Aug 20 - Sep 2, 20

Independent economists and social workers are expressing deep concern over the growing level which, according to the latest research reports , has crossed sixty percent which is a dangerous level by any standard. According to them over 60 percent population of the country have fallen into poverty lines and a situation has reached where no amount of charity or social service could control the situation. According to these experts the grim situation demands a drastic turn around in the economic management and loot and plunder of national resources is stopped through drastic measures and with an iron hand.

On the other hand the Ministry of Finance has removed the poverty estimates from its radar. There is no mention of poverty estimates in the economic survey relating to the fiscal year 2011-12. It was later revealed that the official data showed some decline in the poverty level and the Ministry of Finance was well advised not to publish it . Had it been published ,it would have shaken the confidence of the public on the veracity on government facts and figures besides putting salt on the wounds of poor masses. Further investigation into the matter brought the concerned government agencies to the conclusion that, perhaps, their methodology of calculating the incidence of poverty was not correct...

As a result of this realization , the government is planning to constitute a commission of experts to suggest ways and means to work out authentic poverty figures. so that the on-going controversy over poverty estimates is settled ones for all. The Planning Commission has proposed to the government to constitute a high- powered independent commission for seeking an advise on the issue The proposed commission comprised of experts and independent economists may examine the present consumption based methodology and suggest changes to work out the correct level of poverty

In a press interview ,a member of Planning Commission said that we are proposing a high powered committee with a mandate to scrutinize the present methodology and suggest necessary changes to arrive at the correct poverty figures to end the lingering controversy on the issue

He said that the Planning Commission. was proposing that all renowned economists who had worked on poverty and related issues should be included in the proposed committee .to examine the present methodology being followed by the government which has failed to calculate and determine the correct level of poverty in the country. If the present formula of calculating poverty was not changed then poverty level would be standing at zero after one or two years.

Discussions are underway for adopting multidimensional approach to calculate poverty estimates in Pakistan like the one adopted internationally. It is being realized that there is a need to involve the World Bank and the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) for seeking technical on ending the stalemate on poverty estimation in the country, sources said adding that the World Bank's point of view has weightage amongst the independent economists.

Under the present deplorable economic conditions prevailing in the country, there is almost a consensus amongst the circles that the poverty level has crossed the dangerous level of 60 percent. The decline in economy, rise in unemployment and rise in the cost of living has never been so sharp and high in Pakistan's history as during the last four and a half years rule of PPP led government. Poor governance of the incumbent rulers is evident in every sphere of national activities. Rampant corruption, unchecked soaring specially of the food items mainly caused by the hoarders maphia, unprecedented rise in the black and informal economy, unjustified tax exemption and failure toenhance revenues, sharp rise in the unproductive expenses of the government, rising fiscal and budget deficits, rising debt burden and slow down of slow down of economic growth are all results of bad governance and willful corruption which have made the lives of the majority of the people in Pakistan miserable.