Pakistan’s economic situation continues to deteriorate with no end in sight. At a time like this the people who suffer the most are always the poor and unprivileged.
At the third Asma Jahangir Memorial lecture held recently by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) senior economist Dr Pervez Tahir spoke on economic justice in light of Pakistan’s deteriorating economic climate. Dr Tahir recalled “how founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah had emphasised the need for economic reforms to reduce poverty. However, political instability and successive imprudent financial policies had only led to one economic crisis after another and growing economic disparities.”
Dr Tahir noted that “despite an emphasis on economic justice in Pakistan’s constitutional and legal framework, the policies required to realise economic justice were not devised. Moreover, the state has failed to allocate sufficient financial resources to alleviate poverty and reduce economic disparity, one of the primary factors behind economic injustice and exploitation in Pakistan.”
Dr Tahir recommended “that the focus of Pakistan’s budgetary allocations must be pro-people above all; the federal government’s size must also be cut down in conformity with the 18th amendment, with property tax devolved to local government, and the income of large landholders must be made subject to the regular tax regime. Economic justice must be reflected in a fairer distribution of wealth and not merely in the growth of income.”