken people often vended their kidneys to get some cash in return. They risk their lives to get the gruesome amounts to meet their daily life expenses or to return their longstanding debts. These people develops lethal diseases either due to the poor performance of the remaining kidney or in the form of infections. It is poverty which compels them to put their own lives at risk.

Some people end their life just because of confronting poverty and the resultant strains in their life. The poor have to suffer the physical illness due to malnourishment and their mental disturbances are a result of strained life from the financial standpoint.

The alleviate poverty one needs to assess the causes of poverty so as to reach the effective conclusions and suggestions.

The main causes of poverty in Pakistan are;
Energy crisis,
Least industrialization,
Lack of agricultural research and its implementation,
Scarcity of education,
Feudalism,
Lack of skilled workers,
Heavy taxes,
Lack of public awareness, and last but not the least is the poor public representation at political level.


The Pakistan is facing energy crisis since decades and energy is to decide the fate of an industry especially in the country with the little use of conventional energy sources for getting a constant supply of electricity. The industries are not going to get an increase in number until our energy problem settle down. The economy of Pakistan is mostly agricultural based so we need to opt for agriculture based research programs and the implementation of viable developments. This can help to increase our exports of cotton, wheat, rice etc.
The Pakistan’s education spending is lowest in South Asia dawn reported in the April this year. The report also said that there are about 24 million out of school children in Pakistan, the second highest figure in the world after Nigeria. Though the educational allocation of budget has been increased but still there exists vast disparities among the provinces.

The heavy taxes when charged to the people belonging to low waged income groups results in a dismay. The poor awareness on the part of public also brings disappointment. The lack of public representation at political level is also worth-mentioning. Until and unless true representation of public grievances don’t take the form of reality no considerable improvement will occur.

In our country, the poverty is often defined as pauperism. This means that providing relief is considered as poverty alleviation. The central objective is to pay-off in cash or in kind at a fixed rate to the specific number of households for a fixed duration of time. But actually it has nothing to do with poverty alleviation. It just provides a timely relief from the financial shortages only partially. One such program is the Benazir Income Support Programme(BISP) – started in 2008, provided relief of Rs.1000per month to the poor and needy. The cash relief was later increased to fifteen hundred per month and now reached to 18,800 per annum in April this year.
The experts are of view that BISP can never alleviate poverty. It can’t even cater the basic needs of its subscribers as the amount being granted under BISP is insufficient to meet the basic necessities of life.



The scope of Zakat programme has always been very limited in number and coverage as the number of beneficiaries hovers around 1 million in the poor population of 61pc.

The poverty alleviation can be achieved by undertaking the numerous steps. Some of these are:

Micro-financing,
Sustained economic growth,
Promoting economic growth,
Creating more jobs and income,
Reducing unemployment,
Increasing national minimum wage,
Providing benefits in kind,
Diversification of economy,
Reducing energy crisis,
Skilled-workers,
Progressive tax imposition,
Proper management of Zakat system,
Providing education,
Public awareness,
And lastly the golden words of Confucius:

“If your plan is for a year, plant rice. If your plan is for a decade, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years educate children.”


The public sector poverty alleviation programme include micro-financing. It covers about 3m burrowers. The criteria for micro-financing is the ability to payback due to which the most-in-need don’t get the opportunity and remain deprived. There is a need to review and improve the criterion for micro-financing.

Sustainable Development Goals put special emphasis on ending all forms of poverty.
The creation of more jobs can also contribute poverty alleviation. The low income jobs is not an answer to alleviate the grim poverty. Due to low income people are forced to live strained economically and unable to meet the expenses.
The government can increase the minimum national wages. This is an effective way to increase the income of low paid labors. The increase in national wages can also reduce the prevalent wage inequality.

The public and private sector can contribute equally well in reducing unemployment ratio. They can offer entrepreneurship to the unemployed persons after training them in concerned fields.
The skilled-labor is also a viable option to alleviate the poverty. The govt. can initiate different programs to enhance the trend of skilled labor among the population. One such example is the TEVTA(Technical Education an Vocational Training Programme). The institutions working under the label of tevta provide different skills to people and increases the work-force.

The provision of benefits in kind can also sort out the grievances of people. The government can provide the free health and educational facilities to the people. In this way, they will be able to get medication and education. Pakistan can follow the Chinese model for health provision in which a portion of health expenses is being paid by the public sector. This amount decreases in case when patients belong to the urban areas and reaches to the considerable potions if patient come from the rural areas.
The most recent programme to get in kind is the health provision under the umbrella of Prime Minister’s Health Care Policy. According to this policy, 50,000 relief is being given for common treatment and this amount reaches to 3 Lacs for major health issues. If a person gets short of funds during his treatment then this 3 Lcs can go upto 6,00000. This programme was initially installed in Balochistan. It’s serious drawback is the fixed number of subscribers.

Diversification of economy means going away from agriculture towards the manufacturing.
This can contribute well to the economic development. Proper arrangements of Zakat system can also satisfy the needs of the poor and the needy.

“Don’t kill your children in the basis of grim poverty”
(Al-Quran)
“Extreme Poverty can lead to kufr.”
(Muhammad PBUH)

The energy crisis needs a resolve in order to run the tyres of economy. Pakistan should opt for the alternative-energy means i.e., solar energy, wing energy, energy from biogas meet the demands of energy.
Imposition of progressive taxes can also alleviate the income inequality. The term implies imposing taxes on high-waged income groups so that tax return can be increased without stressing the already aggravated. The Education is most widely excepted and sustainable solution if we want poverty alleviation from the society. In order to build a peaceful society and internal harmony we need to kick-off poverty from our lives once and for all and this is undoubtedly nothing beyond human efforts. We cannot get away the truth behind the famous maxim that God help those who help themselves.

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