Islamabad, February 17, 2023 (PPI-OT):The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday said development and poverty reduction is impossible in Pakistan unless the country is out of the shackles of the elite. It is very difficult to counterbalance the elite because a large number of them have joined politics and other influential areas to protect themselves and their communities and reap undue benefits which amount to looting the poor, it said.
The entry of the elite into politics has strengthened their grip on the system and they are plundering the resources meant for the masses, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of the PEW. He said that the United Nations had issued a report in April 2021 according to which the elites who control Pakistan’s resources are getting undue benefits worth 17.4 billion dollars annually.
Those who are robbing the nation include businessmen, politicians, landlords, and some other groups, he added. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that according to this report of the United Nations Development Program, an annual benefit of 17.4 billion dollars is being given to the elites, which is six percent of Pakistan’s GDP.
This systematic plunder of resources is increasing anxiety and poverty in the country and no one is doing anything to reduce it. The report says that the biggest benefit is taken by the corporate sector with a size of 4.7 billion dollars followed by the richest of the country which is 1.1 percent of the population that owns nine percent of the capital, while twenty percent of the rich own 49.6 percent of the resources.
Large landowners constitute 1.1 percent of the population but they own twenty-two percent of agricultural land, he informed. The United Nations report does not mention amnesty schemes, packages, and other initiatives through which the elite siphons off hundreds of billions of rupees every year. He said that currently, the government is taking strict measures on the orders of the IMF to stabilize the limping economy. The government measures are again targeted towards the poor avoiding any trouble with the powerful elite.
For more information, contact:
Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW)
402, 4th Floor, Gulistan Khan House, Fazal-e-Haq Road,
82-East, Blue Area, Islamabad
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