Wednesday, January 6, 2010

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010

Dr. Ishrat Husain, a former World Bank senior official and an ex governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, wrote an article captioned "India, Pakistan: a comparison" at the end of the first five decades of two nations' existence as independent states. To my knowledge, Dr. Hussain has not done an update of his article since it was first published. Although about three years too late, this post is my attempt to present a comparison of the two South Asian nations after sixty years of independence.

Here is the opening paragraph from Dr. Husain's article from the late 1990s, which I believe still stands true today:

"India and Pakistan are completing five decades of their independence. Since the partition, the relationship between the two countries has been uneasy and characterized by a set of paradoxes. There is a mixture of love and hate, a tinge of envy and admiration, bouts of paranoia and longing for cooperation, and a fierce rivalry but a sense of proximity, too. The heavy emotional overtones have made it difficult to sift the facts from the myths and make an objective assessment. There are in fact only two extreme types of reactions on each side. Either there are those who always find that the grass is greener on the other side of the pasture or those who are totally dismissive of the accomplishments of the other side."

Not much has changed in the last ten years as far as the above paragraph is concerned. The relationship between the two nations remains as emotionally charged as ever.

Then Dr. Husain's essay talked about what he saw as the common successes of the two nations in the first fifty years:

1. Despite the prophets of gloom and doom on both sides of the fence, both India and Pakistan have succeeded in more than doubling their per capita incomes. This is a remarkable feat considering that the population has increased fourfold in case of Pakistan and threefold in India. Leaving aside the countries in East Asia and China, very few large countries have been able to reach this milestone.

2. The incidence of poverty (defined as $1 per day) has also been reduced significantly although the number of absolute poor remains astoundingly high. However, the level of poverty is lower in Pakistan.

3. Food production has not only kept pace with the rise in population but has surpassed it. Both countries, leaving aside annual fluctuations due to weather conditions, are self-sufficient in food. (Pakistan exports its surplus rice but imports small volumes of wheat).

4. Food self-sufficiency has been accompanied by improved nutritional status. Daily caloric and protein intake per capita has risen by almost one-third but malnourishment among children is still high.

5. The cracks in the dualistic nature of the economy -- a well-developed modern sector and a backward traditional sector -- are appearing fast in both the countries. A buoyant middle class is emerging. The use of modern inputs and mechanization of agriculture has been a leveling influence in this direction. But public policies have not always been consistent or supportive.


Here is the update to the above assessment:

1. Per capita incomes in both nations have more than doubled in the last ten years, in spite of significant increases in population. The most recent and detailed real per capita income data was calculated and reported by Asian Development Bank based on a detailed study of a list of around 800 household and nonhousehold products in 2005 and early 2006 to compare real purchasing power for ADB's trans-national income comparison program (ICP). The ABD ICP concluded that Pakistan had the highest per capita income at HK$ 13,528 (US $1,745) among the largest nations in South Asia. ADB reported India’s per capita as HK $12,090 (US $1,560). Nominal per capita GDP estimates for Pakistan range from US $1000 to US $1022, while the range for India is from US $ 1017 to US $ 1100. Purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita GDP estimates for Pakistan from various sources range from $2500 to $2644, while the same sources put the range for India's per capita GDP from $2780 to $2972.

2. The incidence of poverty (defined as $1.25 per day) has also come down in both nations, although the number of poor in South Asia still remains very high. According to the 2009 UN Human and Income Poverty Report, the people living under $1.25 a day in India is 41.6 percent, about twice as much as Pakistan's 22.6 percent. The most recent estimates by UNDP in Pakistan for 2007-2008 indicate poverty level at 17.2%.

3. Food production has barely kept pace with the rise of population, particularly in Pakistan. There have been higher food prices and shortages of various commodities such as wheat and sugar. There is widespread hunger and malnutrition in all parts of India. India ranks 66th on the 2008 Global Hunger Index of 88 countries while Pakistan is slightly better at 61 and Bangladesh slightly worse at 70. The first India State Hunger Index (Ishi) report in 2008 found that Madhya Pradesh had the most severe level of hunger in India, comparable to Chad and Ethiopia. Four states — Punjab, Kerala, Haryana and Assam — fell in the 'serious' category. "Affluent" Gujarat, 13th on the Indian list is below Haiti, ranked 69. The authors said India's poor performance was primarily due to its relatively high levels of child malnutrition and under-nourishment resulting from calorie deficient diets.

4. Though the nutritional status has improved in both nations, there are still very high levels of malnutrition, particularly among children. In spite of the fact that there is about 22% malnutrition in Pakistan and the child malnutrition being much higher at 40% (versus India's 46%), the average per capita calorie intake of about 2500 calories is within normal range. But the nutritional balance necessary for good health appears to be lacking in Pakistanis' dietary habits. Senior Indian official Syeda Hameed has acknowledged that Pakistan and Bangladesh have done better than India in meeting the nutritional needs of their populations.

5. India's economy has grown more rapidly than Pakistan's in the last ten years. However, both nations have accepted and implemented significant economic reforms that have opened up their economies and brought about rapid growth, more than doubling the size of each economy in the last ten years.

Dr. Husain's paper went on to talk about the common failures of the two countries in their first fifty years as follows:

The relatively inward-looking economic policies and high protection to domestic industry did not allow them to reap the benefits of integration with the fast-expanding and much larger world economy. This has changed particularly since 1991 but the control mind-set of the politicians and the bureaucrats has not changed. The centrally planned allocation of resources and "license raj" has given rise to an inefficient private sector that thrive more on contacts, bribes, loans from public financial institutions, lobbying, tax evasion and rent-seeking rather than on competitive behavior. Unless both the control mind-set of the government and the parasitic behavior of the private industrial entrepreneurs do not change drastically, the potential of an efficient economy would be hard to achieve. This can be accomplished by promoting domestic and international competition, reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers and removing constraints to entry for newcomers.

The weaknesses in governance in the legal and judicial system, poor enforcement of private property rights and contracts, preponderance of discretionary government rules and regulations and lack of transparency in decision making act as brakes on broad-based participation and sharing of benefits by the majority of the population.

In terms of fiscal management, the record of both the countries is less than stellar. Higher fiscal deficits averaging 7-8 percent of GDP have persisted for fairly long periods of time and crowded out private capital formation through large domestic borrowing. Defense expenditures and internal debt servicing continue to pre-empt large proportion of tax revenues with adverse consequences for maintenance and expansion of physical infrastructure, basic social services and other essential services that only the government can provide. The congested urban services such as water, electricity, transport in both countries are a potential source of social upheaval.

The state of financial sector in both countries is plagued with serious ills. The nationalization of commercial banking services, the neglect of credit quality in allocation decisions, lack of competition and inadequate prudential regulations and supervision have put the system under severe pressure and increased the share of non-performing assets in the banks’ portfolio. The financial intermediation role in mobilizing and efficiently allocating domestic savings has been seriously compromised and the banking system is fragile. Both countries are now taking steps to liberalize the financial sector and open it up to competition from foreign banks as well as private banks.


Here is the update on the areas of common failures of India and Pakistan:

Though the level of globalization of the two nations remains well below China's, both India and Pakistan have made significant strides in this direction. In Pakistan, exports account for less than 15% of gross domestic product, compared with about 25% in India and 40% in China, according former Musharraf economic adviser Salman Shah. The policy changes in both nations have also opened up greater FDI inflows, though Pakistan's FDI has declined in the last two years due to security perceptions, after several years of strong FDI inflows, particularly in banking, telecommunications, real estate and oil and gas sectors.

Both countries continue to run large budget deficits. India's fiscal deficit for 2008-2009 stood at 6.5 percent of gdp and it is rising, according to Bloomberg. Pakistan has said its fiscal deficit will widen to as much as 4.9% of gross domestic product in 2009-2010, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The banking sectors in both nations have seen major improvements in delivery of new services. India and Pakistan have ranked 31 and 34 respectively, out of 52 countries in the World Economic Forum's first Financial Development Report. Both nations are ranked ahead of the Russian Federation (35), Indonesia (38), Turkey (39), Poland (41), Brazil (40), Philippines (48) and Kazakhstan (45).

Consumer and commercial credit availability and retail services have improved in the last ten years. Microfinance sectors are now well established in South Asia, helping fight poverty, and empowering women economically.

Both nations are suffering from poor governance resulting in lack of responsiveness to the basic needs of the vast majority of their people. In fact, the latest Human Development Report for 2009 shows that both major South Asian nations have slipped further down relative to other regions of the world. Pakistan's HDI ranking dropped 3 places from 138 last year to 141 this year, and India slipped six places from 128 in 2008 to 134 this year.

The level of urbanization in Pakistan is now the highest in South Asia, and its urban population is likely to equal its rural population by 2030, according to a report titled ‘Life in the City: Pakistan in Focus’, released by the United Nations Population Fund. Pakistan ranks 163 and India at 174 on a list of over 200 countries compiled by Nationmaster. The urban population now contributes about three quarters of Pakistan's gross domestic product and almost all of the government revenue. The industrial sector contributes over 27% of the GDP, higher than the 19% contributed by agriculture, with services accounting for the rest of the GDP.



The increasing urbanization has had the effect of defusing the "population bomb" in Pakistan. With increasing urbanization, Pakistan's population growth rate has declined from 2.17% in 2000 to 1.9% in 2008. Based on PAI Research Commentary by Karen Hardee and Elizabeth Leahy, the total fertility rate (TFR) in Pakistan is still the highest in South Asia at 4.1 children per woman. Women in urban areas have an average of 3.3 children compared to their rural counterparts, who have an average of 4.5 children. The overall fertility rate has been cut in half from about 8 children per woman in 1960s to about 4 this decade, according to a study published in 2009.

Third, Dr. Husain turned his attention to the areas where India surpassed Pakistan:

There is little doubt that the scientific and technological manpower and research and development institutions in India are far superior and can match those of the western institutions. The real breakthrough in the Indian export of software after the opening up of the economy in 1991 attests to the validity of the proposition that human capital formation accompanied by market-friendly economic policies can lift the developing countries out of low-level equilibrium trap.

Indian scientists working in India excel in the areas of defense technology, space research, electronics and avionics, genetics, telecommunications, etc. The number of Ph.Ds produced by India in science and engineering every year -- about 5,000 -- is higher than the entire stock of Ph.Ds in Pakistan. The premier research institutions in Pakistan started about the same time as India have become hotbed of internal bickerings and rivalries rather than generator of ideas, processes and products.

Related to this superior performance in the field of scientific research and technological development is the better record of investment in education by India. The adult literacy rate, female literacy rate, gross enrollment ratios at all levels, and education index of India have moved way ahead of Pakistan. Rapid decline in total fertility rates in India has reduced population growth rate to 1.8 percent compared to 3.0 percent for Pakistan.

Health access to the population and infant mortality rates are also better in India and thus the overall picture of social indicators, although not very impressive by international standards, emerges more favorable. The two most important determinants of Pakistan’s dismal performance in social development are its inability to control population growth and the lack of willingness to educate girls in the rural areas.


Here's the update on areas where India was ahead of Pakistan ten years ago:

In response to the growing concerns about the nation lagging in higher education achievement, Pakistan launched Higher Education Reform led by Dr. Ata ur Rahman, adviser to President Musharraf in 2002. This reform resulted in over fivefold increase in public funding for universities, with a special emphasis on science, technology and engineering. The reform supported initiatives such as a free national digital library and high-speed Internet access for universities as well as new scholarships enabling more than 2,000 students to study abroad for PhDs — with incentives to return to Pakistan afterward. The years of reform have coincided with increases in the number of Pakistani authors publishing in research journals, especially in mathematics and engineering, as well as boosting the impact of their research outside Pakistan.



Although India has about 270 million illiterate adults, India's overall literacy rate is better than Pakistan's. Pakistan's population of illiterate adults is estimated at 47 million, fourth largest after India's 270 million, China's 71 million, Bangladesh's 49 million, according to the latest UNESCO Education For All report for 2010.



But India remains significantly ahead of Pakistan in higher education, with six universities, mostly IITs, ranked among the top 400 universities of the world versus only one from Pakistan, National University of Science and Technology(NUST) ranked at 350, up from 375 last year. Replication of NUST campuses, like the IIT campuses in India, can help spawn more highly rated institutions of higher learning near major cities in Pakistan.



Pakistan's information technology industry is quite young. It is in very early stages of development compared to the much older and bigger Indian IT industry, which had a significant headstart of at least a decade over Pakistan. During the lost decade of the 1990s under Bhutto and Sharif governments, Pakistani economy stagnated and its IT industry did not make any headway. However, the industry has grown at 40% CAGR during the 2001-2007, and it is estimated at $2.8 billion as of last year, with about half of it coming from exports. This pales in comparison to over $5 billion revenue a year reported by India's Tata Consulting alone.

India's literacy rate of 61% is well ahead of Pakistan's 50% rate. In higher education, six Indian universities have made the list of the top 400 universities published by Times Higher Education Supplement this year. Only one Pakistani university was considered worthy of such honor.

Pakistan has consistently scored lower on the HDI sub-index on education than its overall HDI index. It is obvious from the UNDP report and other sources that Pakistan's dismal record in enrolling and educating its young people, particularly girls, stands in the way of any significant positive development in the nation. The recent announcement of a new education policy that calls for more than doubling the education spending from about 3% to 7% of GDP is a step in the right direction. However, money alone will not solve the deep-seated problems of poor access to education, rampant corruption and the ghost schools that only exist on paper, that have simply lined the pockets of corrupt politicians and officials. Any additional money allocated must be part of a broader push for transparent and effective delivery of useful education to save the people from the curses of poverty, ignorance and extremism which are seriously hurting the nation.

A basic indicator of healthcare is access to physicians. There are 80 doctors per 100,000 population in Pakistan versus 60 in India, according to the World Health Organization. For comparison with the developed world, the US and Europe have over 250 physicians per 100,000 people. UNDP recently reported that life expectancy at birth in Pakistan is 66.2 years versus India's 63.4 years.

Access to healhcare in South Asia, particularly due to the wide gender gap, presents a huge challenge, and it requires greater focus to ensure improvement in human resources. Though the life expectancy has increased to 66.2 years in Pakistan and 63.4 years in India, it is still low relative to the rest of the world. The infant mortality rate remains stubbornly high, particular in Pakistan, though it has come down down from 76 per 1000 live births in 2003 to 65 in 2009. With 320 mothers dying per 100,000 live births in Pakistan and 450 in India, the maternal mortality rate in South Asia is very high, according to UNICEF.

Finally, Dr. Hussain addressed areas where he thought Pakistan was ahead of India fifty years after independence as follows:

The economic growth rate of Pakistan has been consistently higher than India. Starting from almost the same level or slightly lower level in 1947, Pakistan’s per capita income today in US nominal dollar terms is one-third higher (430 versus 320) and in purchasing parity dollar terms is two-third higher (2,310 versus 1,280). The latter suggests that the average Pakistani has enjoyed better living standards and consumption levels in the past but the gap may be narrowing since early 1990s. Had the population growth rate in Pakistan been slower and equaled that of India, this gap would have been much wider and the per capita income in Pakistan today would have been twice as high and the incidence of poverty further down.

Although both India and Pakistan have pursued inward-looking strategies, the anti-export bias in case of Pakistan has been comparably lower and the integration with the world market faster. The trade-GDP ratio in PPP terms is twice that of all South Asian countries. Pakistan’s export growth has been stronger and the composition of exports has shifted from primary to manufactured goods; albeit the dominance of cotton-based products has enhanced its vulnerability.

Domestic investment rates in Pakistan have remained much below those of India over the entire span primarily due to the relatively higher domestic savings rates in the latter. But the efficiency of investment as measured by the aggregate incremental capital-output ratio or total factor productivity has been higher in case of Pakistan and, to some extent, compensated the lower quantity of investment.


Here's the update on the above assessment:

Although Pakistan's economy has more than doubled in the last decade, the nation's economic growth has been slower than India's since the 1990s. Since 2008, Pakistan's economy has, in the words of the Economist, returned to the "bad old days" of the lost decade of 1990s. According to Economic Survey 2008-09, presented by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Pakistan's economy grew by a mere 2.0 percent, barely keeping pace with population growth. The growth fell significantly short of the 4.5 percent target for the year, which was already very modest compared with an average of 7% economic growth witnessed from 2001-2008.

While it lags behind China, India now exports a larger percentage of its GDP than Pakistan. In Pakistan, exports account for less than 15% of gross domestic product, compared with about 25% in India and 40% in China, according former Musharraf economic adviser Salman Shah.

At 30% of GDP, Indians continue to save twice as much as Pakistanis who save about 15%. Indians' private savings provide a much larger pool for domestic investments than the much smaller private savings in Pakistan.

Let me conclude with an excerpt from a British writer William Dalrymple's article, published on 14 August, 2007 in The Guardian:

"On the ground, of course, the reality is different and first-time visitors to Pakistan are almost always surprised by the country's visible prosperity. There is far less poverty on show in Pakistan than in India, fewer beggars, and much less desperation. In many ways the infrastructure of Pakistan is much more advanced: there are better roads and airports, and more reliable electricity. Middle-class Pakistani houses are often bigger and better appointed than their equivalents in India.



Moreover, the Pakistani economy is undergoing a construction and consumer boom similar to India's, with growth rates of 7%, and what is currently the fastest-rising stock market in Asia. You can see the effects everywhere: in new shopping centers and restaurant complexes, in the hoardings for the latest laptops and iPods, in the cranes and building sites, in the endless stores selling mobile phones: in 2003 the country had fewer than three million cellphone users; today there are almost 50 million."


A familiar yardstick often used to measure progress of a nation is its energy consumption. Per capita energy consumption in Pakistan is estimated at 14.2 million Btu, which is much higher than Bangladesh's 5 million BTUs per capita but slightly less than India's 15.9 million BTU per capita energy consumption. However, South Asia's per capita energy consumption is only a fraction of other industrializing economies in Asia region such as China (56.2 million BTU), Thailand (58 million BTU) and Malaysia (104 million BTU), according to the US Dept of Energy 2006 report. To put it in perspective, the world average per capita energy use is about 65 million BTUs and the average American consumes 352 million BTUs. With 40% of the Pakistani households that have yet to receive electricity, and only 18% of the households that have access to pipeline gas, the energy sector is expected to play a critical role in economic and social development. With this growth comes higher energy consumption and stronger pressures on the country’s energy resources. At present, natural gas and oil supply the bulk (80 percent) of Pakistan’s energy needs. However, the consumption of those energy sources vastly exceeds the supply. For instance, Pakistan currently produces only 18.3 percent of the oil it consumes, fostering a dependency on imports that places considerable strain on the country’s financial position. On the other hand, hydro and coal are perhaps underutilized today, as Pakistan has ample potential supplies of both.

Pakistan's KSE-100 stock index surged 55% in 2009, a year that also saw the South Asian nation wracked by increased violence and its state institutions described by various media talking heads as being on the verge of collapse. Even more surprising is the whopping 825% increase in KSE-100 from 1999 to 2009, which makes it a significantly better performer than the BRIC nations. BRIC darling China has actually underperformed its peers, rising only 150 percent compared with energy-rich Brazil (520 percent) and Russia (326 percent) or well-regulated India (274 percent), which some investors see as a safer and more diverse bet compared with the Chinese equity market, which is dominated by bank stocks.





Summary:

Goldman Sachs report on "BRIC" and "Next 11" projects that India will be the fourth largest economy in the world by 2025. Goldman also forecasts Pakistan's rank moving up from the 26th largest now to the 18th largest economy in the world by 2025. If the deteriorating security situation and current economic slump in Pakistan are not contained and managed properly, there is a strong chance that Pakistan would be left significantly behind India at the time of the next update of this comparison in 2020. However, Pakistan is just too big to fail. In spite of all of the serious problems it faces today, I remain optimistic that country will not only survive but thrive in the coming decades. With a fairly large educated urban middle class, vibrant media, active civil society, assertive judiciary, many philanthropic organizations, and a spirit of entrepreneurship, the nation has the necessary ingredients to overcome its current difficulties to build a strong economy with a democratic government accountable to its people.

Here are some more recent comparative indicators:

One out of every three illiterate adults in the world is an Indian, according to UNESCO. Pakistan stands fourth in the world in terms of illiterate adult population, after India, China and Bangladesh.

One out of very two hungry persons in the world is an Indian, according to World Food Program. Pakistan fares significantly better than India on the hunger front.

Poverty:

Population living under $1.25 a day - India: 41.6% Pakistan: 22.6% Source: UNDP

The reason for higher levels of poverty in India in spite of its rapid economic growth is the growing rich-poor disparity. Gini index measuring rich-poor gap for India is at 36, higher than Pakistan's 30. Gini index is defined as a ratio with values between 0 and 100: A low Gini index indicates more equal income or wealth distribution, while a high Gini index indicates more unequal distribution. Zero corresponds to perfect equality (everyone having exactly the same income) and 100 corresponds to perfect inequality (where one person has all the income, while everyone else has zero income).

Nutrition:

Underweight Children Under Five (in percent) Pakistan 38% India 46% Source: UNICEF

Health:

Life expectancy at birth (years), 2007 India: 63.4 Pakistan: 66.2 Source: HDR2009

Education:

Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2000 to 2007, male Pakistan: 80% India 87% Source: UNICEF

Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2000 to 2007, female Pakistan 60% India 77% Source: UNICEF

Economics:

GDP per capita (US$), 2008 Pak:$1000-1022 India $1017-1100

Child Protection:

Child marriage under 15-years ; 1998–2007*, total Pakistan - 32% India - 47% Source: UNICEF

Under-5 mortality rate per 1000 live births (2007), Value Pakistan - 90 India 72 Source: UNICEF

Here is the summary of a 2011 Update of this article:

Pakistan has created more jobs, graduated more people from schools and colleges, built a larger middle class and lifted more people out of poverty as percentage of its population than India in the last decade. And Pakistan has done so in spite of the huge challenges posed by the war in Afghanistan and a very violent insurgency at home.

The above summary is based on volumes of recently released reports and data on job creation, education, middle class size, public hygiene, poverty and hunger over the last decade that offer new surprising insights into the lives of ordinary people in two South Asian countries. It adds to my previous post on this blog titled "India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010".


Please read more at http://www.riazhaq.com/2011/10/india-and-pakistan-comparison-update.html

Here's a video clip of British Writer William Dalrymple comparing in India and Pakistan:



Here's another video clip from Intelligence Squared debate about Pakistan:



Here's recent video of Prof Jayati Ghosh of Nehru University debunking the myth of the "Indian Miracle":




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Explore the World--Gapminder.org

The India You May Not Know

Pakistan's Foreign Visitors Pleasantly Surprised

Escape From India

Reflections on India

After Partition: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

The "Poor" Neighbor by William Dalrymple

Pakistan's Modern Infrastructure

Video: Who Says Pakistan Is a Failed State?

India Worse Than Pakistan, Bangladesh on Nutrition

UNDP Reports Pakistan Poverty Declined to 17 Percent

Pakistan's Choice: Talibanization or Globalization

Pakistan's Financial Services Sector

Pakistan's Decade 1999-2009

South Asia Slipping in Human Development

Asia Gains in Top Asian Universities

Pakistan's Multi-Billion Dollar IT Industry

India-Pakistan Military Comparison

ITU Internet Access Data by Countries

Food, Clothing and Shelter in India and Pakistan

Pakistan Energy Crisis

314 comments:

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mohan said...

Personal opnions of people can differ. But, the opinion of an organisation or an institution is what matters. There could be people in the CIA, who has got both good and bad opnions about India, but that cannot not be in the report that they publish. A person in CIA who has got bad opnions may be writing the same in his blogs, let him do it. But he cannot publish as the CIA report.

I havent seen any responsible or respectable organisation saying India is an underdeveloped country or its a failed state. What they say is it is a developing country with a serious socio-economic problem. I usually listen only to such organisations or people talking on behalf of it.

They also agree that we are on track in alleviating it:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/India-on-track-to-meet-poverty-reduction-goal-World-Bank/articleshow/5850202.cms

India and Pakistan was together as a nation for thousands of years and also under British Rule. According to the nature and duration of the British Raj, some parts of India were relatively poorer than the others. But there were also regions like Kerala which had a high literacy(now ~100%) literacy, a much advanced social set up like its health care system is is comparable to the developed world. So what became Pakistan was better than the poorer regions in India but lesser than states like Kerala. Thus it had a better initial start, as it inherited something above the average in undivided India. Getting colonized is like getting burned, parts in which there deep wounds will recover, but slowly.

However, as of now (thanks to your clown like Politicians and the Great Dictators) it Lags behind India is several respects and the gap is widening fast, though it had better perfomance than India before the 1990s. These days, everyone agree that India is growing fast, and pakistan stands is in the middle of nowhere. The main reason: though our politicians steal, but, they dont swallow the treasury: like your leaders.

Riaz Haq said...

Mohan: "Personal opnions of people can differ. But, the opinion of an organisation or an institution is what matters... But he cannot publish as the CIA report."

I have never heard anyone describe CIA as neutral and objective. But if you insist, let me quote a British govt report that says "India is condemning another generation to brain damage, poor education and early death by failing to meet its targets for tackling the malnutrition that affects almost half of its children", according to The Times.

The Times story goes on to say, "In 2001, India committed to the UN Millennium Development Goal of halving its number of hungry by 2015. China has already met its target. India, though, will not meet its goal until 2043, based on its current rate of progress, the IDS report concluded.

“It’s the contrast between India’s fantastic economic growth and its persistent malnutrition which is so shocking,” Lawrence Haddad, director of the IDS, told The Times. He said that an average of 6,000 children died every day in India; 2,000-3,000 of them from malnutrition."

IFPRI, OPHI and others are not individuals but organizations. And these organizations have reports saying India is worse off than not only Pakistan, but Indians are also worse off than the poorest of the poor sub-Saharan Africans.

WHO and UNICEF, both organizations, have documented that the health and hygiene situation in India is much worse off than in Pakistan.

Members of India's own planning commission describe poverty and hunger situation in India to be "worse than Pakistan and Bangladesh".

Looking at all these reports from multiple independent organization, one can only conclude that India is more "impoverished and underdeveloped" than Pakistan.

As to the "failed state" nonsense, the organization that says that also admits that its assessment is based on media reports and coverage (dominated by western media) which has been one-dimensional and largely negative for Pakistan.

Judging objectively in terms of providing basic services and territorial control, India is as failed a state as Pakistan, if not more so.

Mohan said...

In my previous responses, I have admitted that there is poverty in India, and its level could be higher than in Pakistan. Any way it is not rising, and if its magnitude changes, chances are that it is decreasing. The reference that I forwarded you is most recent and published in a good Indian news paper. The economic times dosent need to please anybody, they write what they think to be true. And please dont refer Blogs or a kind of blah blah websites.

The whole point that I made in my arguments is that India and Pakistan can be compared only in its negative sides and on positive sides, Pakistan is decades behind.

CIA. May be its biased, but I dont think they waste time in defaming Pakistan, as Pakistan is not important in world affairs. It is not a concern to the world as Technological, economic, or a political power. Also nobody see it as an upcomming Superpower, or even a *dominant* regional power.

Then British news papers have a bias aganist India. BBC is one of the most anti-Indian organisation in the world. Then there is a reason for it, which I dont like to say. I dont think they are fair with Pakistan either. Or, whatever once called India. Compare the very same India in British and German news papers.

Why do you Say the Idea of Failed state is nonsense ? The criteria in ranking the countried as failed state are fairly resonable. And Pakistan qualifies all those criteria. Its not like a blackbox telling "Pakistan is a failed state".

I would like to hear from you why the Idea of a failed state is a nonsense.

Riaz Haq said...

Mohan:" The whole point that I made in my arguments is that India and Pakistan can be compared only in its negative sides and on positive sides, Pakistan is decades behind."

On the one hand, you want to talk about Pakistan as a failed state. But when I explain to you Indian state's monumental failues in delivering basic services to its people, you want to change the discussion.

No matter how you spin it, it's hard to gey away from the stark realities of failed state India, some of which are:

1. Indians constitute the world's largest population of poor, hungry, illiterate and sick people, acording to varous UN agncies.

2. Over 7000 Indians starve to death every single day, and 200 million of them go to bed hungry each night, according to Bhookh.com. The situaion is much better in Pakistan, acording to World Hnger Index published by IFPRI.

3. Two-thirds of Indians (vs one-third of Pakistanis) defecate in the opn, according to joint study by UNICEF and WHO.

4. Over 17000 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2009 alone, according to Indian govt data. There are ZERO reports of farmers' suicides in Pakistan.

5. Little children in India are eating mud to fill their stomachs that is making them saick, according to the BBC. There are no such reports from Pakistan.

6. Indian state does not exist in vast swathes of the land, according to Prof Chhibber of UC Berkeley. It has no control of over 25% of Indian territory where Maoists rule.

Whatever little positives you can offer are easily overwhelmed by the torrent of bad news about how 75% of common Indians (vs 60% of Pakistanis) barely survive on less than $2 a day.

Anonymous said...

A Lovely Piece


A worldwide survey was conducted by the! UN.

The only question asked was: "Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a huge failure, In Africa they didn't know what 'food' meant, In India they didn't know what 'honest' meant,

In Europe they didn't know what 'shortage' meant, In China they didn't know what ' opinion' meant,

In the Middle East they didn't know what 'solution' meant, In South America they didn't know what 'please' meant,

And in the USA they didn't know what 'the rest of the world' meant!

Mohan said...

I told you several times that I admit that there are poor people in India and may be the percentages are higher than in Pakistan. I never tried to prove that there is no poverty in India, or it is not a big problem.


>> Indians constitute the world's largest population of poor, hungry, illiterate and sick people, acording to varous UN agncies.

Just because we are more in number. Just think there are more people in China than in entire Pakistani population who are exteremely poor. So is Pakistan better than China ?

>> Over 7000 Indians starve to death every single day, and 200 million of them go to bed hungry each night, according to Bhookh.com. The situaion is much better in Pakistan, acording to World Hnger Index published by IFPRI.

Every one in Pakistan eat two plates of Biriyani nd drink three glasses of buffallo milk before they go to bed, according to a report published by ISI.

>> 3. Two-thirds of Indians (vs one-third of Pakistanis) defecate in the opn, according to joint study by UNICEF and WHO.

Two-thirds vs one-third that is why I said the negative sides of these two nations are qualititively similar comparing these are of no use. Then I dont understand whats wrong with open air, especially in rural areas. I myself have done it especially as a kid, though we have enough toilets.
I have seen UN officials come in India every morning and counting how many piles of shit are there.



>> Over 17000 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2009 alone, according to Indian govt data. There are ZERO reports of farmers' suicides in Pakistan.

Thats a real problem,. May be it is not reported because, it may not be a news in Pakistan. I know Farmers going to jail in US after a few grains of "patented" wheat being detected in their agricultural machinary. That also dosent happened or reported in Pakistan.. rt ? May be Pakistan better than US.


>> Little children in India are eating mud to fill their stomachs that is making them saick, according to the BBC. There are no such reports from Pakistan.

May be the B**** Broadcasting Corpration found a bit more "funny" thing there. Anyway they showed children drinking a lot flood water in Pakistan few months back. You search in the internet they have even more interesting videos about India. There is one nice video of Indians eating rats.

>> Indian state does not exist in vast swathes of the land, according to Prof Chhibber of UC Berkeley. It has no control of over 25% of Indian territory where Maoists rule.

Good job, you found such a professor, there are even worse professors, I know these community very well, I will also be a Proffesorrrrrr some day not far from now. Then, I dont understand what do you mean by "ruling".

>>Whatever little positives you can offer are easily overwhelmed by the torrent of bad news about how 75% of common Indians (vs 60% of Pakistanis) barely survive on less than $2 a day.

That is where you are entirely wrong. Every developed country that you see today had a past like India. They overcome that stituation, by adding up these little positives, and it was not like on a fine morning a fairy whirled a magic wand and blessed with all that you see today. Thats why these little positives are so Important. While they were overcomming those, India was colonized, and now, I belive that we have made a good start.

Answer to my question. I asked you if Pakistan is classified as a failed state why that is nonsense ? [Not your *personal opnion*, personally I also dont belive Pakistan is a failed state, I have my own arguments about it, but that dosent count as long as we are common people, we argue here on the basis of known facts and data].

Answer to this question is not trying to prove India is a failed state with your data and calculation. The people who classify countries surely have better data and they know better math than you.

Mohammad said...

Is India in coma? asks Mohan Murti in an Op ED the Hindu:

A few days ago I was in a panel discussion on mergers and acquisitions in Frankfurt, Germany, organised by Euroforum and The Handelsblatt, one of the most prestigious newspapers in German-speaking Europe.

The other panellists were senior officials of two of the largest carmakers and two top insurance companies — all German multinationals operating in India.
----

European disquiet

Questions ranged from “Is your nation in a coma?”, the corruption in judiciary, the possible impeachment of a judge, the 2G scam and to the money parked illegally in tax havens.

It is a fact that the problem of corruption in India has assumed enormous and embarrassing proportions in recent years, although it has been with us for decades. The questions and the debate that followed in the panel discussion was indicative of the European disquiet. At the end of the Q&A session, I surmised Europeans perceive India to be at one of those junctures where tripping over the precipice cannot be ruled out.
--------
In a popular prime-time television discussion in Germany, the panellist, a member of the German Parliament quoting a blog said: “If all the scams of the last five years are added up, they are likely to rival and exceed the British colonial loot of India of about a trillion dollars.”
One German business daily which wrote an editorial on India said: “India is becoming a Banana Republic instead of being an economic superpower. To get the cut motion designated out, assurances are made to political allays. Special treatment is promised at the expense of the people. So, Ms Mayawati who is Chief Minister of the most densely inhabited state, is calmed when an intelligence agency probe is scrapped. The multi-million dollars fodder scam by another former chief minister wielding enormous power is put in cold storage. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chairs over this kind of unparalleled loot.”

An article in a French newspaper titled “Playing the Game, Indian Style” wrote: “Investigations into the shadowy financial deals of the Indian cricket league have revealed a web of transactions across tax havens like Switzerland, the Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Cyprus.” In the same article, the name of one Hassan Ali of Pune is mentioned as operating with his wife a one-billion-dollar illegal Swiss account with “sanction of the Indian regime”.

A third story narrated in the damaging article is that of the former chief minister of Jharkhand, Madhu Koda, who was reported to have funds in various tax havens that were partly used to buy mines in Liberia. “Unfortunately, the Indian public do not know the status of that enquiry,” the article concluded.

“In the nastiest business scam in Indian records (Satyam) the government adroitly covered up the political aspects of the swindle — predominantly involving real estate,” wrote an Austrian newspaper. “If the Indian Prime Minister knows nothing about these scandals, he is ignorant of ground realities and does not deserve to be Prime Minister. If he does, is he a collaborator in crime?”

The Telegraph of the UK reported the 2G scam saying: “Naturally, India's elephantine legal system will ensure culpability, is delayed.”

Blinded by wealth

This seems true. In the European mind, caricature of a typical Indian encompasses qualities of falsification, telling lies, being fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, arrogant, boastful, speaking loudly and bothering others in public places or, while travelling, swindling when the slightest of opportunity arises and spreading rumours about others. The list is truly incessant.
-----------
Europeans believe that Indian leaders in politics and business are so blissfully blinded by the new, sometimes ill-gotten, wealth and deceit that they are living in defiance, insolence and denial to comprehend that the day will come, sooner than later, when the have-nots would hit the streets..

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece published in the Guardian on the need to help the poor in "middle income countries" like India and Pakistan:

One little noticed story of 2010 was that five more developing countries officially lost their "poor" status.

When the World Bank carried out its annual reclassification in July, Senegal, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen all graduated to middle-income status – countries that have reached the $1,000 (£644) or so GDP threshold.

Taken by themselves, not big news perhaps, but add to that 22 other countries which, since 2000, are no longer considered officially poor, then a quite profound global change is under way: in short, most of the world's poor no longer live in "poor" countries.

China was upgraded in 2001 (based on 1999 data) and India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Indonesia are among the other states that have become middle-income countries (MICs). Only 39 states are still considered to be low-income countries (LICs).

As we enter 2011, it is likely that more will follow. Ghana, for example, looks set to graduate in 2011, particularly in light of its new GDP figures unveiled last month. The country will join Senegal, Cameroon, Angola and Sudan, which are among the growing number of African MICs.

On the other hand, given the lingering reverberations of the global economic crisis, there is also a risk that some countries might drop back under the threshold, slipping once again into low-income status. Pakistan or the Ivory Coast might have cause for concern in 2011, for example.

On the whole, this is a good news story, but with an underside. Yes, there are fewer poor countries but poverty remains high in terms of absolute numbers in the MICs.

The news raises some pressing and difficult questions for aid and development policy. As developing countries get wealthier and are reclassified, many are still characterised by persistently high levels of poverty. Indeed, roughly three-quarters of the world's poor now live in MICs – 960 million, or a new "bottom billion". And this isn't just about China and India. Even if they are removed from the equation, the share of the world's poor living in MICs has still tripled since 1990.

In light of the above, how should global poverty reduction be done differently in 2011?

First, the LIC/MIC binary: If the focus is poor people not poor countries then the LIC/MIC way of looking at the world needs a rethink. The new UN multidimensional poverty measure might be one alternative tool. But there are many others.

Second, the end of aid and the equity elephant: overseas development assistance (ODA) is becoming less important and equity more important. More equitable countries reduce poverty faster, and stubborn asset, gender or identity inequality (ie caste systems) might begin to explain persistent poverty amid wealth in the new MICs. This entails some thinking on what ODA is for. Any attempt to discuss inequality will be viewed as an infringement on political sovereignty but is domestic inequality solely a domestic issue if it hinders the effectiveness of aid?

And could there be a case for a new multilateralism based on putting resources from donors and new MICs together? Keep an eye out in 2011: the fact that the world's poor are increasingly found in MICs has the power to shake up the entire aid and development industry.

Riaz Haq said...

Chandran Nair argues in his book "Consumptionomics" that the Asians need to rethink the whole idea of western-style consumer-driven capitalism to ensure a better, more sustainable future for their massive population.

Here are some excepts from Financial Times review of the book "Consumptionomics: Asia’s Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet":

, -- Life might not be as much fun in his world as it is for the lucky ones who become wealthy under liberal capitalism. “Golf and car racing might be out but badminton and social dancing are more popular,” he suggests in his vision of leisure time in a Nairian society. But the benefits of development would be spread more widely, damage to the earth’s resources would be controlled and people would probably spend less time working.

Nair’s starting point is that the world simply cannot survive the consequences of the growth of highly populous Asian economies to levels of development reached by industrialised countries if that is to be achieved on the same resource-guzzling terms as western development.
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Throughout the book, Nair evinces an angry disdain for western-style capitalism, which he regards as setting the world on a path to destruction by its devotion to the ideology of markets and its voracious appetite for finite resources. He’s none too complimentary either about its media cheerleaders, including this newspaper.

“The biggest lie of all is that consumption-driven capitalism can deliver wealth to all,” he writes. “In Asia it can only deliver short-term wealth to a minority; in the long term, it can only deliver misery to all. This is the intellectual dishonesty at the heart of the model the west has peddled to Asia.”

Nair points to the familiar issue of energy use, saying that if Asia’s population was to use as much energy per person as Europeans do today (relatively modest compared to Americans), then it would use eight to nine times as much energy as the US currently consumes. Perhaps more startling is an estimate he uses for poultry consumption. Americans will eat 9bn birds this year, apparently. If by 2050 Asians ate the same amount per person, they would swallow more than 120bn. That’s a lot of battery chickens.

Nor is Nair impressed by arguments that technology will ultimately solve issues such as energy shortages and climate change, allowing economic growth and consumption to go on expanding. He dismisses the notion that Asia should concentrate on growth and then, when it is rich, clean up afterwards. What he demands is a radical change in the prevailing global economic model and its governance.
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But the shape of a Nairian Asia does emerge. It would be made up of strong nation-state governments willing to take unilateral action on issues such as controlling natural resource exploitation and domestic agriculture and industry. Governments would get bigger and spend more with an emphasis on sustainable infrastructure such as public transport. Carbon, natural resources and financial transactions would be taxed – possibly allowing for a reduction or elimination of payroll taxes. Agriculture would be deindustrialised, with a drive to return to labour-intensive farming to ensure sufficient output and stop mass migration to cities.

What would life be like for the individual? They would be expected to forgo owning a car, would pay high prices for meat and restaurant portions would be restricted. But income differentials would be minimised and access to the benefits of technology widely shared.

He doesn’t say it but Nair is describing a kind of Asian Norway, with the benefits of natural resources controlled and socialised to a high degree, rural communities subsidised to keep people on the land, fisheries protected, a high commitment to energy efficiency and high taxation to support high levels of social welfare.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an opinion piece by Amartya Sen published in The Hindu:

... I managed to resurrect the memory of having said in passing, in a meeting of TIE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) in Delhi in December, that it is silly to be obsessed about overtaking China in the rate of growth of Gross National Product (GNP), while not comparing ourselves with China in other respects, like education, basic health, or life expectancy. Since that one-sentence remark seems to have been interpreted in many different ways (my attention to that fact was drawn by friends who are more web-oriented than I am), I guess I should try to explain what that remark was about.
-----------
Let me look at some numbers, drawing from various sources — national as well as international, in particular World Development Reports of the World Bank and Human Development Reports of the United Nations. Life expectancy at birth in China is 73.5 years; in India it is still 64.4 years. Infant mortality rate is 50 per thousand in India, compared with just 17 in China, and the under-5 mortality rate is 66 for Indians and 19 for the Chinese. China's adult literacy rate is 94 per cent, compared with India's 65 per cent, and mean years of schooling in India is 4.4 years, compared with 7.5 years in China. In our effort to reverse the lack of schooling of girls, India's literacy rate for women between the ages of 15 and 24 has certainly risen, but it is still below 80 per cent, whereas in China it is 99 per cent. Almost half of our children are undernourished compared with a very tiny proportion in China. Only 66 per cent of Indian children are immunised with triple vaccine (DPT), as opposed to 97 per cent in China. Comparing ourselves with China in these really important matters would be a very good perspective, and they can both inspire us and give us illumination about what to do — and what not to do, particularly the glib art of doing nothing.
------
Life expectancy in Bangladesh is 66.9 years compared with India's 64.4. The proportion of underweight children in Bangladesh (41.3 per cent) is a little lower than in India (43.5), and its fertility rate (2.3) is also lower than India's (2.7). Mean years of schooling amount to 4.8 years in Bangladesh compared with India's 4.4 years. While India is ahead of Bangladesh in male literacy rate in the youthful age-group of 15-24, the female rate in Bangladesh is higher than in India. Interestingly, the female literacy rate among young Bangladeshis is actually higher than the male rate, whereas young females still do much worse than young males in India. There is much evidence to suggest that Bangladesh's current progress has much to do with the role that liberated Bangladeshi women are beginning to play in the country.

What about health, which interests every human being as much as anything else? Under-5 mortality rate is 66 in India compared with 52 in Bangladesh. In infant mortality, Bangladesh has a similar advantage, since the rate is 50 in India and 41 in Bangladesh. Whereas 94 per cent of Bangladeshi children are immunised with DPT vaccine, only 66 per cent of Indian children are. In each of these respects, Bangladesh does better than India, despite having less than half of India's per-capita income.
-------------
And perhaps more worryingly, this group of relatively privileged and increasingly prosperous Indians can easily fall for the temptation to treat economic growth as an end in itself........

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an excerpt from a Time magazine opinion piece by Hannah Beach on the status of Asian democracies:

Asia gave birth to people power in 1986, when a sea of yellow-clad demonstrators peacefully overthrew a dictator in the Philippines. Other popular uprisings against authoritarianism followed, from Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan to Mongolia and Indonesia. Watching the events unfold in the Arab world, Asia's fledgling democracies can be forgiven for indulging in a moment of nostalgia. While revolutionary zeal may have toppled the region's strongmen, however, too few of their successors have bothered to build the institutions needed to sustain democracy beyond its first flush. Democracy through revolution is heady stuff, but it's not always a template for building lasting freedom and justice.

The withered potential of people power is best examined on its home turf. This month, the Philippines will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the start of its historic uprising. Those following the events in Egypt will find many parallels. Ferdinand Marcos, a corrupt, aging, U.S.-backed dictator, was ousted by a populace that rallied, in part, thanks to technology. (Then it was radio, not Facebook or Twitter.) But a quarter-century later, with the son of people-power heroine Corazon Aquino now serving as President, the Philippines is still beset by the poverty, cronyism and nepotism that provoked the 1986 protests. (See a brief history of people power.)

These failings are not the Philippines' alone. Across Asia, elections are held, but vote buying taints the results. Politics is dominated by the same old families. Economic growth often rewards the few rather than the many. And from Malaysia and East Timor to Taiwan and Thailand, I have met local journalists who passed information on to me because they felt it was too dangerous to write about the issues themselves. Without the crucial check of a free press — or independent legislatures and courts, for that matter — democracy exists in name only.

Still, Asia also offers heartening lessons for the Arab world. There's South Korea, for instance, which overthrew a U.S.-backed military dictatorship, then carefully constructed a prosperous democracy. And then there's Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation. In 1998, after 32 years in power, strongman Suharto was forced out by massive street protests. Since then, change in Indonesia has occurred not in one cataclysmic jolt but instead through years of brick-by-brick nation building. That may not sound sexy, but it works. Indonesia has now peacefully cycled through several secular-minded leaders, and its civil society is flourishing. The country's problems are still immense: graft and poverty persist, as does sectarian conflict. But Egypt could do a lot worse than to follow the model of this moderate, Muslim-majority democracy

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from a Daily Mail story on cash-strapped UK's decision to extend $1.5 billion in aid to India:

So why has the Government just changed its mind, and decided to give £1 billion in aid to India over the next three years, making in the largest single recipient of our largesse?

At a time of cutbacks I struggle to understand the case for increasing aid even to the poorest countries. In the case of India, I find it impossible to grasp why we should think it desirable to shell out £1 billion to the fourth- largest economy in the world.

Could it be post-colonial guilt? If so, it is misplaced. When Britain left the country in 1947, India was the 12th-largest industrial power in the world, and had the most extensive railway system in Asia. It was the semi-socialist policies applied for the next 40 years that held India back until free market reforms began to transform it.
----------
Perhaps Mr Obama knows something I don’t, but I wasn’t aware that in the Twenties and Thirties the Raj employed a huge secret police force and used widespread torture.

-------
Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, denied this was a motive during an interview yesterday morning on Radio 4’s Today Programme. I hope he meant it. India will trade with us if we are able to produce goods and services which its people want to buy.

More likely, there is an outdated sense that it is our duty to disburse funds to the supposedly less fortunate — rather like an impoverished parent continuing to subsidise children who have grown much wealthier, and are more than capable of getting by on their own. I suspect that giving so much money makes us feel more important than we really are.

The decision is so apparently senseless that it is almost impossible to unravel. What makes it more senseless still is that the Indian government has signalled that it would not object if British aid were ended. There would be no hard feelings. India can look after itself. One of its senior diplomats is reported by The Times as saying: ‘We will help if you want to withdraw.’

----------

No one disputes that, despite its phenomenal growth, India still has countless millions of poor people, though many fewer than it used to have. Its population, after all, is many times greater than ours. But despite its challenges with poverty, it spends some £20 billion a year on defence, not much less than Britain, and is a nuclear power. It also splashes out about £1.5 billion a year on its space programme, a luxury which this country cannot afford.

Arguably India should be spending less on defence, and nothing on its space programme, and be diverting more funds to the alleviation of poverty. But the country is a democracy, and its government will be held to account for the decisions it makes. It is hardly our business if India wants to spend so much money on a space programme.

But surely it is madness for us to be channelling precious funds to a country which chooses to have prestige projects that are beyond our own means.
------------
It was the Tories, not the Lib Dems, who decided that international aid should not only be ‘ring-fenced’ but increased by a third to £11.5 billion by 2015 while domestic budgets, apart from the NHS, are being slashed. This was a controversial decision in view of the ineffectiveness of much development aid, not to mention the corruption that sometimes surrounds it.

India, although a democracy, is by no means corruption-free. A report by the country’s auditor general, seen by the Mail last September, revealed widespread aid abuses, including wasting money on thousands of colour televisions and computers that were never used, and several instances of fraud amounting to millions of pounds.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Telegraph India report on how the British govt is defending continuing aid to India:

London, Feb 16: The UK government today said it was making changes to its aid programme to India following popular anger that helping one of the fastest growing economies in the world is “unjustifiable”.

“From now on in India we will focus our support on three of the poorest states,” said Chris Mitchell, the international development secretary.

Bengal will be cut out for Britain considers Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar to be the poorest states.

Speaking during “International Development Questions” in the House of Commons, Mitchell was forced to respond to critics such as Tory MP Philip Davies.

“India spends 36 billion dollars a year on defence, 750 million dollars a year on a space programme, has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is developing its own overseas aid programme,” said Davies, who represents Shipley. “Many of my constituents, given that we are having to cut public expenditure in this country, will think such aid to India is now unjustifiable.” UK aid is worth £280 million a year for four years.

Mitchell said UK aid was “in transition” and added: “Our programme will change to reflect the importance of the role of the private sector and private enterprise.”

He explained: “There are more poor people in India than in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. We should focus on the poorest areas, particularly on the roles of girls and women.”

He told MPs that 60 million children had enrolled in Indian schools since 2006. “That’s a tremendous tribute to the work of the Indian government, but it would not have been possible without the intervention of British aid and support.”

Some MPs spoke up for the need to continue with the aid, among them Labour’s Barry Gardiner whose constituency of Brent North in north London has many people of Gujarati origin. He argued the help was “vital” and told the Commons a quarter of the world’s poorest people lived in India.

The children’s charity body Plan International also defended British aid to India.

“The fact that eight Indian states account for more poor people than in 26 of Africa’s poorest countries combined shows there’s a need for aid in India,” its head of advocacy Adam Short said.

“In spite of its economic successes, India is home to 421 million poor people. We work with more than a million children in the country’s least developed communities. Through our work on child welfare, education and health, we know how vitally important it is to ensure aid reaches the most marginalised children and communities.”

Marxist economist Lord Meghnad Desai could be relied upon to take a distinctive line.

In an interview to The Telegraph, Desai said: “The truth is India does not need the money but the experts at DFID (Department for International Development) are better at getting through to the health and educational sectors than the government of India.”

“It is a criticism of the government of India that it cannot manage to do in its own backyards what other people can do. It should commission DFID to do the work and pay them for it.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times story on how Azim Premji's foundation is helping improve primary education in India:

PANTNAGAR, India — The Nagla elementary school in this north Indian town looks like many other rundown government schools. Sweater-clad children sit on burlap sheets laid in rows on cold concrete floors. Lunch is prepared out back on a fire of burning twigs and branches.

But the classrooms of Nagla are a laboratory for an educational approach unusual for an Indian public school. Rather than being drilled and tested on reproducing passages from textbooks, students write their own stories. And they pursue independent projects — as when fifth-grade students recently interviewed organizers of religious festivals and then made written and oral presentations.

That might seem commonplace in American or European schools. But such activities are revolutionary in India, where public school students have long been drilled on memorizing facts and regurgitating them in stressful year-end exams that many children fail.

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Outside of India, many may consider the country a wellspring of highly educated professionals, thanks to the many doctors and engineers who have moved to the West. And the legions of bright, English-speaking call-center employees may seem to represent, to many Western consumers, the cheerful voice of modern India.

But within India, there is widespread recognition that the country has not invested enough in education, especially at the primary and secondary levels.

In the last five years, government spending on education has risen sharply — to $83 billion last year, up from less than half that level before. Schools now offer free lunches, which has helped raise enrollments to more than 90 percent of children.

But most Indian schools still perform poorly. Barely half of fifth-grade students can read simple texts in their language of study, according to a survey of 13,000 rural schools by Pratham, a nonprofit education group. And only about one-third of fifth graders can perform simple division problems in arithmetic. Most students drop out before they reach the 10th grade.
-----------
Narayana Murthy, a friend of Mr. Premji and chairman of Infosys, a company that competes with Wipro, said he admired the Premji Foundation’s work but worried it would be undermined by the way India administers its schools.

“While I salute Azim for what he is doing,” Mr. Murthy said, “in order to reap the dividends of that munificence and good work, we have to improve our governance.”

Mr. Premji says his foundation would be willing to work with private schools. But he argues that government schools need help more because they are often the last or only resort for India’s poorest and least educated families.

Mr. Premji, whose bright white hair distinguishes him in a crowd, comes from a relatively privileged background. He studied at a Jesuit school, St. Mary’s, in Mumbai and earned an electrical engineering degree at Stanford.

At 21, when his father died, Mr. Premji took over his family’s cooking oil business, then known as Western Indian Vegetable Product. He steered the company into information technology and Wipro — whose services include writing software and managing computer systems — now employs more than 100,000 people. He remains Wipro’s largest shareholder.
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After visitors left a classroom at Nagla school, an instructor began leading more than 50 fifth-grade students in a purely rote English lesson, instructing the students to repeat simple phrases: Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Good night. The children loudly chanted them back in unison.
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Underfunding is pervasive in the district. But so are glimmers of the educational benefits that might come through efforts like the Premji Foundation’s.
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Riaz Haq said...

A quick comparison of the figures from Pakistan Center for Philanthropy and Bain and Co confirms the fact that the rich in India are only half as philanthropic as their Pakistani counterparts.

Here's an excerpt from a report by Arpan Seth of Bain:

In 2006, India’s giving totaled close to $5 billion. That would translate into $7.5 billion in 2009 based on gross domestic product (GDP) figures if the rate of giving remained steady. According to Bain analysis, philanthropic donations
would amount to 0.6 percent of India’s GDP. In Brazil, the rate of giving is 0.3 percent and in China, just one-tenth of 1 percent, so we are faring well when
compared with other emerging nations. But this is cold comfort given the enormous needs of the poor and disadvantaged in India."

The fact is that the lack of philanthropy by the rich in India is common knowledge, and it has come under criticism in the media recently.

Here's an excerpt from a recent news story in London's Daily Telegraph:

"Azim Premji, the founder of Wipro, a software and call centre to cooking oil empire, is India's second wealthiest man, and one of the world's richest 50 tycoons with a personal fortune of $18 billion.

The donation means he will succeed the Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has given $1.6 billion to charitable projects in India, as the country's largest individual donor.

The announcement of his gift came amid criticism that too few of India's growing number of millionaires and global billionaires take philanthropy seriously or give enough of their wealth to charitable causes.

The Prince of Wales sought to bridge the gap in charitable giving on the Indian subcontinent when he hosted a dinner for some of the regions wealthiest businessmen and sought to persuade them to set an example by giving to well-run charities. He invited Ratan Tata, owner of Jaguar Land Rover, steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, property magnate K.P Singh and Mukesh Ambani, the world's richest Indian, to launch the British Asian Trust to encourage Asian billionaires to give more. "

Riaz Haq said...

India's high levels of poverty is no secret to the various international agencies and groups. Now Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has imposed a gag on India’s poverty data, saying no information must go out until it is vetted by the Planning Commission, according to Tehelka.com:

The gag order applies to all central ministries and departments and is apparently triggered by the embarrassment over multiple data on Indians falling under the socially damning Below Poverty Line (BPL).

The official line is that the government wants to have uniformity on all data and thus the need to centralise information flow.

Issued by Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar on 3 February, the circular says: “It has been observed that some ministries/departments are undertaking surveys on certain sectors relating to their charge and also generating/disseminating data on the same.

“Such data sometimes differ from the data/estimates available in surveys undertaken by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) and Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) under the M/o (Ministry of) Statistics and Programme Implementation. You would agree that creating multiple official estimates of the same underlying variables is not advisable.”

MS Gill is currently the Cabinet Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Chandrasekhar’s circular says the ministries must ‘ensure strict compliance’ of the instructions.

The circular adds, “With a view to avoiding duplication of efforts and ensuring consistency between different sets of data and also to ensure reliability of data, it has been decided with the approval of the Prime Minister, that all steps should be taken to avoid duplication of effort and multiplicity of official data/estimates of the same underlying variables.”

The worst recent case of data causing embarrassment to the government was on the poverty estimates. The Arjun Sengupta committee, the National Commission for Enterprises in Unorganised Sector, said 77 percent Indians were living on Rs 20 a day.

The NC Saxena committee said 50 percent of India is poor. The World Bank said 41.6 percent. And then, the Suresh Tendulkar committee, which gave its report to the Planning Commission, said 25.7 percent Indians were poor. This is the Planning Commission estimate as well.

This has not been reconciled as yet, and such confusion affects government delivery systems.

Therefore, says Chandrasekar’s circular, “Where the ministries/departments still wish to collect data pertaining to aspects for which there are already official estimates prepared by the M/o Statistics and Programme Implementation, the reasons for collecting such data need to be stated clearly and the two efforts should be coordinated.

‘Further, any such data should be produced only with appropriate technical oversight, preferably by the National Statistical Commission. Also, the ministries/departments should invariably consult the Planning Commission before publishing any statistical data relating to the economic status of the population, section of the population or any other sector.

“As and when such data is published, there should be sufficient explanation for differences, if any, with the already available official data.”

In essence, the Prime Minister wants to sanitise data. This could trigger another controversy because poverty figures in India are the core of all government social programmes. Poverty alleviation is considered the default core duty of any elected government in India, given the widespread social deprivation among its citizens.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan govt has distributed Rs 28.6 billion among flood victims, according to Daily Times:

ISLAMABAD: Government of Pakistan has distributed Rs 28.6 billion among 1.483 million flood-affected families through NADRA’s Watan Card — each card has Rs 20000 cash assistance.

Deputy Chairman NADRA, Tariq Malik stated this while briefing the UN delegation headed by Margareta Wahlstrom, Special representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction who visited NADRA Headquarters today for briefing on Flood Relief System.

Tariq Malik while elaborating the overall progress said that in Punjab, 608,824 flood-hit families received Rs 11.96 billion while in Sindh 558,997 families received Rs 10.11 billion. In Baluchistan

Rs 1.85 billion have been distributed among 102,945 families and Rs 3.8 billion were disbursed among 199,414 families in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan

Rs 188,450,000 distributed among 10,173 families and Rs 61,626,000 given to 3,263 families respectively.

He said the selection of beneficiaries is one of the most contentious aspects of any post disaster cash transfer programs in various countries. “NADRA walked extra miles as our aim was to protect the most vulnerable among the flood victims like women household, widows, special persons and minorities,” he told.

He told 120,081 Watan Cards were given to the households headed by women folks in the remotest areas of Pakistan — and 11,746 Watan Cards were given to minorities notified by the provinces.

Emphasising on Grievances Redressal System, Tariq Malik explained that 3.2 million people visited Watan Card centers, 335,044 complaints were received and NADRA has verified that 167,063 were eligible of Watan Cards of which around 155,000 have been given Watan Cards.

Fifty percent (50%) of the complaints were not genuine as these included people who already had received Watan Cards or their family member had received Watan Card. “We are not closing complaints redressal system, and would like to entertain all complaints on case to case basis,” he added.

He urged the media, international donor agencies and NGOs to focus on facts and real data, not on anecdotes or stereotypes or politically motivated press reports aiming generalisation based on isolated incidents.

Neva Khan, Country Director Oxfam, Madhavi Malagoda ARIYABANDU, Regional Programme Officer, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction were among the members of delegation.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from an interesting Op Ed by Prof Lev Ginsburg on democracy in developing world, as published in Aljazeera English:

The basic reason for democracy's lack of solutions to such problems (poverty, economic disparity) is that its principles have been formulated in industrialised capitalist societies characterised by considerable cultural homogeneity and relatively small economic gaps.

Democracy is a set of formal principles developed in Western Europe with the aim of facilitating the representation and articulation of the middle and working classes and designed to contain peacefully the conflicts between them and the upper class.

In the absence of a balance of power between classes, and a consensual unifying national identity, the automatic installation of formal democratic principles might only make matters worse.
----------
When there is a systematic link between cultural identity and economic status, democracy becomes a problem, rather than a solution. It exacerbates cultural conflicts to the point of violence, because it provides a formal opportunity for the majority to force their will on the minority.

Political sociologist Michael Mann has shown that in these cases democracy only serves to intensify conflicts among racial and ethnic groups, to which I would add, in the Middle Eastern context, the conflict between confessional groups and between the religious and the secular.
----------
The oldest case, mind you, is the US - the cradle of the democratic constitution which announced a "government of the people" and began the massacre of the American indigenous people because they were not considered part of "we, the people" of America.
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Whoever wants democracy under these conditions must first come up with a creative and consensual formula, according to which each cultural group would be free to live its unique cultural life without attempting to force its identity and customs on the entire citizen body.

In other words, demonstrating for democracy is not enough. What the countries of the Middle East require is political consensus on mutual recognition of rights and coexistence, guaranteed by a constitution and institutionalised by electoral procedures and representative institutions.

Egypt does have to worry, however, about economic inequality and the severe daily hardships suffered by most of its population. Without providing solutions to these problems, even the most democratic regime can be toppled by massive protests, possibly leading to new forms of dictatorship. A good example of such a failure of democracy was December 2001 in Argentina, when the masses flooded the streets calling for "all politicians to go home" and toppling five presidents in a row.

This happened only two years after democratic elections swept a broad leftwing front to power, which had promised to bring the country out of its deep economic crisis, but failed. The elected government pursued the policy dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which protected the interests of foreign investors against those of the local middle and salaried class. The crisis caused all holders of local bank deposits to lose 70 per cent of their money, with the blessing of the IMF.

Therefore, Egypt must realise that although democracy is essential, any formal constitution or system of government will not solve its economic problems. Immediately after the elections, Egypt's new policymakers will have to switch from the formal liberal discourse of democracy to face and discuss the fundamental questions of Egypt's economic structure. In the process, they are liable to discover that it is far more difficult to uproot a corrupt economic regime than to topple a single dictator.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is not alone in being targeted by the doomsayers, many othrers, including India's cheerleader Fareed Zakaria, have also been betting against the United States for decades. Here's an excerpt from a Time Magazine Op Ed by David Von Drehle:

Poor U.S. of A., forever in decline. the arrival of public theaters in Boston circa 1790 caused Samuel Adams to despair for the cause of liberty in the face of such debauchery. "Alas!" he wrote. "Will men never be free!" Charles Lindbergh fretted, "It seems improbable that we could win a war in Europe." Long before baseball, hand-wringing was the national pastime. We've never been virtuous enough, civilized enough, smart enough or resolute enough.

I was born into a country reeling from Sputnik, which revealed to the whole world that Americans are as dumb as rocks. John F. Kennedy had just been elected President, in part by bemoaning the "missile gap" between the mighty Soviet arsenal and our paltry few bottle rockets. "The United States no longer carries the same image of a vital society on the move with its brightest days ahead," Kennedy said in his final debate with Richard M. Nixon. That's the same Nixon who declared eight years later, "We are worse off in every area of the world tonight than we were when President Eisenhower left office." Hard to believe we could sink further, but we did, as the nightmare of Vietnam segued into the nightmare of Watergate, while the Japanese exposed the insufficiency of American enterprise. As I stumbled off to college, President Jimmy Carter was warning us about "a crisis of confidence ... that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will." Thanks to our horrible schools, we were — according to the title of a major 1983 report — "A Nation at Risk." Then our family values went down the toilet.

You'd think America would be as washed up by now as the Captain and Tennille. So how come we're so much stronger than we were 50 years ago? Somehow, in the 235 years since we got started, Americans have weathered Boston theaters and Soviet science prodigies, violent lyrics and sex out of wedlock. We've survived a Civil War, two world wars and a Great Depression, not to mention immigrant hordes, alcohol, Freemasons and the "vast wasteland" of network television. We've dodged the population bomb, the coming ice age, acid rain and the domino effect. America is to nations what Roberto Clemente was to right fielders. The Pirates legend fretted endlessly about how poorly he felt and how sick he was — while vigorously spraying hits and vacuuming fly balls.

So don't reach for the defibrillator paddles or the rosary beads quite yet.


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2056582,00.html#ixzz1Fk9nsZR9

Riaz Haq said...

China, Nepal, Indonesia and South Korea are among the ''top movers'' in the Human Development Index (HDI), while India joins the list of top 10 performers in income growth, says a report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), according to a UNI report:

However, the country ranks 119th in the non-income HDI and is way below China (89) and Sri Lanka (91), and also below its other neighbours Bangladesh (116) and Pakistan (112). The UNDP launched its 20th anniversary edition of Human Development Report 2010 'The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development' worldwide today. In India, the report was launched by UNDP Resident Representative and UN Coordinator Patrice Coeur-Bizot in the presence of Planning Commission member Syeda Hamid and Chief Economic Advisor, Union Ministry of Finance Kaushik Basu.

Among Asian countries, Nepal ranks second among top movers in non-income HDI while India is among top ten in GDP growth and is among the middle human development countries. The other nine Top Movers are China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Laos, Tunisia, South Korea, Algeria and Morocco.

An analysis of the 40-year trends shows that poor nations, including Nepal, were making 'faster development gains'.

There has been steady progress on the HDI over the past 20 years and India's HDI was above the average for countries in South Asia.

Its economic growth has been impressive, but inequality was on the rise and the report said there was 30 per cent loss in HDI value when adjusted against inequality, said Mr Coeur-Bizot.

Reacting to India's ranking in the report, Mr Basu said the country's goal was to improve overall human development and not just economic growth. However, he said, economic growth and rise in income levels were necessary for improving human development index, as for example, access to education and health services was linked with income level.

Ms Hamid in her remarks said more emphasis would be placed in democratisation of the five year plans and change introduced with the 11th Plan would be more visible in the 12th Plan. The 2010 Report introduces three new indices that measure the impact of inequality, gender disparities and multi-dimensional poverty.

Riaz Haq said...

One of the measures of the goodness of a nation, particularly its middle class, is its level of civic engagement.

By this measure, advanced western nations lead the pack with the United States in #1 position, followed by Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Holland, Canada, and lo and behold! Sri Lanka.

In South Asia, Pakistan is a distant second to Sri Lanka's 51% participation rate. Pakistan's participation rate of 42% ranks it at 27, the same as Israel.

India lags far behind with the participation rate of only 28% ranking it at 48 among 130 nations, according to a recent Gallup poll on civic engagement that included 130 nations.

While 53% of Sri Lankans gave money to charity and 53% volunteered time, 51% of Pakistanis contributed money and 27% volunteered time. In India, 28% donated money and 18% volunteered time. Comparable figures for the top-ranking United States are 65% and 43%.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/145589/civic-engagement-highest-developed-countries.aspx#2

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an assessment of PAF capabilities by an IAF leader as reported by Indian Express:

Terming US arms aid to Pakistan as a challenge, India on Friday said the latest F-16s, missiles and munition being supplied to Pakistan Air Force (PAF) could "reduce the technological gap" with the IAF.

"It (US arms aid) is certainly a challenge, no doubt about that," IAF's Western Air Command chief Air Marshal N A K Browne told a press conference here.

"Earlier the difference of assets was a certain amount. But their acquisitions have seen to have reduced (the gap) between the PAF and IAF in terms of capability of their aircraft, Beyond Visual Range missile systems, day and night operations and precision guided munitions," Browne said.

He was replying to questions on the US arms aid to Pakistan including F-16s purportedly for counter-terrorism operations along its Afghanistan border.

"There are things actually that tend to reduce the gap. Pakistan is catching up with the IAF, which has always had an edge in terms of its size and platforms. But I don't think so (that PAF would match the IAF in the future)," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Cash for votes is a common feature of democracies in South Asia and other developing nations. Latest publication of Wikileaks by The Hindu reveals vote buying by India's ruling party in a 2008 confidence vote:

The ghost of bribes for MPs’ votes returned to haunt the government on Thursday with the entire Opposition demanding its resignation over allegations that UPA-I purchased the support of lawmakers to survive the trial of strength at the height of crisis over Indo-U.S. nuclear deal in 2008.

On top of several scams that had surfaced in the last few months, the government faced a torrid time in Parliament on Thursday with Opposition targeting it on the manner in which it won the vote of confidence in 2008 after the Left parties had withdrawn support to it opposing the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal.

Both the Houses of Parliament were repeatedly rocked by uproar and adjournments by the Opposition members who demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his government saying it did not have any right to continue even for a moment as it was surviving on “political and moral sin“.

The Right and and the Left combined in Parliament whenever it met during the day to launch an assault armed with the claim in a U.S. diplomatic cable revealed by WikiLeaks that an aide of former Union Minister Satish Sharma had shown to the diplomat currency chests that were part of Rs.50 crore to Rs.60 crore money collected by Congress for purchase MPs for the vote in the Lok Sabha.

The only defence that the government came out with was when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Parliament that a diplomat’s cable enjoyed immunity and he could not confirm or deny its contents.

Riaz Haq said...

Middle class Pakistanis are fighting for justice in their society using both soft and hard power, while middle class Indians have become a tool for the few rich in India by singing praises of Shining India in the midst of extreme and widespread poverty, hunger and disease.

Pakistanis give 1% of their GDP to charity while Indians give only half a percent, according to data published by Bain and Co and PCP.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2011/02/philanthropy-lagging-in-india-and.html

Another measures of the goodness of a nation, particularly its middle class, is its level of civic engagement.

By this measure, advanced western nations lead the pack with the United States in #1 position, followed by Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Holland, Canada, and lo and behold! Sri Lanka.

In South Asia, Pakistan is a distant second to Sri Lanka's 51% participation rate. Pakistan's participation rate of 42% ranks it at 27, the same as Israel.

India lags far behind with the participation rate of only 28% ranking it at 48 among 130 nations, according to a recent Gallup poll on civic engagement that included 130 nations.

While 53% of Sri Lankans gave money to charity and 53% volunteered time, 51% of Pakistanis contributed money and 27% volunteered time. In India, 28% donated money and 18% volunteered time. Comparable figures for the top-ranking United States are 65% and 43%.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/145589/civic-engagement-highest-developed-countries.aspx#2

Riaz Haq said...

Here's another glimpse of vote-buying Indian democracy:

New Delhi: The head of whistleblower website WikiLeaks Monday accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of deliberately misleading the public by claiming that leaked US diplomatic cables allegedly pointing to payoffs to MPs during a 2008 parliamentary trust vote were not authentic."The comments I have been hearing from Prime Minister Singh these, to me, seem to be a deliberate attempt to mislead the public by suggesting that governments around the world do not accept the material," Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange told to a news channel in an interview.

As per the WikiLeaks cables published in The Hindu, a US diplomat was told that Rs.50-60 crore was kept aside by the Congress party to get some opposition members of the Lok Sabha on board before the trust vote in July 2008 during the first tenure of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

The prime minister said in parliament that the government could not "confirm the veracity, contents or even the existence of such communications", and added that many persons mentioned in the cables have "stoutly denied the veracity of the contents".

Assange asserted that there "is no doubt, whatsoever, that the cables are authentic", which was the reason why the US government has been very upset over the leak of the diplomatic cables.

He said that there was "no doubt that these are bonafide reports sent by the American ambassador (in India) back to Washington and these should be seen in that context".

That does not mean every fact in them are correct, you have to look at their sources and how they have this information," added Assange.

He said that the defence argument was "actually the behaviour of guilty men".

"A man who is innocent doesn't tend to behave like that. That doesn't mean people making those statements, like Prime Minister Singh and so on, are guilty of this particular crime. It suggests something that how Indian parliamentarianss and politicians respond to very serious allegations. They respond through indirection and attempting to cover up the issue for the public rather than address it fully and frankly," Assange asserted.

He felt that if the cable on bribery was incorrect, the US envoy in India "has a lot to answer" for sending cables to Washington "about senior politicians and the behaviour of Indian parliaments, which is cast in very negative light".

"Either he has committed a grave error that would damage Indian and American relations and should resign on that matter; or the report was correct and he was reporting correctly and he had checked his fact before reporting back to Washington," Assange said.

He suspected that the "most serious issue in the cable, I suspect, is yet to be revealed". "There is quite a bit of time to go through the material: the material from Pakistan, China. It is likely to be of interest to the Indian population," he said.

There are about 6,000 cables from the US embassy in India.

"What we are looking at more carefully are the cables from Pakistan and those are something that are yet to be published. We are working to have those published," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt on Pakistan from a recent piece by Indian journalist Akar Patel:

Why is Pakistan such a mess? Some would blame Islam, but they’d be wrong. The problem isn’t religion at all. The problem is lack of caste balance. There aren’t enough traders to press for restraint and there are too many peasants. Too many people concerned about national honour, and not enough people concerned about national economy. Put simply: Pakistan has too many Punjabis and not enough Gujaratis. The majority of Pakistanis live in Punjab, but well over 50% of government revenue comes from just one city in Sindh: Karachi. Why? That is where the Gujarati is.

Gujaratis are less than 1% of Pakistan’s population, but they dominate its economy because they are from trading communities. Colgate-Palmolive in Pakistan is run by the Lakhani Memons, the Dawood group is run by Memons from Bantva in Saurashtra (the great Abdus Sattar Edhi is also a Memon from Bantva). The Adamjee group, advertisers on BBC, are from Gujarat’s Jetpur village and founded Muslim Commercial Bank. The Khoja businessman Sadruddin Hashwani owns hotels including Islamabad’s bombed-out Marriott. Khojas founded Habib Bank, whose boards are familiar to Indians who watched cricket on television in the 1980s. The Habibs also manufacture Toyota cars through Indus Motors. Pakistan’s only beer is made by Murree Brewery, owned by a Parsi family, the Bhandaras. Also owned by Parsis is Karachi’s Avari Hotels.

People talk of the difference between Karachi and Lahore. I find that the rational view in Pakistani newspapers is put forward by letter-writers from Karachi. Often they have names like Gheewala, a Sunni Vohra name (same caste as Deoband’s rector from Surat, Ghulam Vastanvi), or Parekh, also a Surat name.

Today capital is fleeing Pakistan because of terrorism and poor governance. To convince investors things will get better, the Pakistani government has appointed as minister for investment a Gujarati, Saleem Mandviwalla. The Mandviwallas own Pakistan’s multiplexes, which now show Bollywood. The place where Gujaratis dominate totally, as they do also in India, is Pakistan’s capital market. Going through the list of members of the Karachi Stock Exchange (www.kse.com.pk) this becomes clear. However, few Pakistanis will understand this because as Muslims they have little knowledge of caste.

The Gujarati tries to hold up the Pakistani economy, but the peasant Punjabi (Jat) runs over his effort with his militant stupidity. Why cannot the Pakistani Punjabi also think like a trader? Simple. He’s not converted from the mercantile castes. There are some Khatris, like Najam Sethi, South Asia’s best editor, but they are frustrated because few other Pakistanis think like them. Are they an intellectual minority? Yes, but that is because they are a minority by caste. One great community of Pakistani Punjabi Khatris is called Chinioti. They are excellent at doing business but in a martial society they are the butt of jokes. I once heard Zia Mohyeddin tell a funny story about the cowardice of Chiniotis and I thought of how differently a Gujarati would look at the same story.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a comparison for those who are curious:

At 3 per 100,000, the suicide rate in Pakistan is a fifth of the suicide rate in India of 15 per 100,000, according to WHO data.

http://www.who.int/mental_health/resources/suicide_prevention_asia_chapter1.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here's how India and Pakistan stack up as arms importers, as reported by SIPRI:

"India is the world's largest arms importer," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said as it released its latest report on trends in the international arms trade.

"India received nine percent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82 percent of Indian arms imports," it said.

Its arms imports jumped 21 percent from the previous five-year-period with 71 percent of its orders being for aircraft.

India's arms purchases were driven by several factors, said Siemon Wezeman of SIPRI'S Arms Transfers Programme.

"The most often cited relate to rivalries with Pakistan and China as well as internal security challenges," he wrote.

China and South Korea held joint second place on the list of global arms imports, each with six percent, followed by Pakistan, on five percent.

Aircraft accounted for 45 percent of Pakistan's arms imports, which had bought warplanes from both China and the United States. Pakistan's arms imports were up 128 percent on the previous five-year period, SIPRI noted.

Greece rounded off the top-five list arms importers, with four percent of global imports.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Maplecroft risk warning for investing in India, according to Times of India:

LONDON: The United Kingdom-based Global Risks Atlas 2011 on Friday described India as the 16th riskiest country to invest in for the security hazards it poses and rather embarrassingly clubs it with Niger, Bangladesh and Mali. The Atlas is published by Maplecroft, a consultancy founded by Alyson Warhurst, chair of strategy and international development at Warwick Business School.

The evaluation is structured on seven key global risks including macroeconomic risk and threats around security, governance, resource security, climate change, social resilience and illicit economies.

Maplecroft assessed India faces simultaneous threats of terrorist attacks from Islamists and Maoists. It also points at India's lack of social resilience despite a robust economic growth and cites its poor human rights record. It says large sections of the population lack access to basic services such as education, healthcare and sanitation, and highlights its less productive workforce, greater susceptibility to pandemics and susceptible to social unrest.


A press release by Maplecroft lumps Pakistan with Russia on investment risk:

Dynamic political risks constitute immediate threats to business and Maplecroft rates 11 countries as ‘extreme risk.’ Most significantly, the emerging economy of Russia has moved up five places from 15th to enter the top ten for the first time, whilst Pakistan has also moved two places up the ranking to 9th.

The ‘extreme risk’ countries now include: Somalia (1), DR Congo (2), Sudan (3), Myanmar (4), Afghanistan (5), Iraq (6), Zimbabwe (7), North Korea (8), Pakistan (9), Russia (10) and Central African Republic (11).

Russia’s increased risk profile reflects both the heightened activity of militant Islamist separatists in the Northern Caucasus and their ambition to strike targets elsewhere in the country. Russia has suffered a number of devastating terrorist attacks during 2010, including the March 2010 Moscow Metro bombing, which killed 40 people. Such attacks have raised Russia’s risk profile in the Terrorism Risk Index and Conflict and Political Violence Index. The country’s poor performance is compounded by its ‘extreme risk’ ratings for its business environment, corporate governance and the endemic nature of corruption, which is prevalent throughout all tiers of government.
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Jim O’Neil, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, states: "Growth is happening where political risk is most challenging. So, meticulous monitoring and mitigation now will enable business to flourish and benefit from the opportunities presented by the future growth economies of the BRICs and Next 11".

Looking to the longer term, the BRICs countries are witnessing increasingly worse structural political risk trends for 2011. China (25), India (32) and Russia (51), rated ‘high risk’ and Brazil (97) medium risk, have all seen risks increase compared to scores from last year’s Atlas.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story of Pakistan's 100,000 ladies health workers reaching out to rural communities:

KARACHI, Mar 16, 2011 (IPS) - At eight in the morning 30-year-old Sultana Solangi steps out of her house ready for her day’s work. Wearing a black gown that shows only her eyes, she is shod in comfortable slippers and lugs a large black bag.

She will walk through this city’s poorest communities, visiting as many as 10 homes everyday, helping to raise awareness and improve maternal and child health.

In her bag is an assortment of medical supplies: Paracetamol tablets and oral rehydration salts, bandages, condoms, contraceptive pills, iron and folic acid tablets, eye ointments, and antiseptic lotion.

Solangi, the sole breadwinner in her family of four, works as a lady health worker (LHW), employed by the government’s National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Health Care.

Launched in 1994, the programme now has a veritable army of 100,000 LHWs covering 60 percent of the population - the biggest outreach intervention in South Asia.

These women venture where few doctors dare to go, from congested cities to far-flung and underdeveloped rural areas, acting as the link between communities and the public health system.

Over the years, their work has expanded to include health campaigns like administering polio drops to children under five, plus neonatal tetanus, measles, tuberculosis, and malaria control.

LHWs are particularly important in the rural areas where three-quarters of Pakistan’s population live, and where a trip to a health centre may require a hike of a couple of hours to as much as a day. Illiteracy is widespread in these areas and often customs prevent women from seeking health services without being chaperoned by a male family member.

Solangi cited the case of Zahida Sanghi, a woman Solangi’s age but already a mother of seven. Sanghi lives in People’s Colony, a community in Larkana city in Sindh province, some 322 kilometres from the southern port city of Karachi, which is part of Solangi’s coverage area.

"Zahida Sanghi was very weak and would not have survived another pregnancy. The husband is jobless. It took close to two months to convince her mother-in-law that it was all right for her to get a tubal ligation done since her family was complete. This is all part of my job," she said.

Every day, Solangi and her colleagues cover between five to 10 houses and talk to women like Sanghi about the importance of antenatal check-ups, vaccinations, safe delivery, the use and making of oral rehydration salts, and modern methods of family planning.

They also hold about eight group sessions each month where they discuss with local women issues related to mother and child health.

Yet despite the LHW programme, Pakistan remains a maternal and infant health hotspot.

The Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS), conducted from 2006 to 2007, shows an infant mortality rate of 78 deaths per 1,000 live births. It also shows a mortality rate of children under five years old of 94 deaths per 1,000 live births. This means one in every 11 children born in Pakistan dies before reaching his or her fifth birthday.

The maternal mortality rate of 276 per 100,000 live births is also far too high, and has remained virtually unchanged since 1991.

Sadiqa Jaffery, president of the National Committee on Maternal and Neonatal Health, said the statistics would be much worse without the LHWs on the ground.

"It’s been established that where LHWs are present family planning services and routine immunisation is better. The problem is that the coverage is not blanket," Jaffery said.

But Farid Midhet, founder of the Safe Motherhood Pakistan Alliance, remains unconvinced of the impact of LHWs. "Family planning is the cornerstone of women’s health services and it still eludes millions," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Wall Street Journal story titled "India Graduates Millions, But Too Few Are Fit to Hire":

BANGALORE, India—Call-center company 24/7 Customer Pvt. Ltd. is desperate to find new recruits who can answer questions by phone and email. It wants to hire 3,000 people this year. Yet in this country of 1.2 billion people, that is beginning to look like an impossible goal.

So few of the high school and college graduates who come through the door can communicate effectively in English, and so many lack a grasp of educational basics such as reading comprehension, that the company can hire just three out of every 100 applicants.

India projects an image of a nation churning out hundreds of thousands of students every year who are well educated, a looming threat to the better-paid middle-class workers of the West. Their abilities in math have been cited by President Barack Obama as a reason why the U.S. is facing competitive challenges.

Yet 24/7 Customer's experience tells a very different story. Its increasing difficulty finding competent employees in India has forced the company to expand its search to the Philippines and Nicaragua. Most of its 8,000 employees are now based outside of India.

In the nation that made offshoring a household word, 24/7 finds itself so short of talent that it is having to offshore.

"With India's population size, it should be so much easier to find employees," says S. Nagarajan, founder of the company. "Instead, we're scouring every nook and cranny."

India's economic expansion was supposed to create opportunities for millions to rise out of poverty, get an education and land good jobs. But as India liberalized its economy starting in 1991 after decades of socialism, it failed to reform its heavily regulated education system.

Business executives say schools are hampered by overbearing bureaucracy and a focus on rote learning rather than critical thinking and comprehension. Government keeps tuition low, which makes schools accessible to more students, but also keeps teacher salaries and budgets low. What's more, say educators and business leaders, the curriculum in most places is outdated and disconnected from the real world.

"If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys," says Vijay Thadani, chief executive of New Delhi-based NIIT Ltd. India, a recruitment firm that also runs job-training programs for college graduates lacking the skills to land good jobs.

Muddying the picture is that on the surface, India appears to have met the demand for more educated workers with a quantum leap in graduates. Engineering colleges in India now have seats for 1.5 million students, nearly four times the 390,000 available in 2000, according to the National Association of Software and Services Companies, a trade group.

But 75% of technical graduates and more than 85% of general graduates are unemployable by India's high-growth global industries, including information technology and call centers, according to results from assessment tests administered by the group.

Another survey, conducted annually by Pratham, a nongovernmental organization that aims to improve education for the poor, looked at grade-school performance at 13,000 schools across India. It found that about half of the country's fifth graders can't read at a second-grade level.

Riaz Haq said...

The quality of primary and secondary education is clearly important in preparing students for higher education, and there has lately been a lot of hand wringing on about declining test scores in the US, particularly with respect to minority kids in schools.

Here are some of my thoughts on it:

1. With a PISA reading score of 500, US kids outperformed those in Germany( 497), France (496) and UK (494).

2. Based on PISA reading scores as analyzed by Steve Sailer, US Asians (score 541) are just below Shanghai students (556), US whites (525) outperform all of their peers in Europe except the Finns, and US Hispanics (466) and US Blacks (441) significantly outperform kids in dozens of countries spread across Asia, Latin America and Middle East.

For example, US Hispanics did better than Turks, Russians, Serbians, and all of Latin America.

In fact US Hispanics outperformed all BRIC nations with the exception of China.

And US Blacks did better than Bulgaria, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, Jordan, Indonesia, Argentina, etc.

http://www.vdare.com/sailer/101219_pisa.htm

3. The only data available for India is 2003 TIMMS on which they ranked 46 on a list of 51 countries. Their score was 392 versus avg of 467. They performed very poorly. It was contained in a report titled "India Shining and Bharat Drowning".

I think Pakistani kids would probably also perform poorly on PISA and TIMMS if these tests administered there.

http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~tzajonc/india_shining_jan27_flat.pdf

Anonymous said...

Good article - but links like "Escape From India" destroy the credibility of article and yours too! You will do yourself a favor by linking to sane sites.

Riaz Haq said...

Is India too wealthy for British aid? asks the BBC:

Bihar children being fed under a government scheme More than a million children in Bihar suffer from severe malnutrition
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories

* How UK overseas aid will be spent
* 'More poor' in India than Africa
* Ignoring India's 'republic of hunger'

Britain's decision to give £280m ($457m) in annual aid to India for the next four years has prompted questions in the UK about whether India needs the aid these days. The BBC's Geeta Pandey travels to the northern state of Bihar to see where a sizeable chunk of the British money will be spent.

About two dozen children squat in a narrow lane separating mud and brick homes in Madhaopur village.

It's a hot sunny afternoon and the children sit facing each other, hugging the wall where a thin sliver of shade keeps them out of direct sunshine.

A woman puts steel plates in front of each child, another ladles out khichdi - a rice and lentil dish - onto each plate.

Within minutes, the chattering ceases and the children begin to eat hungrily, scooping out khichdi with their hands and putting it in their mouths.

Ideally, the children should be served inside the Anganwadi (government sponsored child development) centre, but the pokey, window-less room that passes for the centre is too small to accommodate them all.
'Malnourished'

The building provides pre-school education to children between three and six years and gives them one cooked meal a day to supplement their nutritional needs.

"Nearly 50% children here are malnourished," says Geeta Verma, who is part of the technical assistance team of DfiD (Department for International Development).
A baby being vaccinated in Bihar DfiD supports vaccination programmes in the villages of Bihar

"They are given a daily meal by the Anganwadi workers. It's a naturally fortified meal - for proteins we use lentils, for micronutrients, we use leafy vegetables," she explains.

Research has shown that the diet in Bihar leaves children with a 300-calorie deficit and this meal aims to bridge that gap.

"This meal provides each child with 300 calories and 10 grams of protein," Ms Verma says.

The team has helped prepare the menu and has been coaching the women in the important role nutrition plays in the physical and mental growth of their children.

In Madhaopur, DfiD is also supervising and assisting with immunisation of babies and has helped with a project to teach illiterate women.
'Too wealthy?'

Since being opened up in 1991, the Indian economy has grown rapidly. And at a time when most economies around the world are in recession, India's continues to grow at an enviable 9%. This has helped lift millions out of poverty.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote
Sangeeta Kumari

Bluntly speaking we are struggling for existence, we are trying to perform our best in the midst of a crisis. We have very poor infrastructure.”

End Quote Sangeeta Kumari Bihar government official

This has led to some in the UK wondering if India is too wealthy to qualify for receiving aid. They say the £280m could be put to better use in Britain where the economy is ailing and many services are being cut back.

Critics also point out that India has 69 dollar billionaires; it has its own space programme; plans to send a man to the Moon; spends billions of dollars annually on defence; and even has its own overseas aid programme.

But India has its areas of darkness too - according to World Bank estimates, 456 million live on less than $1.25 a day; tens of millions of children suffer from acute malnutrition; millions of Indians are illiterate; hundreds of thousands continue to die of totally preventable causes; and eight million children remain out of school.....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News story on how Pakistan plans to counter India's ABMs:

ISLAMABAD - In response to India's pursuit of missile defenses, Pakistan has expanded its countermeasure efforts, primarily through development of maneuvering re-entry vehicles. The Army Strategic Forces Command, which controls Pakistan's ballistic missiles, has since at least 2004 said it wanted to develop such warheads; analysts now believe these are in service.

Mansoor Ahmed, lecturer at the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University, said that in addition to maneuverable warheads, multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) may be developed to stay ahead of India's "multilayered ballistic-missile defense system" and potential future countermeasures.

"This, coupled with submarine-launched, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, would ensure the survivability of its nuclear deterrent and enhance the effectiveness of its missile force that can beat any Indian defenses," he said.
-------------
He (Harsh Pant) further explained, "A missile defense system would help India blunt Pakistan's 'first use' nuclear force posture that had led Pakistan to believe that it had inhibited India from launching a conventional attack against it for fear of its escalation to the nuclear level. With a missile defense system in place, India would be able to restore the status quo ante, thereby making a conventional military option against Pakistan potent again."Such a missile defense system and a second-strike capability "would enhance the uncertainties of India's potential adversaries, regardless of the degree of effectiveness of missile interception, and would act as a disincentive to their resort to nuclear weapons," he said.

Asked whether Pakistan's countermeasures would be effective against such ABM systems, Pant replied, "most definitely."

He said, "According to various reports, Pakistan has been developing MIRV capability for the Shaheen-II ballistic missiles and [the] Shaheen-III missile is under development."
--------------
"Although the current capability of Pakistani missiles is built around radar seekers, the integration of re-entry vehicles would make these extremely potent and defeat the anti-ballistic missile defense systems. This would be especially true of Indian aircraft carriers that would become extremely vulnerable," he said.
------------
Analysts have for years speculated that the Navy will equip its submarines with a variant of the Babur cruise missile armed with a nuclear warhead. However, whether a cruise-missile-based arm of the nuclear triad at sea would be effective and survivable in the face of Indian air defenses is uncertain.
------------
When this was put to analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank, he said the interception of cruise missiles is not so simple."I think Babur will form the sea-based arm of the Pakistani nuclear deterrent" he said, "but the problem in targeting subsonic cruise missiles is that they are harder to detect due to their lower radar cross-signature, low-level navigation, and use of waypoints to circumvent more secure and heavily defended areas."

"By the time you detect them, there is not much time left to vector aircraft for interception."

However, Shabbir conceded it would be possible for an airborne interceptor to shoot down a missile like Babur. "An aircraft already on [patrol] might be lucky to pick it up on its own radar well in advance [if looking in the correct direction], or vectored to it by ground-based radar."

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts from a Sydney Morning Herald piece on India:

..India's euphoric victory in this month's cricket world cup final fits with a mood that its time has come. "The World at Our Feet," screamed a headline in The Times of India the morning after triumph.

And yet the numbers show India is a very poor world power. Its per capita income is $US1265 ($1207) according the International Monetary Fund's latest estimate. That's less than one third of China's and just 2.7 per cent of America's. The 2010 United Nations Human Development Index, a measure that combines income, education and life expectancy, ranked India at 119th out of 169 countries. That's only one place above East Timor. China was 30 places higher than India and Russia was 54 places up the list.

In India, more than 700 million people survive on less than $US2 a day and about 42 per cent of children aged five or less are under-weight. A UN report found there are 421 million Indians living in ''multi-dimensional'' poverty, a greater number than in Africa's 26 poorest countries combined.

Rapid economic change in India has created confronting anomalies. High-tech wizardry and medieval squalor live side by side. It is possible to access fast wireless broadband in villages where children are dying of starvation and thanks to the explosive growth of mobiles, more Indians probably have access to phone calls than toilets.

There is mounting evidence that the spoils of economic growth have become disproportionately concentrated among a small group of super-rich industrialists. Research by the former World Bank economist Michael Walton shows the combined worth of India's US dollar billionaires rose from the equivalent of 1.7 per cent of India's gross domestic product in 1999 to a peak of 23 per cent in 2008.

India's economic miracle, so often lauded abroad, is contested at home. Three of India's 28 states have communist governments. Leftist political parties, critical of India's economic trajectory, are an influential force in politics. India's dynamic volunteer sector, which includes tens of thousands of non-government organisations, has produced an army of activists who decry the social and environmental damage being done amid India's rapid development.

The sense of alienation and anger among India's poor has helped stoke a bloody Maoist rebellion in its most destitute regions. These insurgents - called Naxals after the eastern Indian village of Naxalbari where the movement began - are active in more than one-third of India's 626 districts. The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has branded them ''the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country''.

---------

The World Bank estimates the proportion of Indians living on less than $US1 per day (in 2005 purchasing power parity) fell from 42 per cent in 1981 to 24 per cent in 2005 but population growth meant the actual number of people living below that poverty benchmark was only reduced from 296 million to 266 million in that period.

In a new book, the British writer and historian Patrick French criticises journalists who "make a living by reporting ceaseless tales of woe" from the subcontinent. He is right to challenge the outdated stereotype of India as a poverty-stricken basket case but the media obsession with India's growth rate, urban middle-class and super-rich entrepreneurs can also be misleading.
------------
Some analysts have attributed an apparent middle-class disengagement from mainstream politics to the power exerted by poorer ''vote blocks''. Very low voter turnouts in wealthy neighbourhoods of Mumbai and Delhi are cited as evidence of this apathy. But if the middle class cannot hold sway at the ballot box, it exerts influence in other ways.--------

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Wall St Journal report on World Well-being Gallup survey that puts Pakistanis ahead of Indians:

The results of the 2010 global wellbeing survey of 124 nations conducted by Gallup reveals that only about 21% of people consider themselves “thriving,” the highest level of wellbeing.

Around 1000 people over the age of 15 were asked whether in their lives they felt they were “thriving,” “struggling,” or “suffering,” measured on a scale from zero to 10. Anything seven or above was considered as thriving, according to the methodology used in the study.

India fared worse than average. Based on the findings, it ranked 71st in the list, with only 17% of respondents reported as thriving. (This was in line with the broader Asian average).

India’s neighbor Pakistan, despite its more volatile political and economic situation, ranked 40th, with 32% of the people describing themselves as thriving.

This category means more than just general wellbeing, and includes better overall health, measured in terms of fewer sick days, less stress or sadness, and more happiness and respect.

Alarmingly, in India 64% of people saw themselves as struggling. The survey describes people who fall into this category as being more stressed, more concerned about their economic wellbeing and less healthy, in terms of their lifestyle and eating habits.

The Danish lead the wellbeing list with 72% falling into the thriving category, while Chad ranked lowest, with only 1% describing themselves as such. Americans ranked average, with 59% of them thriving and only 3% suffering.

China, despite its impressive GDP figures, didn’t do that well, with only 12% of people describing themselves as thriving.

While there were gaps between developed and developing countries, a lot also depended on a country’s political situation and natural disasters, the survey shows. For instance, Haiti, where the 2010 earthquake claimed the lives of up to 250,000 people, those in the thriving range are only 2%.

Overall, the survey findings reveal how GDP figures alone are not sufficient to measure a country’s wellbeing. (This comes close to Gross National Happiness, which the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan famously adopted in the 1970s.)

“As the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt showed earlier this year, leaders should not rely on GDP alone as an indicator of how well their countries and their citizens are doing. Monitoring and improving behavioral economic measures of wellbeing are important to helping leaders better the lives of all their residents,” the survey reveals.

Consultant of psychiatry at New Delhi’s Moolchand Medcity, Dr. Jitendra Nagpal held a similar view. In an emailed response to India Real Time, Dr. Nagpal also agreed that nations whose people claim to be happy may or may not be economically sound. Dr. Nagpal added that happiness is more about the ability to do what you want to do, rather than fulfilling life’s basic needs.

Mukesh said...

Dear Mr. Riaz Haq,

your Post clearly indicated towards how pakistan fared better in the fiels of social development (Like Poverty, Hunger etc.) than india.

Please tell me what india could learn from pakistan in these areas. What are you suggesting that india should do to decrease poverty & Hunger in India. What were steps taken in Pakistan by Govt. or NGO's that it fared better than india.

Thanks.

Riaz Haq said...

Mukesh: "Please tell me what india could learn from pakistan in these areas."

Pakistan is a very poor country and it has a lot more to do to reduce poverty and hunger.

It's hard to put a finger on one or two things, but if I had to pick, I'd say that improving rural productivity and economy has helped bring down poverty and hunger.

Please read the following posts for further info:

1. Poll Finds Pakistanis Happier Than Indians

2. Most Pakistanis and Indians Work in Agriculture and Textiles

3. Pakistan's Rural Economy Showing Strength

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts from Wall Street Journal story titled "India's Boom Bypasses Rural Poor":


The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGA), as the $9 billion program is known, is riddled with corruption, according to senior government officials. Less than half of the projects begun since 2006—including new roads and irrigation systems—have been completed. Workers say they're frequently not paid in full or forced to pay bribes to get jobs, and aren't learning any new skills that could improve their long-term prospects and break the cycle of poverty.

In Nakrasar, a collection of villages in the dusty western state of Rajasthan, 19 unfinished projects for catching rain and raising the water table are all there is to show for a year's worth of work and $77,000 in program funds. No major roads have been built, no new homes, schools or hospitals or any infrastructure to speak of.

At one site on a recent afternoon, around 200 workers sat idly around a bone-dry pit. "What's the big benefit?" said Gopal Ram Jat, a 40-year-old farmer in a white cotton head scarf. He says he has earned enough money through the program—about $200 in a year—to buy some extra food for his family, but not much else. "No public assets were made of any significance."

Scenes like this stand in stark contrast to India's image of a global capitalist powerhouse with surging growth and a liberalized economy. When it comes to combating rural poverty, the country looks more like a throwback to the India of old: a socialist-inspired state founded on Gandhian ideals of noble peasantry, self-sufficiency and a distaste for free enterprise.

Workers in the rural employment program aren't allowed to use machines, for example, and have to dig instead with pick axes and shovels. The idea is to create as many jobs as possible for unskilled workers. But in practice, say critics, it means no one learns new skills, only basic projects get completed and the poor stay poor—dependent on government checks.
----------
Others said the ban on mechanization limits the scope of projects to gravel roads and pits to capture water. Such programs last for only a couple of years and do little to improve village life. Balveer Singh Meena, a 31-year old farmer in the village of Mohanpura in northern Karauli, ekes out a living growing wheat and chickpeas. He eats a single Indian flat-bread known as roti and vegetables for every meal. By selling what little excess food they produce, Mr. Meena and his three brothers are able to make just over $400 per year, which must stretch to pay for an extended family of eight people.
-----------
But shortly after the program started in February 2006, workers complained that local leaders were docking pay and asking for money in return for job cards. The central government responded in 2008 by sending money directly to workers' bank accounts. But according to workers and auditors, the money takes so long to reach those accounts—up to 45 days—that workers are often forced to accept lesser cash payments from local leaders on the condition that they repay the money at the full amount.

Audits of the program in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh found that about $125 million, or about 5% of the $2.5 billion spent since 2006, has been misappropriated. Some 38,000 local officials were implicated, and almost 10,000 staff lost their jobs.

In one study of eastern Orissa state, only 60% of households said a member had done any of the work reported on their behalf. Earlier this month, the central government gave the green-light for the Central Bureau of Investigation, India's top federal criminal investigation body, to launch a probe into alleged misuse of program funds in Orissa....

Riaz Haq said...

A familiar refrain from many readers of this blog is that "Pakistanis (especially the educated) use India as their yardstick..."

Here's a recent Times of India headline:

Pakistanis happier than Indians: Gallup survey

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-04-21/pakistan/29458679_1_gallup-pakistanis-happiness

Does the above headline suggests that "Indians (especially the educated) use Pakistan as their yardstick"?

Here are a few more Indian news headlines to ponder:

1. Pakistan ahead of India on human development indices: UN report

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Pakistan-ahead-of-India-on-human-development-indices-UN-report/Article1-622313.aspx

2. Doing business? India lags behind Pakistan!

http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-doing-business-india-lags-behind-pakistan/20101109.htm

3. India trails Pakistan, Bangladesh in sanitation

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/india-trails-pakistan-bangladesh-in-sanitation_100120219.html

4. India worse than Pakistan, Bangladesh on nourishment

http://newshopper.sulekha.com/india-worse-than-pakistan-bangladesh-on-nourishment_news_927008.htm

5. India is worse than Pakistan on gender equality

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-11-05/india/28243298_1_maternal-mortality-india-ranks-pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

Considering all the massive negative propaganda in the Indian and western media about Pakistan, it is interesting to see that some Americans are noticing the 50 Mbps broadband access build-out in the "failed state" of Pakistan by a state-owned telephone company.

In a provocatively titled post "Osama bin Laden Getting Faster Internet Than You Have: Pakistan’s 50Mbps Future", an American blogger Philip Dampier complains as follows: "While America’s heartland is being wired for 3Mbps DSL service, residents in Pakistan are getting ready for speeds up to 50Mbps thanks to a major broadband expansion in the country".

Riaz Haq said...

Got more nonsense from Indian posters like "Pakistan managing to outperform India is one of the few rare cases, which qualifies for - "man biting dog".

Few areas? How many headlines did you see me cite? Few? I wonder?

And what are these headlines about?

These headlines deal with essentials like food, nutrition, sanitation, health, life expectancy, gender gap, roads, etc in which Pakistan is ahead of India.

Let me give you a few more:

1. India Could Use Pakistan's Infrastructure

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/07/20/india-could-use-pakistans-infrastructure/

2. India lags behind Pakistan in missiles

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-02-02/india/28029160_1_short-range-prithvi-missile-agni-iii-missile-arena

3. Affluenza: With love from across the border

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/hindol_sengupta/article429776.ece

4. WITNESS: Failed state? Try Pakistan's M2 motorway

http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/12/16/us-witness-pakistan-motorway-idUSTRE5BF01220091216

Riaz Haq said...

Here are summary and salient points of Anatol Lieven's Pakistan: A Hard Country:

In the past decade Pakistan has emerged as a country of immense importance. Large, heavily populated, strategically placed between Iran, Afghanistan and India, Pakistan has since its creation just over sixty years ago been pulled in several different, irreconcilable directions.

In the wake of Pakistan's development of nuclear weapons, Osama Bin Laden's presence in its unpoliceable border areas, its shelter of the Afghan Taleban, and the spread of terrorist attacks by groups based in Pakistan to London, Bombay and New York, there is a clear need to understand this remarkable and highly contradictory place.

Far from seeing Pakistan as the failed state often portrayed in the media, Lieven's extraordinary new book instead treats it as a viable and coherent state that, within limits and by the standards of its own region rather than the West, does work. Lieven argues strongly against US actions that would risk destroying that state in the illusory search for victory in Afghanistan.

This work is based on a profound and sophisticated analysis of Pakistan's history and its social, religious and political structures. Lieven has interviewed hundreds of Pakistanis at every level of society, from leading politicians and soldiers to village mullahs and rickshaw drivers. In particular, his examination of the roots of popular sympathy for the Taleban in Pakistan draws on the testimony of people whose views are rarely consulted by Western analysts.

1. For most of the years since 1947, Pakistan has had higher economic growth rates than did India. Pakistan does not have the same pockets of extreme poverty, or for that matter the extreme wealth. The level of economic equality in Pakistan is relatively high.

2. Charitable donations run almost five percent of gdp, one of the highest percentages in the world and this reflects the emphasis on alms-giving in Islam.

3. A good quotation from a businessmen: “One of the main problems for Pakistan is that our democrats have tried to be dictators and our dictators have tried to be democrats.”

4. Agriculture pays virtually no tax and the government lends lots of money to businesses and doesn’t seriously ask for it back. As a result Pakistan collects far less revenue than does India, even comparing areas of comparable per capita income. If Pakistan were a state of India, it still would be considerably richer per capita than India’s poorest regions, such as Bihar.

5. The Pakistani state is nonetheless a lot more stable than most people think. In part this is because of the conservative structure of kinship and landholder power in the country.

6. The main threats to the future of Pakistan have to do with ecology and water, not politics.

7. The end of the book has a very interesting discussion about how U.S. actions in Pakistan affect different coalitions, feelings of humiliation, relative status relationships, etc.

Definitely recommended, as are Lieven’s books on the Baltics and Ukraine.


Sources:

http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9781846141607,00.html

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/05/pakistan-a-hard-country.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from Pankaj Mishra's review of Anatol Lieven's "Pakistan: A Hard Country", as published in The Guardian:

Pakistan, Anatol Lieven writes in his new book, is "divided, disorganised, economically backward, corrupt, violent, unjust, often savagely oppressive towards the poor and women, and home to extremely dangerous forms of extremism and terrorism". It is easy to conclude, as many have, from this roll call of infirmities that Pakistan is basically Afghanistan or Somalia with nuclear weapons. Or is this a dangerously false perception, a product of wholly defective assumptions?

Certainly, an unblinkered vision of South Asia would feature a country whose fanatically ideological government in 1998 conducted nuclear tests, threatened its neighbour with all-out war and, four years later, presided over the massacre of 2,000 members of a religious minority. Long embattled against secessionist insurgencies on its western and eastern borders, the "flailing" state of this country now struggles to contain a militant movement in its heartland. It is also where thousands of women are killed every year for failing to bring sufficient dowry and nearly 200,000 farmers have committed suicide in the previous decade.

Needless to say, the country described above is not Pakistan but India, which, long feared to be near collapse, has revamped its old western image through what the American writer David Rieff calls the most "successful national re-branding" and "cleverest PR campaign" by a political and business establishment since "Cool Britannia" in the 1990s. Pakistan, on the other hand, seems to have lost all control over its international narrative.

Western governments have coerced and bribed the Pakistani military into extensive wars against their own citizens; tens of thousands of Pakistanis have now died (the greatest toll yet of the "war on terror"), and innumerable numbers have been displaced, in the backlash to the doomed western effort to exterminate a proper noun. Yet Pakistan arouses unrelenting hostility and disdain in the west; it lies exposed to every geopolitical pundit armed with the words "failing" or "failed state".

Such intellectual shoddiness has far-reaching consequences in the real world: for instance, the disastrous stigmatisation of "AfPak" has shrunk a large and complex country to its border with Afghanistan, presently a site of almost weekly massacres by the CIA's drones.

Pakistan's numerous writers, historians, economists and scientists frequently challenge the dehumanising discourse about their country. But so manifold and obdurate are the clichés that you periodically need a whole book to shatter them. Lieven's Pakistan: A Hard Country is one such blow for clarity and sobriety.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/may/01/pakistan-hard-country-anatol-lieven-review/print

Riaz Haq said...

In spite of recent poverty declines with its rapid economic expansion, India still has higher poverty rates than Pakistan, according to a 2011 World Bank report titled "Perspectives on poverty in India : stylized facts from survey data" released in 2011.

Overall, the latest World Bank data shows that India's poverty rate of 27.5% is more than 10 percentage points higher than Pakistan's 17.2%. Assam, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are the only three Indian states with lower poverty rates than Pakistan's.

Riaz Haq said...

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) by US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) is for 2000 calories per day with 55% cabs, 30% fat and 15% protein.

According to chartsbin.com, South Asians have the following calorie intake and composition:

India Pakistan

2300 Cal 2250 Cal

71% Carbs 63% Carbs

10% Protein 10% Protein

19% Fat 27% Fat

Riaz Haq said...

As Pakistani Army comes under unprecedented sharp criticism by the politicians, the public and the media, here's an excerpts from an interesting piece by Vir Sanghvi on how the Indians treat Indian Army:

Equally, we will never blame the Army for anything. In 1962, we were thrashed by the Chinese but the consensus was that politicians had lost the war while our brave soldiers had done their best. The 1965 war was at best a stalemate (the Pakistanis also claimed they had won) but we treated it as a glorious victory for the Indian Army. Operation Blue Star was a fiasco. But even today, it is Blue Star we remember favourably rather than Black Thunder (conducted by the paramilitary forces to clean up the mess left behind by Blue Star), a bona fide success.

By and large, the social contract has worked. The Army has nearly always got us out of jams when we need its services. Whether it was Delhi in 1984, Bombay in 1993, or Gujarat in 2002, we needed the Army to restore order. And during the Kargil War, young officers led from the front, sacrificed their lives and displayed astonishing bravery in the service of their country.

Consequently, the army sometimes appears to live in a state within a state. Visit a cantonment and you will be struck by the contrast with the civilian part of the town or city where it is located. The roads will be broad and well-maintained, the buildings will be freshly painted, the surroundings will be clean, and an air of good manners and civility will prevail. Visit an army town (Wellington, for instance) and the contrast will be even more striking. The order and cleanliness of the cantonments serves as a contrast to the chaos and filth of modern India.

There is, however, one important aspect of the social contract that now seems to be failing. As corruption has spread in modern India, we have reluctantly accepted that most parts of our society are tainted – civil servants, the schools and even the lower judiciary. But somehow, we have always believed that the army is different.

Oh yes, we hear the stories. We hear about Generals who take kickbacks on arms deals and about officers involved in canteen purchase scandals. But because this corruption appears to be restricted to the Army itself and because we believe that it is not widespread, we are happy to look the other way.



The problem with the Adarsh scandal and the controversies over other land deals that have erupted recently is that they encroach into the civilian space. Senior army officers are seen to be conniving with politicians, bureaucrats and contractors to make millions.

Worse still, at least in the case of the Adarsh scandal, there is a cynical abuse of the social contract. When we say that we will respect and pamper the army, we do not expect senior officers to grab flats for themselves in the name of Kargil martyrs.

Earlier this week, the Army chief spoke about his resolve to cleanse his force. I am not sure he fully grasps how serious the situation is. The problem is not just that there are ‘a few bad apples’ in the army. It is that Army corruption has now spilled out into the civilian space and that Generals are making big bucks by exploiting the regard we have for the heroism of the Army and the sacrifices made by its soldiers.



If more such instances come to light, then the press will begin looking critically at the Army. The politicians will have an excuse to delve deep into the workings of the officer corps. This will give them the opportunity they need to play favourites. And the public, regretfully recognising that the Army has breached the social contract itself, will reluctantly acquiesce in the muck-raking by the press and the interference by politicians.

Once this happens, the social contract will not survive. The image of the Army will not recover. And the perfect balance we have built between the Army and the Indian people will topple over..

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from an Op Ed in The Hindu on growing disconnect between mass media and mass reality:

•The mass reality in India (which has over 70 per cent of its people living in the rural areas), is that rural India is in the midst of the worst agrarian crisis in four decades. Millions of livelihoods in the rural areas have been damaged or destroyed in the last 15 years as a result of this crisis, because of the predatory commercialisation of the countryside and the reduction of all human values to exchange value. As a result, lakhs of farmers have committed suicide and millions of people have migrated, and are migrating, from the rural areas to the cities and towns in search of jobs that are not there. They have moved towards a status that is neither that of a ‘worker' nor that of a ‘farmer.' Many of them end up as domestic labourers, or even criminals. We have been pushed towards corporate farming, a process in which farming is taken out of the hands of the farmers and put in the hands of corporates. This process is not being achieved with guns, tanks, bulldozers or lathis. It is done by making farming unviable for the millions of small family farm-holders, due to the high cost of inputs such as seed, fertilizer and power, and uneconomical prices.
•India was ranked fourth in the list of countries with the most number of dollar billionaires, but 126th in human development. This means it is better to be a poor person in Bolivia (the poorest nation in South America) or Guatemala or Gabon rather than in India. Here, some 83.6 crore people (of a total of 110-120 crore) in India survive on less than Rs.20 a day.
•Eight Indian States in India are economically poorer than African states, said a recent Oxford University study. Life expectancy in India is lower than in Bolivia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
•According to the National Sample Survey Organisation, the average monthly per capita expenditure of the Indian farm household is Rs.503. Of that, some 55 per cent is spent on food, 18 per cent on fuel, clothing and footwear, leaving precious little to be spent on education or health.
•A report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations shows that between 1995-97 and 1999-2001, India added more newly hungry millions than the rest of the world taken together. The average rural family is consuming 100 kg less of food than it was consuming earlier. Indebtedness has doubled in the past decade. Cultivation costs have increased exorbitantly and farming incomes have collapsed, leading to wide-scale suicides by farmers.
•While there were 512 accredited journalists covering the Lakme India Fashion Week event, there were only six journalists to cover farmer suicides in Vidharbha. In that Fashion Week programme, the models were displaying cotton garments, while the men and women who grew that cotton were killing themselves at a distance of an hour's flight from Nagpur in the Vidharbha region. Nobody told that story except one or two journalists, locally.
Is this a responsible way for the Indian media to function? Should the media turn a Nelson's eye to the harsh economic realities facing over 75 per cent of our people, and concentrate on some ‘Potemkin villages' where all is glamour and show business? Are not the Indian media behaving much like Queen Marie Antoinette, who famously said that if people had no bread, they should eat cake.
No doubt, sometimes the media mention farmers' suicides, the rise in the price of essential commodities and so on, but such coverage is at most 5 to 10 per cent of the total. The bulk of the coverage goes to showing cricket, the life of film stars, pop music, fashion parades, astrology…

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AFP report about Indian military owning land and running golf courses:

NEW DELHI — The Indian army has developed a sideline in running golf courses using government land but returning no revenue to the state, the nation's auditor claims in a damning new report.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found that at least 32 square kilometres (12 square miles) of rent-free land had been handed to a privately-run company, Army Zone Golf, which operates 97 luxury golf courses.

The defence ministry is the largest state landowner, holding 80 percent of the 7,000 square kilometres of government land, much of it now prime real estate, according to the CAG report released Friday.

Golf memberships are being sold to present and past service personnel as well as civilians and foreign nationals, the report said, with revenue credited to a private regimental fund which could not be accessed by the auditors.

Army authorities "earn large amounts of revenue by allowing persons other than service personnel to use these facilities," the report said.

"Heavy amounts of revenues were being earned without paying any lease rent and allied charges for use of government assets," it added.

The CAG's account of the misuse of public land will add to growing worries about the military's slide into corruption following a string of recent scandals.

In January, the government ordered a 31-storey apartment block in Mumbai to be demolished after it emerged army officers and local politicians had usurped apartments originally meant for war widows.

Army Zone Golf claims to promote the sport in the armed services and runs "some of the most spectacular golf courses of India," according to its website. No one at the company responded to calls for comment from AFP.

The company's organising council includes several retired army officers, and was once headed by Joginder Jaswant Singh, former army chief of staff and now the governor of the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The CAG has been instrumental in exposing mismanagement and possible fraud in the sale of telecom licences in 2008 which it said had led to a loss to the state of up to 39 billion dollars.

The telecom minister at the time, A. Raja, has since been arrested and awaits trial.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times story on dysfunction in Gurgaon, India:

Gurgaon, located about 15 miles south of the national capital, New Delhi, would seem to have everything, except consider what it does not have: a functioning citywide sewer or drainage system; reliable electricity or water; and public sidewalks, adequate parking, decent roads or any citywide system of public transportation. Garbage is still regularly tossed in empty lots by the side of the road.

With its shiny buildings and galloping economy, Gurgaon is often portrayed as a symbol of a rising “new” India, yet it also represents a riddle at the heart of India’s rapid growth: how can a new city become an international economic engine without basic public services? How can a huge country flirt with double-digit growth despite widespread corruption, inefficiency and governmental dysfunction?

In Gurgaon and elsewhere in India, the answer is that growth usually occurs despite the government rather than because of it. India and China are often considered to be the world’s rising economic powers, yet if China’s growth has been led by the state, India’s growth is often impeded by the state. China’s authoritarian leaders have built world-class infrastructure; India’s infrastructure and bureaucracy are both considered woefully outdated.

Yet over the past decade, India has emerged as one of the world’s most important new engines of growth, despite itself. Even now, with its economy feeling the pressure from global inflation and higher interest rates, some economists predict that India will become the world’s third largest economy within 15 years and could much sooner supplant China as the fastest-growing major economy.

Moreover, India’s unorthodox path illustrates, on a grand scale, the struggles of many smaller developing countries to deliver growth despite weak, ineffective governments. Many have tried to emulate China’s top-down economic model, but most are stuck with the Indian reality. In India, Gurgaon epitomizes that reality, managing to be both a complete mess and an economic powerhouse, a microcosm of Indian dynamism and dysfunction.

In Gurgaon, economic growth is often the product of a private sector improvising to overcome the inadequacies of the government.

To compensate for electricity blackouts, Gurgaon’s companies and real estate developers operate massive diesel generators capable of powering small towns. No water? Drill private borewells. No public transportation? Companies employ hundreds of private buses and taxis. Worried about crime? Gurgaon has almost four times as many private security guards as police officers.

“You could call it the United States of Gurgaon,” said Sanjay Kaul, an activist critical of the city’s lack of planning who argues that Gurgaon is a patchwork of private islands more than an interconnected city. “You are on your own.”

Gurgaon is an extreme example, but it is not an exception. In Bangalore, outsourcing companies like Infosys and Wipro transport workers with fleets of buses and use their own power generators to compensate for the weak local infrastructure. Many apartment buildings in Mumbai, the nation’s financial hub, rely on private water tankers. And more than half of urban Indian families pay to send their children to private schools rather than the free government schools, where teachers often do not show up for work.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/world/asia/09gurgaon.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=gurgaon&st=cse

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's per capita income in 2011 increased to $1207 in nominal terms (not PPP) according to a report in Dawn:

ISLAMABAD, May 5: The per capita income in Pakistan rose by 9.5 per cent to $1,207 in fiscal 2010-11, the highest growth in recent past reflecting an improved well-being despite a slowdown in the economy.

As calculated by the federal bureau of statistics here on Thursday this could mean a jump of $105 per capita for 175.31 million population in 2010-11.

The per capita income is the average of the income between the very rich and the very poor and those in the middle. The economists define per capita income as Gross National Product at current market price in dollar terms divided by the country’s population.
---
The per capita income was $586 in 2002-03, which rose to $926 in 2006-07 and $1,085 in 2007-08 but now jumped to $1,207.

The size of the economy also peaked to Rs18.8 trillion for the financial year 2010-11, up by 22 per cent from Rs15.4 trillion in the corresponding period last year. But economic growth is projected to fall to 2.4 per cent by end June 2011 from a revised target of three per cent.

As a result of stagnation in economic growth in the past three years, the per capita income also did not witness any substantial growth in dollar term. But the real purchasing power of the people also eroded rapidly as inflation entered into double-digit making essential goods dearer for the poor people.

The per capita income in Pakistan has increased due to large inflow of home remittances from the overseas Pakistanis. This year the remittances were expected to cross the $10 billion mark, which would be the highest ever in the country’s history.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Per capita income rises to $1254, according to Daily Times:

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s per capita income rose to $1,254 in 2010-11 from $1,073 during last year, showing tremendous increase of 16.9 percent, according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan. Enhancement in per capita income is mainly because of stable exchange rate as well as higher growth in nominal gross national product (GNP). Per capita real income has risen by 0.7 percent in 2010-11 against last year’s 2.9 percent. Real private consumption rose by 7 percent as against 4 percent attained last year, it added. However, gross fixed capital formation lost its strong growth momentum and real fixed investment growth contracted by 0.4 percent as against the contraction of 6.1 percent last year. Total investment has declined from 22.5 percent of GDP in 2006-07 to 13.4 percent of GDP in 2010-11. National savings rate has decreased to 13.8 percent of GDP in 2010-11 against last year’s 15.4 percent of GDP. Domestic savings also declined substantially from 16.3 percent of GDP in 2005-06 to 9.5 percent of GDP in 2010-11. The national budget for the fiscal year 2011-12 would be unveiled today (Friday). app

Neil said...

Your bias seems to be not so much against India, but against civilian governments in Pakistan. Time and again, you seem to credit military governments with better growth performance and the civilian rule periods as "lost decade". You don't seem to pay much attention to the strength of institutions, due to which India seems to be doing better than Pakistan today, and something which the military governments in Pakistan have either destroyed or failed to nurture.
Thanks,
Neil

Riaz Haq said...

In a humanitarian gesture, Pakistan helped secure the release of 6 Indian sailors among 22 sailors including 4 Pakistanis and 1 Sri Lankan.

Here's a report from Hindustan Times:

Six Indian sailors, held captive by Somali pirates for over 10 months, have been released and they will return home in the coming days, their family members said on Tuesday.

The release materialised after the continuous efforts of Pakistan-based Ansar Burney Trust, which is run by Pakistan's former federal minister for human rights, Ansar Burney.

The Indians were among the 22 crew members of MV Suez, an Egyptian cargo vessel which was hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden Aug 2, 2010.

"We are very thankful to Ansar Burney and Pakistan government for their help. They have paid a ransom of 2.1 million dollars to the pirates to make this release possible. Burney was negotiating with the pirates for the last few months," Sampa Arya, wife of Ravinder Gulia (30), one of the hostages and resident of Haryana's Rohtak town, told IANS Tuesday.

"I have talked to my husband over the phone. He said that they have been released and all of them are in good health. They will reach India in the next few days," she added.

Apart from the six Indians, the 22 hostages comprised 11 Egyptians, four Pakistanis and one Sri Lankan. The Indians include two from Haryana and one each from Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir. One of the Indians is from Mumbai.

The family members of the hostages had met many senior Indian politicians to secure their release but all their efforts went in vain.

Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in this matter but nothing fruitful worked out.

"Burney had raised funds with the help of the Pakistan government. Here, the Indian government has let us down. We met many leaders but nobody helped us. They said paying ransom is not the right way. I have lost all my faith in Indian politicians," stated Arya.

Rajender Gulia, father of Ravinder, said, "Pakistan has helped us like an elder brother in this matter. We had lost all hopes as no Indian politician was ready to help us. Saving a human life was not important for them. But Pakistan emerged as a saviour for us."

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Pirates-release-6-Indian-sailors/Article1-709226.aspx

Riaz Haq said...

Abbottabad and PNS Mehran are giving pause to Indian security establishment to think how they would deal with similar situation. Here's an Indian blogger Sudip Mukherjee:

1. What If India Is Attacked In Operation Geronimo Style?

Josy Joseph Times Of India Article
If someone were to sneak in and carry out a special forces raid, like the Americans did in Abbottabad to take out Osama bin Laden, the Indian response may not be very different from that of Pakistan, sources in the security establishment said.
In the wake of such a disappointing realization, the government has begun discussing ways to improve India's response mechanisms, including designating 'first responders' for such eventualities.

The Abbottabad raid is now under intense scrutiny by the security establishment at the highest levels, and by individual organizations such as intelligence agencies and the military. Each of them is studying it from their own perspective, but collectively their inputs "would help improve Indian security architecture", a senior official said.

Government at the highest levels is "seized of the reality" that Indian security response would not be very different from that of Pakistan, and is setting in motion reviews at various levels to improve its response mechanisms, a senior official involved in the exercise told. While the overall architecture of defence against intrusions is known, such as the role of IAF and Army, there are still huge gaps. What is not clear is "who would respond how and when if an Abbottabad-like intrusion" were to happen, he said.

Another official pointed out that the details of response of various agencies as soon as first shots were fired in Abbottabad are of great value to the security establishment. While the Kakul Military Academy and other security installations tightened their own security as soon as the gunshots rang out from the Abbottabad compound, there was no designated agency that was meant to reach the particular spot to take on the "intruder", the official said. Josy Joseph Times Of India Article
If someone were to sneak in and carry out a special forces raid, like the Americans did in Abbottabad to take out Osama bin Laden, the Indian response may not be very different from that of Pakistan, sources in the security establishment said.
In the wake of such a disappointing realization, the government has begun discussing ways to improve India's response mechanisms, including designating 'first responders' for such eventualities.

The Abbottabad raid is now under intense scrutiny by the security establishment at the highest levels, and by individual organizations such as intelligence agencies and the military. Each of them is studying it from their own perspective, but collectively their inputs "would help improve Indian security architecture", a senior official said.
----

2. India Prepares To Pre-empt Terror Attack On Its Air bases

'The (May 22) terror attack on Pakistan Navy air base at Mehran in Karachi was a wake-up call. In light of the incident, we are taking measures to improve security at all air bases across the country on top priority,' the Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, told reporters here on the margins of a conference here.

As the world's fourth largest air force after the US, Russia and China, the IAF has 60 operational air bases across the country under seven commands, with 170,000 personnel and 1,600 aircraft of different types, including fighters, transports and helicopters.

Riaz Haq said...

India's IBN Live calls "MV Suez fiaso a PR disaster for India":

New Delhi: It's likely to be three days before the Indian sailors of the MV Suez released last week by Somali pirates after a $2 million ransom was paid come home.

But the Suez saga has been a series of mis-steps. India failed to negotiate the sailors' release, failed to protect them once they were free, and failed to bring them home. And it culminated with a row with the Pakistani govt. Why did India get it so wrong?

"We have already registered our protest with the government of Pakistan," said Foreign Minister SM Krishna.

The protest over and PNS Babur's alleged aggression registered, it’s time to assess India’s own response to the hostage crisis.

India failed to organise the ransom from private parties. The Navy and the government were silent for days even as sailors pleaded for help through the media.

INS Godavari was despatched only after PNS Babur had begun escorting MV Suez. India allowed a full 24 hours to elapse before rejecting Pakistani allegations of aggression by INS Godavari.

The botched up response is despite a naval warship patrolling the Gulf of Aden and a high powered inter-ministerial group created to handle piracy related incidents.

Experts say an inquiry must be conducted and responsibility fixed or else the Navy must be given a free hand to respond to crises.

"There must be an inquiry. Forget what we told Pakistan. We must know what went wrong and who took late decisions. The Navy must be given a free hand or have someone competent in charge," said Admiral Raja Menon.

The Navy sources admit there has been a loss of face but the government insists it did its best.

It's a PR disaster that has left the Navy red-faced and showed the Indian government's claims of being sensitive towards its citizens as false. The 39 sailors still being held hostage can only hope lessons are learnt from the Suez blunders

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts of an Op Ed by William Martin, US Consul General, published in The Express Tribune:


Perhaps showing the generation gap, I did not know that Pakistan has such a lively and active blogging community, with over three million citizen-journalists freely reporting on virtually every topic under the sun. Pakistan has one of the fastest-growing Facebook and Twitter-using populations in the world, with over four million Facebook users. Remarkably, the per capita internet access in Pakistan is between 10-15 per cent of the total population — more than double that of neighbouring India. Using even the most conservative estimates, 20 million Pakistanis are regularly online, or the equivalent of the population of four Singapores.

Pakistan enjoys tremendous freedom of information and online expression. As a representative of the United States, I am keenly aware of the vibrancy of that free speech every time I log in to my computer or pick up a newspaper. Although a bit bruised sometimes, I welcome it! By amplifying the diversity of voices, social media is making life a richer experience for us all. And this is possible because Pakistanis are using their freedom of expression every day, online. Blogging is reinforcing the backbone of democracy – freedom of speech – a freedom that is enshrined in the US Constitution.

In Pakistan, the freedom of the press was earned over time, through the sacrifices of its people, especially the sacrifices of those in the media community. Journalists and bloggers now play a central role in the effort to institutionalise these hard won freedoms.

We must never forget, the many journalists who have been killed or injured as they sought to report on the challenges facing us today. They take extraordinary risks to enlighten us with the truth. Nobody embodied this commitment more than Syed Saleem Shahzad, who was senselessly murdered trying to pursue this truth. All of us are diminished by his passing. But, there is no doubt that his work will continue and others will pick up the baton and carry on. It is up to each of us to honour his legacy and do all we can to support press freedom as a fundamental right to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. Blog on.

Riaz Haq said...

Ireland is looking to India and Pakistan to deal with its doctor shortage, according to Irish Times:

About 4,600 junior doctors are needed to staff our hospitals and most of them rotate jobs every six months as part of their training schemes, so they get six months’ experience in paediatrics, another six months in surgery, psychiatry and obstetrics and so on.

Of the more than 4,000 junior doctor posts in the system, about 3,650 or 80 per cent are in training posts accredited by colleges such as the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

The 1,000 non-training posts have traditionally been the ones which proved more difficult to fill – though more than half of these are now staffed by doctors on contracts of indefinite duration – but this year even training posts are proving less attractive to applicants. Eunan Friel, managing director of surgical affairs at the royal college, said that to date 219 out of a total of 255 places across the three years of its basic surgical training scheme have been filled, leaving 36 vacant.

In April it was predicted some 400 junior doctor posts could remain unfilled on July 11th but more recent estimates presented to Minister for Health James Reilly suggest that figure could be 180. There are now fears that while locums will have to be retained to staff essential services in larger hospitals, the Health Service Executive may no longer continue to fund costly agency staff to keep smaller emergency departments open.

So where lies the solution?

The HSE on the one hand says there is a worldwide shortage of junior doctors and on the other says it has found more than 420 experienced doctors during a recent trip to India and Pakistan who would be willing to come and work here if only they didn’t have to jump through so many hoops to get on the medical register.

Yet the Medical Council says only 30 of these 420 have even applied to register here yet.

It appears the HSE is hoping Dr Reilly will amend the law to make it easier for non-EU doctors to come and work here. He is considering this option but must exercise caution so as to ensure patient safety is not put at risk.

The Irish Medical Organisation is meanwhile urging the HSE to take steps to retain Irish doctors in the system rather than focusing on overseas recruitment.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a VOA report on slowing Indian economy in 2011:

After posting strong growth for two consecutive years, India’s economy appears to be slowing, with high inflation and rising interest rates. But even with the slowdown, the economy is still among the world’s fastest growing.

When India’s economy grew by 7.8 percent in the first three months of the year - its slowest pace in 15 months - economists were not surprised.

D.H. Pai Panandiker, who heads the RPG Goenka Foundation in New Delhi says growth was expected to take a hit after nine interest rate hikes in just over a year by the Reserve Bank.

“Interest rate has gone up by nearly three per cent in the last one year, so that is having its toll on everything, on the market, the investment, the durable consumer market and so on,” explained Panandiker.

The higher cost of borrowing money is affecting several sectors of the economy. Car sales have slowed. Industrial production has fallen. Indian stock markets have lagged behind others in Asia.

The interest rate hikes are meant to tackle inflation, which has hovered around 10 percent for almost two years, and is among the highest in emerging economies. But efforts to control rising prices have had little impact so far.

On the other hand, surging international crude oil prices have added to India’s worries and prompted the government to raise gasoline prices by 9 percent two weeks ago. The move could further fuel inflation.

As a result, the recent interest rate hikes are expected to continue - another is expected in mid-June.

Economist Panandiker warns that the government’s estimates of about 8.5 percent growth this year are unlikely to be met.

“Some slowdown is inevitable," noted Panandiker. "This is the price we have to pay for inflation - that is lower growth. In spite of steps taken by the government, the inflation is not coming down. That is the critical part of it.”

But there is a positive prospect for the economy. Meteorologists have forecast that monsoon rains, which are critical for farmers, will be normal. A good monsoon usually helps cool food prices.

And while growth may be slowing, India is still forecast to remain the world’s second fastest growing major economy after China this year.


http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/south/Indias-Economy-Slowing--123090818.html

Riaz Haq said...

India's democracy is facing serious challenges, argues Soutik Biswas of the BBC:

Nearly a third of MPs - 158 of 524, to be precise - in the parliament face criminal charges. Seventy-four of them face serious charges such as murder and abduction. There are more than 500 criminal cases against these lawmakers.

These MPs hail from across the political spectrum.

Twelve of the 205 MPs or 5% of the lawmakers in the ruling Congress Party face criminal charges. The main opposition BJP fares worse with 19 of 116 - or more than 16% - of its MPs facing charges. More than 60% of the MPs belonging to two key regional parties, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party - who profess to serve the poor and the untouchables - face criminal charges.

Many of these MPs say that false charges have been filed against them.

Then there are allegations of rampant vote-buying by parties, especially in southern India.

The Election Commission seized more than six million rupees ($13.3m; £8.3m) in cash in Tamil Nadu in the run-up to the state elections in April. It believes that the money was kept to buy votes.

In an US embassy cable leaked by WikiLeaks in March, an American official was quoted as saying that one Tamil Nadu party inserted cash and a voting slip instructing which party to vote for in the morning newspapers - more innovative than handing out money directly to voters. The party concerned denies the charge.

Independent election watchdogs believe that candidates routinely under-report or hide campaign expenses. During the 2009 general elections, nearly all of the 6753 candidates officially declared that they had spent between 45 to 55% of their expenses limit.
----
India's most respected election watchdog Association For Democratic Reforms (ADR) has rolled out a pointed wish-list to clean up India's politics and target corruption. I am sharing some of them:

* Any person against whom charges have been framed by a court of law or offences punishable for two years or more should not be allowed to contest elections. Candidates charged with serious crimes like murder, rape, kidnapping and extortion should be banned from contesting elections. India's politicians have resisted this saying that opponents regularly file false cases against them

* To stop candidates and parties seeking votes on the basis of caste, religion and to stop divisive campaigns, a candidate should be declared a winner only if he or she gets more than 50% plus one vote. When no candidate gets the required number of votes, there should be a run-off between the top two candidates

* Voters should have the option of voting "none of the above"

* A law against use of excessive money in elections by candidates

* Despite the clamour for the state funding of elections, it is still not clear how much elections cost in India. Political parties do not come clean on their revenues and expenses, and until there is a clearer picture of how much they spend, it will be difficult to fix an amount. So political parties should give out verifiable accounts, which should be also available for public scrutiny.

The desire for electoral reform is not new.

Since 1990, there have been at least seven hefty comprehensive government-commissioned reports for such reforms.

The Election Commission of India has been saying since 1998 that candidates with pending criminal cases against them should not be allowed to contest.

If there is an overwhelming consensus about these reforms, why have governments sat on it for more than two decades? Ask the politicians.

Riaz Haq said...

All the pretensions of western style institutions make little sense to most inhabitants of India and Pakistan and other former colonies.

The colonial legacy of parliamentary democracy and British style rule of law are alien concepts in South Asia and never touch the lives of over 90% of the population.

With few exceptions, the disputes and conflicts are resolved using traditional rules set and adjudicated by local village councils (panchayats and jirgas) which are at odds with the laws passed by the national and provincial legislatures and implemented by the governments' justice system.

Riaz Haq said...

While Pakistan fares badly, ranking 103 on a list of 125 nations, on CII-INSEAD Global Index of Innovation for 2011, it is included among the top 10 countries for the Innovation Efficiency sub-Index. These countries are Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, China, Pakistan, Moldova, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, India, and Bangladesh.



This places Pakistan in 4th place on CII-Insead's Global innovation efficiency sub-index, 5 places ahead of India in 9th place, according to Economic Times of India:



India has improved its ranking in the global Innovation Efficiency Index to 9th position in 2011 from 101th last year on factors like political stability, R&D, market and business sophistication, according to a study.



Surprisingly, Pakistan was placed ahead of India at 4th position, the CII-INSEAD study said.



However, India has slipped on its ranking in the Global Innovation Index to 62nd position out of 125 countries in 2011 from 56th last year while Switzerland was at the top,



It said that a lot of Indian talent is returning home to the country and the youth in urban India are now more global than ever, "and they are quite in tune with new technologies, even ahead of the curve in many cases, as early adapters".



"Multinational corporations are making large investments in R&D outside of their headquarter countries, setting up R&D sites in low-cost emerging countries such as China and India to access global talent and take advantage of their proximity to target markets," the report said.



Indian major players such as Tata, Godrej, and Mahindras are shifting their focus towards the rapidly expanding middle-income group of customers by coming up with frugal innovations, keeping in mind the price sensitivity of Indian consumers, it said.




http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-moves-up-to-no9-on-global-innovation-efficiency-index/articleshow/9085252.cms



http://www.globalinnovationindex.org/gii/GII%20COMPLETE_PRINTWEB.pdf



http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/12/intellectual-wealth-of-nations.html



http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/10/pakistans-28-billion-it-industry.html

Riaz Haq said...

Overall, the latest World Bank data shows that India's poverty rate of 27.5%, based on India's current poverty line of $1.03 per person per day, is more than 10 percentage points higher than Pakistan's 17.2%. Assam (urban), Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are the only three Indian states with lower poverty rates than Pakistan's.

Riaz Haq said...

India depends heavily on foreign inflows to survive, given its huge and perennial trade, budget and current account deficits.

India is the biggest borrower from multi-lateral lending institutions.

According to the statistics of World Bank, India has become the largest borrower from the International Development Association (IDA), a component of World Bank Group which helps the poorest countries of the world.

Among the bank’s FY10 Top Ten IDA borrowing countries, India tops the table with $ 2,578 million, followed by Vietnam ($ 1,429 million), Tanzania ($ 943 million), Ethiopia and Nigeria with $ 890 million each, Bangladesh ($ 828 million), Kenya ($ 614 million), Uganda ($ 480 million), Democratic Republic of Congo ($ 460 million) and Ghana (433 million).

IDA, termed as ‘Soft Loan Window’ of the World Bank, was established in 1960 with the aim to reduce poverty by lending money (known as credits) on concessional terms. IDA credits have no interest charge and the repayment period ranges between 35 to 40 years. IDA is the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 79 poorest countries, 39 of which come from Africa. Not only with IDA, India is also the third largest borrower of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), a part of World Bank group with a total loan of $ 21.9 billion which have financed 77 projects in the country.

Among various states in India, Tamil Nadu hold the maximum assistance of $ 2.1 billion from the World Bank to support its six on-going projects.

http://www.gscurrentaffairs.com/india-becomes-largest-borrower-of-ida/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent Op Ed titled "The Real War With India" by HEC chair Javaid Leghari published in Newsweek Pakistan:

It’s hit an all-time low. Pakistan’s commitment to the higher education sector has been scaled back by 10 percent at the same time that India has raised its higher-education budget by 25 percent. This reduction is in addition to the 40 percent cut imposed last year. This shortsightedness imperils economic growth by stunting prospects of a viable middle class.

India has a population six times the size of Pakistan’s. Its GDP, at $1.8 trillion, is 10 times larger than ours. Its growth rate is 8.5 percent, ours is 2.4 percent. Its value-added exports, at $250 billion, are more than ours by a factor of 15; and its FDI, at $26 billion per year, dwarfs ours by a factor of 22. India is set to surpass Japan to become the world’s third largest economy by 2014. This has all been made possible, in no small measure, because of India’s human capital. Pakistan needs to take a leaf out of their book to realize the possible.

The World Bank identifies several key factors to achieve and sustain economic growth: education, a skilled workforce, information and communication technologies, and innovation. These are the veritable pillars of a knowledge economy. Likewise, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011 lists higher education and training, technology readiness, and innovation as essential for competitiveness.

Catching up to the rest of the world must start now. And there is much ground to cover. For Pakistanis between the ages of 17 and 23, access to higher education is at 5.1 percent—one of the lowest in the world. (India is at 12.2 percent and aiming for 30 percent by 2020.) Pakistan has 132 universities for a population of 180 million and a student population of about 1.1 million. India has 504 universities with an enrollment of over 15 million (its enrolment target is 40 million by 2020). Pakistan has approved funding for two new universities. Over the next five years, India will have established 29 universities and 40 other institutes. Pakistan can today produce about 700 Ph.D.s every year (up from a dismal 200 in 2002) while India can produce 8,900 and China some 50,000.


http://www.newsweekpakistan.com/the-take/364

Anand said...

Dear Riaz, Wonderful post with no hype. Thanks

Riaz Haq said...

Car sales in Pakistan rose 61% and fell by 16% in India in July 2011.

Car sales in India, the world's second-fastest growing major auto market after China, fell 16 percent in July, their first drop in two-and-half years, after rising a breakneck 30 percent in 2010, according to Reuters:

NEW DELHI, Aug 12 (Reuters) - India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki expects to post single-digit sales growth this fiscal year, a far cry from its 25-percent rise last year, as rising interest rates and prices in Asia's third largest economy force consumers to tighten their purse strings.

Car sales in India, the world's second-fastest growing major auto market after China, fell 16 percent in July, their first drop in two-and-half years, after rising a breakneck 30 percent in 2010.

The Indian car market is now expected to grow by just 10 to 12 percent this fiscal year, down from an earlier forecast of 16 to 18 percent, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said last month.

"If you ask me, we will not reach a double-digit," Chairman R.C. Bhargava told reporters, referring to both Maruti and the India car sector.

Maruti, which sells nearly half of all passenger cars in India, posted a record 25-percent slump in July sales.

The company, 54.2 percent owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor , has cut production of most models in August, including its best-selling model Alto, as inventories were rising and there was no place to store cars, marketing and sales chief Mayank Pareek said.

Maruti is facing intensifying competition from the likes of South Korea's Hyundai Motors , the second-largest car maker in India, as well as domestic rivals.

SECTOR TO REV UP

Bhargava said he expected the Indian car market to pick up speed in two to three months as the festive season kicks in.

The Indian festive season peaks in November, during the Hindu festival of Diwali, when it is considered auspicious to buy big-ticket items and when most employees get their annual bonuses. But sales are also driven by discounts at that time of year.

India's population of 1.2 billion and the common sight of families of four riding motorcylces creates potential for massive demand, but the pressure is sure to remain in an industry spurred by a burgeoning and aspirational middle class that relies mainly on loans to buy cars.

India's central bank has raised interest rates 11 times since March last year in an effort to battle stubbornly high inflation, a move that has hurt car purchases, most of which are financed through loans.

Still, Bharghava was optimistic. "Fundamentals here are very strong. There is still a huge domestic potential demand," he said.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/12/maruti-india-idUSL3E7JC2FR20110812

Riaz Haq said...

Nominal per capita incomes in both India and Pakistan stand at just over $1200 a year, according to figures released in May and June of 2011 by the two governments. This translates to about $3100 per capita in terms of PPP (purchasing power parity). Using a more generous PPP correction factor of 2.9 for India as claimed by Economic Survey of India 2011 rather than the 2.5 estimated by IMF for both neighbors, the PPP GDP per capita for Indian and Pakistan work out to $3532 and $3135 respectively.

Nominal per capita income of Indians grew by 17.9 per cent to Rs 54,835, or $1218, in 2010-11 from Rs 46,492 in the year-ago period, according to the revised data released by the government in May, 2011 as reported by Indian media.

In June 2011, Economic Survey of Pakistan reported that the nominal per capita income of Pakistanis rose 16.9 percent to $1,254 in 2010-11, up from $1,073 in 2009-2010.

Mayraj said...

From Javed Burki Op Ed in Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/236961/preparing-the-population-for-a-modern-economy/

For a country that now has the reputation of neglecting the development of its vast human resource, it is possible to reach a somewhat different conclusion about the preparedness of the workforce. When the data for the schooling of the young is examined in some detail, and in the context of what is occurring in other countries of South Asia, Pakistan seems well positioned to develop a modern economy. The data used here are from the work done by the economists Robert Baro and Jhong-Wha Lee at Harvard University. Looking at this data, it appears that compared to other large countries of South Asia, Pakistan is doing better in an area that could be tremendously important for its economic and social future.

In 2010, India had 67 per cent of the 15-plus age group in school while Pakistan had 62 per cent. However, it is at the other end of the educational spectrum — what educationists call the tertiary stage — that Pakistan seems to be doing considerably better than other South Asian countries.

In 1950, for India and Pakistan, the proportion of people attending tertiary institutions was 0.6 per cent. Since this has increased to 5.8 per cent for India, a ten-fold increase, and to 5.5 per cent for Pakistan, a nine-fold growth. For Bangladesh, the increase was spectacular, a twenty-fold growth. However, it is the impressive increase for Pakistan that provides the element of surprise.

Pakistan does well in one critical area — the drop-out rate in tertiary education. Those who complete tertiary education in Pakistan account for a larger proportion of persons who enter school at this level. The proportion is much higher for girls, another surprising finding for Pakistan.

With a considerably lower drop-out rate at the tertiary level, it is not surprising that the number of years students spend in school in Pakistan (5.6 years) is higher than that in India (5.1 years) but a bit lower than that for Bangladesh ( 5.8 years). For tertiary education alone, Pakistan’s youth spend more time being educated than those in Bangladesh and India.

It is in the last two decades that the real brake occurred in Pakistan. The proportion of the 15-plus age group receiving tertiary education in Pakistan increased from only 2.4 per cent in 1990 to 5.5 per cent in 2010. The proportion of students completing tertiary education in Pakistan is 41 per cent higher than that for India. Better performance, when measured in terms of the proportion of the population receiving tertiary education, matters a great deal for the economic future. As Baro and Lee point out, the estimated rate of return is very high for tertiary education, close to 18 per cent. This is only 10 per cent for secondary education and almost zero for primary education. The state, by only concentrating on primary education, is not buying a better future for the citizenry. It must make it possible to develop tertiary education as well.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a WSJ piece on the quality of the product of Indian education:

BANGALORE, India—Call-center company 24/7 Customer Pvt. Ltd. is desperate to find new recruits who can answer questions by phone and email. It wants to hire 3,000 people this year. Yet in this country of 1.2 billion people, that is beginning to look like an impossible goal.

So few of the high school and college graduates who come through the door can communicate effectively in English, and so many lack a grasp of educational basics such as reading comprehension, that the company can hire just three out of every 100 applicants.

India projects an image of a nation churning out hundreds of thousands of students every year who are well educated, a looming threat to the better-paid middle-class workers of the West. Their abilities in math have been cited by President Barack Obama as a reason why the U.S. is facing competitive challenges.

Yet 24/7 Customer's experience tells a very different story. Its increasing difficulty finding competent employees in India has forced the company to expand its search to the Philippines and Nicaragua. Most of its 8,000 employees are now based outside of India.

In the nation that made offshoring a household word, 24/7 finds itself so short of talent that it is having to offshore.

"With India's population size, it should be so much easier to find employees," says S. Nagarajan, founder of the company. "Instead, we're scouring every nook and cranny."


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703515504576142092863219826.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NASSCOM report on the quality of Indian grads:

By Ishpreet Bindra
Shocking as it may have sounded, a report by the software industry group National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), has declared 75 percent of Indian engineering students, to be unemployable. The report sent education experts across the country into discussion over what needs to be done, as we churn out engineers by the tons only to find a third of them being stamped unemployable.

According to the company’s report, IT firms in India reject 90 percent college graduates and 75 percent engineering graduates due to the simple reason that they are not even good enough to be trained. These students are unable to put their knowledge into practice and so are no good for the companies.

The problem is being faced even by students from reputed engineering colleges. Laying stress on the practical knowledge and on the job skills, AD Sahasrabudhu, director of the College of Engineering, Pune,said:

“The focus in most institutes here is always on academics and theory. Thus a mechanical engineer may actually not know how to change a part of a machine. Therefore, even if a high scoring student gets placed in a good company, eventually that lack of practical knowledge catches up.”

The experts were exchanging views at the sixth Higher Education Summit organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The lack of skilful people in the country has resulted in many companies like Infosys to increase the duration of their on-the-job training programmes. The company has recently increased its training to 29 weeks, which is a shocking seven months into training after securing a job.

Clearly there exists a lacuna and a big one at that in the higher education system of India. As experts say, the Indian higher education needs to prioritise the skill building and practical training aspects of education equally with the theoretical part. This is the only way to give our students an edge they desperately need.


http://www.piford.com/httpwww-educationmaster-orgnewsnasscom-report-75-indian-engineering-students-unemployable/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn report on the launch of Pakistani economist Shahid Javed Burki's book "South Asia in the new World Order" in Singapore:

ISLAMABAD: Renowned economist and scholar Shahid Javed Burki said that Pakistan’s economy can catch up fairly fast to the developed world, as compared with India, by adopting proper policy and fully mobilizing the available rich natural and human resources.

He was addressing the launching ceremony of his book ‘South Asia in the new World Order’ in Singapore, said a message received here Thursday.

Burki said that Pakistan’s GDP growth had been double of India’s growth rate of 2-3 percent for four decades 1947-1987. He quoted a recent Harvard University study which has mentioned that Pakistan’s higher education sector was performing better than India and Bangladesh.

This, he attributed to the investment made by the private sector in education. Syed Hasan Javed, High Commissioner of Pakistan in Singapore who was guest honour on this occasion said South Asia is blessed with rich heritage and natural, physical and human resources.

He observed that the South Asian states could learn from Confucianism’s teaching of ‘Prosperity they neighbor’ and the role model of ASEAN, in order to promote regional cooperation in the economic sector.

Prof. Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy endorsed the views of Shahid Javed Burki and the High Commissioner in order to generate a new thought process in South Asia.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/25/pakistans-economy-has-rich-potential-to-grow-fast-burki.html

Riaz Haq said...

India has 602 university level institutions and Pakistan has 127.

I suggest that readers also read an Indian blogger's post "Why one million Indians Escape from India every year" to get a full dose of reality about "Shining India":

Here are a few excerpts:

Any crackdown on illegal immigrants abroad or restricting quotas to Indians are a major concern to India’s politicians. The latest statistics from US Department of Homeland Security shows that the numbers of Indian illegal migrants jumped 125% since 2000! Ever wondered why Indians migrate to another countries but no one comes to India for a living?
------
Quit India!

Sixty years ago Indians asked the British to quit India. Now they are doing it themselves. To live with dignity and enjoy relative freedom, one has to quit India! With this massive exodus, what will be left behind will be a violently charged and polarized society.
----------
15 per cent Hindu upper castes inherited majority of India’s civil service, economy and active politics from British colonial masters. And thus the caste system virtually leaves lower caste Hindus in to an oppressed majority in India’s power structure. Going by figures quoted by the Backward Classes Commission, Brahmins alone account for 37.17 per cent of the bureaucracy. [Who is Really Ruling India?]

The 2004 World Development Report mentions that more than 25% of India’s primary school teachers and 43% of primary health care workers are absent on any given day!
-----------
About 40 million primary school-age children in India are not in school. More than 92 % children cannot progress beyond secondary school. According to reports, 35 per cent schools don’t have infrastructure such as blackboards and furniture. And close to 90 per cent have no functional toilets. Half of India’s schools still have leaking roofs or no water supply.

Japan has 4,000 universities for its 127 million people and the US has 3,650 universities for its 301 million, India has only 348 universities for its 1.2 billion people. In the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities by Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong, only two Indian Universities are included. Even those two IITs in India found only a lower slot (203-304) in 2007 report. Although Indian universities churn out three million graduates a year, only 15% of them are suitable employees for blue-chip companies. Only 1 million among them are IT professionals.

http://escapefromindia.wordpress.com/

Riaz Haq said...

The number of children under five who die each year has plummeted from 12 million in 1990, to 7.6 million last year, according to Child Mortality Report 2011 prepared by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

About 21,000 children are still dying every day from preventable causes.

India leads the under-5 death toll with 1.7 million deaths, followed by Nigeria 861K, Dem Rep of Congo 465K, Pakistan 423K, China 315K, Ethiopia 271K and Afghanistan 191K.

In terms of deaths per 1000 live births, Pakistan is still at 87, compared with Bangladesh 48 and India 63.

Pakistan's rate of child mortality decline at 1.8% a year between 1990 and 2010 is among the slowest in the world, compared with 3% in India and an impressive 5.5% in Bangladesh.

Burkina Faso at 176 deaths per 1000 live births, Angola 161, Afghanistan 149, and Nigeria 143 are among the highest in the world.

http://www.unicef.org/media/files/Child_Mortality_Report_2011_Final.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a World Bank report on employment in South Asia:

Among the five large countries in the region, employment growth since 2000 was highest in Pakistan, followed by Nepal and Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka. Total employment in South Asia (excluding Afghanistan and Bhutan) rose from 473 million in 2000 to 568 million in 2010, creating an average of just under 800,000 new jobs a month. In
all countries except Maldives and Sri Lanka, the largest share of the employed are the low‐end self‐employed (figure 1.2).3 Nearly a third of workers in India and a fifth of
workers in Bangladesh and Pakistan are casual laborers. Regular wage and salaried workers represent a fifth or less of total employment.


http://siteresources.worldbank.org/SOUTHASIAEXT/Resources/223546-1296680097256/7707437-1316565221185/Jobsoverview.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

There are a lot of different figures and forecasts floating around different websites and publications that significantly overstate India's GDP and understate Pakistan's.

The figures I have posted in my recent blog posts were released in May 2011 by India and in July 2011 by Pakistan. This is the only apples-to-apples comparison that is valid. The rest is irrelevant.

Economic Survey of Pakistan 2010-11 puts the nation's population at 177 million and nominal gdp at $222 billion or $1254 per person.

And Economic Survey of India 2010-2011 says India's population is 1.2 billion and puts nominal GDP at $1.46 trillion or $1218 per person.

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-05-31/news/29604458_1_capita-income-national-income-economy-at-current-prices

http://www.infopak.gov.pk/EconomicSurvey/Highlights.pdf

razZzat said...

I may be late to comment, but a nice article with facts and data.

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT EXCELLENT article - objective, comprehensive and well written.

Great Stuff!

Riaz Haq said...

A recent report by a Govt commission in Pakistan found an "Education Emergency" in public education that paints a grim picture.

Here's an excerpt from a Financial Times story on Indian education crisis:

A report on the state of Indian education, the largest study of the country’s rural children, makes for grim reading.

India’s schools are in bad shape, and not getting any better. Maths ability is declining, and reading is way below where it should be.

The Annual Status of Education Report 2010, prepared by Pratham, an education non-governmental organisation supported by many of India’s top companies, has a blunt message. School enrolment is up but quality is unacceptably low. Inadequate state provision is fuelling the expansion of private education, which India’s largely poor people can ill-afford.

Here are some of the report’s key findings:

1. 96.5 per cent of children in the 6 to 14 age group in rural India are enrolled in school. While 71.1 per cent of these children are enrolled in government schools, 24.3 per cent are enrolled in private schools.

2. India’s southern states in particular are moving strongly towards more private sector education provision. The percentage of children in private school increased from 29.7 per cent to 36.1 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, from 19.7 per cent to 25 per cent in Tamil Nadu and from 51.5 per cent to 54.2 per cent in Kerala

3. There has been a decrease in children’s ability to do simple mathematics. The proportion of Standard 1 children who could recognise numbers from 1-9 has declined.

4. After five years of schooling, close to half of children are below a level expected after just two years of formal education. Half of these children cannot read. Only one child in five can recognise numbers up to 100.

5. Toilets were useable in only half the 13,000 schools surveyed. Teacher attendance was 63 per cent, lower than pupil attendance.
Kapil Sibal, the new education minister, has breathed some life into a portfolio left moribund by his elderly predecessor Arjun Singh. But lately, Mr Sibal, a lawyer, has been seconded into the telecommunications ministry to clean up a mess surrounding the controversial award of new 2G licences that may have cost the exchequer as much as $39bn.

There are few more important challenges in India than improving its schools. Not for the first time ineptitude and greed at the top are robbing India’s young of resources.

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2011/01/17/indian-schools-failing/#axzz1aLbWwL1D

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has created more jobs, graduated more people from schools and colleges, built a larger middle class and lifted more people out of poverty as percentage of its population than India in the last decade. And Pakistan has done so in spite of the huge challenges posed by the war in Afghanistan and a very violent insurgency at home.

The above summary is based on volumes of recently released reports and data on job creation, education, middle class size, public hygiene, poverty and hunger over the last decade that offer new surprising insights into the lives of ordinary people in two South Asian countries. It adds to my previous post on this blog titled "India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010".

Please read more at http://www.riazhaq.com/2011/10/india-and-pakistan-comparison-update.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from an NPR interview of Siddhartha Deb, the author of "The Beautiful and The Damned":

......
DEB: Well, I was interested in the changes that were happening there. Obviously, it's a lot of people experiencing change in new ways, in some sense, and I had gotten the impression that there was a very triumphalist version of this change, which is that the country is doing very well.

There was even a slogan that was coined by one of the political parties. It was called India Shining. And I was going back. I was writing feature articles. I was a freelance writer. And I was somewhat skeptical of this. It was pretty obvious that at the upper levels people were much better off materially than they had been in the past.

But certainly large numbers or swaths of people seem to be untouched or mired in the same poverty, or sometimes even worse because they could now see this incredible contrast. So I wanted to examine that. I wanted to do that by checking, by looking at the new rich. I wanted to look at people who were in the middle, people who were middle class.
----------

DONVAN: Well, and the style in which the book is written still reads like a novel. It is full of color and texture and even sights and sounds and smells.

DEB: Thank you. That was very much the intention, to write something like a nonfiction novel, if that's possible. So the facts aren't made up, they're very scrupulously researched. I've tried to be as accurate as possible, but I wanted the texture, the flavor of a novel, of people in motion in some sense.

DONVAN: Can I say that the story that you've written reads to me as a very sad story?

DEB: That would be - that's a fairly, I think, reasonable, actually, interpretation. I think it's a sad story to me too, in many ways.

DONVAN: Even among those who feel that you describe - you describe an engineer named Chuck who is building a house. He had lived in the United States, and he's now building a house in the American model. He gives you a tour. He even uses American language. This is the open-plan kitchen, this is the master bedroom.

And yet you portray him as - his desires as being somewhat hollow, as though he's not a happy man himself.

DEB: Well, I mean, I think Chuck would see himself as a happy man, and I think that's reasonable. I've tried to allow people that space. But yes, I as a narrator come in, and I do sometimes question what some of my characters are saying.

So when someone like Chuck says, you know, he did say this, that there are these incredible contrasts in India, but that's okay, we're kind of one big happy family, and I question whether that's really the case, when, you know, you have at the very top end of the country, say you have, say, something like 66 billionaires.

And these numbers might be slightly old, but there are probably a few more billionaires since I last checked. But 66 billionaires who seem to have something like 30 percent of the country's wealth.

On the other end, you have like 800 million people, over 800 million people living on less than $2 a day. When you have a country where 40 percent of the children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition, it seems to me that these contrasts aren't really healthy. They're not just differences. They are really like living different worlds within the same country.

So yes, I actually come in as a narrator, and I question when, say, Chuck is a character, he sees his life as striving and successful. And I think that's reasonable, again, but I also question the fact that this house, this special zone in which the house is constructed, is being built on what is a demolished village, and I have very hard questions......


http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=141213308

shawn52 said...

Pakistan economy is facing many problems, it is due to many reason not only one 1 things contribute in this all the factors political , social, environmental etc mixed up and cause this problems in pakistan economy.

Riaz Haq said...

Occasional and isolated but nonetheless tragic suicide cases like Raja Khan's in Pakistan get a lot of media coverage as they should. Meanwhile, over 200,000 farmer suicides in India have passed with little media attention in India.

Here's a Washington Post report on rising suicides in India:

NEW DELHI — Ram Babu’s last days were typical in India’s growing rash of suicides.

The poor farmer’s crop failed and he defaulted on the $6,000 loan he had taken to buy a tractor. The bank’s collectors hounded him, even hiring drummers to go round the village drawing attention to his shame.

“My father found it unbearable. He was an honorable man and he couldn’t take the humiliation. The next day he hanged himself from a tree on his farm,” his son Ram Gulam said Friday.

Babu’s suicide went unreported in local newspapers, just another statistic in a country where more than 15 people kill themselves every hour, according to a new government report.

The report released late Thursday said nearly 135,000 people killed themselves in the country of 1.2 billion last year, a 5.9 percent jump in the number of suicides over the past year.

The suicide rate increased to 11.4 per 100,000 people in 2010 from 10.9 the year before, according to the statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau.

Financial difficulties and debts led to most of the male suicides while women were driven to take their lives because of domestic pressures, including physical and mental abuse and demands for dowry.

A 2008 World Health Organization report ranked India 41st for its suicide rate, but because of its huge population it accounted for 20 percent of global suicides.

The largest numbers of suicides were reported from the southern Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, where tens of thousands of impoverished farmers have killed themselves after suffering under insurmountable debts.

The loans — from banks and loan sharks — were often used to buy seeds and farm equipment, or to pay large dowries to get their daughters married. But a bad harvest could plunge the farmer over the edge.

Sociologists say the rapid rise in incomes in India’s booming economy has resulted in a surge in aspirations as well among the lower and middle classes, and the failure to attain material success can trigger young people to suicide.

“The support that traditionally large Indian families and village communities offered no longer exists in urban situations. Young men and women move to the cities and find they have no one to turn to for succor in times of distress,” said Abhilasha Kumari, a sociology professor in New Delhi.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/government-report-says-15-people-commit-suicide-every-hour-in-india/2011/10/28/gIQAVFGWOM_story.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's WHO data on suicide rates in Asia:

Pakistan has the lowest estimated prevalence of less than 3 per 100,000, followed by Thailand at 7.3 per 100,000. Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore have low to medium rates of between 9.9 and 13.1 per
100,000. Higher rates of above 15 per 100,000 are seen in China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong SAR), and India and still higher rates of above 20 per 100,000 are seen in China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka.


http://www.who.int/mental_health/resources/suicide_prevention_asia_chapter1.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

India will not reach its Millennium Development Goal on sanitation before 2047, while Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal will not achieve the target before 2028, according to a United Nations report released on the eve of World Toilet Day 2011.

The WaterAid report titled "Off-track, off-target: Why investment in water, sanitation and hygiene is not reaching those who need it most" says that 818 million Indians and 98 million Pakistanis lack access to toilets. It also reports that 148 million Indians and 18 million Pakistanis do not have adequate access to safe drinking water.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2011/11/india-pakistan-off-track-off-target-on.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report on rapid growth of inequality in India:


Inequality in earnings has doubled in India over the past two decades, a new report says, making it one of the worst performers among emerging economies.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says the top 10% of wage-earners make 12 times more than the bottom 10%, compared to six times 20 years ago.

The OECD says India has the highest number of poor in the world.

Some 42% of its 1.21 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day.
Poverty line

"Brazil, Indonesia and, on some indicators, Argentina have recorded significant progress in reducing inequality over the past 20 years," the report, entitled Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising, says.

"By contrast, China, India, the Russian Federation and South Africa have all become less equal over time."

In India, the report says, the ratio between the top and the bottom wage-earners has doubled since the early 1990s.

India has also not fared well in poverty reduction, the report says.

It says 42% of Indians live below the poverty line, as against the official Indian figure of 37%.

The Paris-based OECD is a grouping of 34 advanced and emerging economies.

Recently, the Indian government was criticised for saying that an individual income of 25 rupees (52 US cents) a day would help provide for adequate "private expenditure on food, education and health" in villages.

In cities, it said, individual earnings of 32 rupees a day (66 US cents) were adequate.

Many experts said the income limit to define the poor was too low and aimed at artificially reducing the number of people below the poverty line.

A World Bank report in May said attempts by the Indian government to combat poverty were not working.

It said aid programmes were beset by corruption, bad administration and under-payments.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-16064321

Riaz Haq said...

India fares worst in terms of low birth weight and underweight children, and under-five infant mortality compared to Brazil, Russia and all South Asian neighbors, says BBC's Soutik Biswas:

Will the proposed law to provide cheap food to more than half of India's people eliminate hunger, the most shameful scourge of an aspiring superpower?

The jury is still out on how the $19bn (£12bn) scheme will work, as is the case with similar big-ticket welfare schemes launched by what many believe is an endemically weak and corrupt state.

But there is little doubt that India needs to fight malnutrition on a war footing, and the food security scheme may well be its last chance to redeem itself.

Many believe that it does not behove a country which never tires of gloating about its red hot economic growth to have millions of malnourished and starving people.

The facts on the ground are startling. India has the largest number of malnourished children in the world, a rate worse than the average in Africa.

Nearly half of India's children under three are malnourished. More than half of the tribes' children are underweight and stunted.

India fares worst in terms of low birth weight and underweight children, and under-five infant mortality compared to Brazil, Russia and all South Asian neighbours.

India also has the highest number of Vitamin A deficient children in the world: nearly 6% of the children suffer from eye problems related to the deficiency. Of the 37m people in the world who are blind, about 15m are from India. More than 320,000 children suffer from avoidable blindness.
----------
Then there are India's notoriously fickle public distribution system shops aimed at providing food security to people. Over 500m people are supposed to benefit through a gigantic distribution network of half a million fair-price shops supplying cheap food grains.

Here too, the results are mixed and contested. In many states, it has failed to make cheap food grains available to the poor. Theft of supplies, fraudulent beneficiaries and hoarding by the shop-owners is not uncommon.
Cart before horse?

So will the latest food security scheme aimed at providing subsidised food grains to 75% of the rural population and half of the urban households work?

There are many economists who wonder how India will cough up the funds to finance the scheme which will see the country's food subsidy bill climb to $19bn from $13bn. The government insists money will not be a problem.

There are also questions about how beneficiaries will be identified and targeted in a transparent manner in a country where there are different official estimates of the poorest of the poor - from 37% to 77% of the people, depending on whom you believe.

India's state-run cold storage system is shambolic, so where is the guarantee that some 65m tonnes of food grains procured from farmers for distribution for the scheme - up from 55m tonnes presently - will not rot before reaching the beneficiary? How can the food grains be distributed through the leaky public distribution system shops without reforming them?

So is India again putting the cart before the horse? Without reforming its laws and public institutions, welfare schemes with the best intentions run the risk of floundering.

For the scheme to work, the government will need to target beneficiaries properly and revamp the distribution system. The public distribution system, for example, could be made accountable by issuing smart cards to beneficiaries to eliminate bogus cards and fraudulent withdrawal.

If the food security scheme does not work, economists believe, India is doomed to remain a hungry republic. It is already one of the fast-growing economies with the hungriest people in the world. And it can get worse.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-16291300

Tanu Raj said...

Hi, My name is Tanu and am an indian who has been living in London since I was 8 years old.I couldnt look through all of your posting but from some of the posts that you have wrote,but it came across to me that you are subliminally degrading India and therefore is not presenting an objective post but rather biased information for example referring to articles which deals with accounts of the western diplomat who talked about New Delhi having a horrible climate.This is NOT relevant information AT ALL WHATSOEVER as it is basically an opinion which is VERY VERY different from factual information and can vary from one person to another.For example, its like me even though I am a common person stating that all muslims are terrosrists,which is total and UTTERLY RUBBLISH and very misleading information ,whereby in your case you are basically generalising and considering that New Delhi's weather is horrible by posting up one man's perspective of his experience.
I now have 1 question which I hope you might be able to answer.

Why couldnt the ISI spot Osama Bin Laden's hideout before the Americans could? especially since it was just 1 or 2 miles oh sorry my mistake 0.8 miles from the Pakistan Military Academy in Bilal Town, Abbottabad which is pretty much doubtfull dont you think?.Also Pakistan is a safe haven of International terrorists such as Dawood Ibrahim and The leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba Hafeez Muhammed Saaed,who directed the bombing in Mumbai and the Parliament attack in 2001.




You talk about poverty in India which is a major problem which I again acknowledge,but according to facts by the people llving below national poverty line by UNDP and am not talking about the CIA p-ercentage as there is a sense of you not trusting the cia India's 28.2% is living under the poverty line compared to 32% in Pakistan,with a population of 1.2 Billion India tries to manage poverty but it isnt working to be honest.But,when compared with pakistan facing the same problem and has the same time of formation as India, with less the 1/12th the population of India shows to me of how your statement of how " Pakistan has done betterin providing basic necessities and reducing hunger and poverty"

Moreover the Tension arising between the military and the government now of a coup d'etait is not going to help or persuade MNCs to settle in Pakistan due to its political turmoil presented throughout Pakistan's Political history which will take a toll on the economic sector as a whole.



Tanu Raj

Riaz Haq said...

Raj: "Why couldnt the ISI spot Osama Bin Laden's hideout before the Americans could? especially since it was just 1 or 2 miles oh sorry my mistake 0.8 miles from the Pakistan Military Academy in Bilal Town"

Have you heard about Jimmy Bulger? He was on FBI's most wanted list and remained free in America for 16 years. Who was hiding him? US govt?

Pakistan has hundreds of MNCs and more are coming each year...Carrefour and Hardy's came only recently.

Raj: "Moreover the Tension arising between the military and the government now of a coup d'etait is not going to help or persuade MNCs to settle in Pakistan "

Coup rumors are just rumors. It's not stopping MNCs where they see profits and growth.

Here's an except from a piece written for Maleeha Lodhi's compendium "Pakistan Beyond The Crisis State" by Mudassar Mazhar Malik, an MIT (Sloan) and LSE (London) educated Pakistani economist and investment banker on his assessment of Pakistan today:

"Today, there are over 300 foreign multinationals have well established
business operations in Pakistan. The US, European Union and Japan remain the largest three foreign direct investors with new inflows emanating from the Middle East and China."

Raj: "you not trusting the cia India's 28.2% is living under the poverty line compared to 32% in Pakistan"

CIA also believed there were WMDs in Iraq!!! It's credibility is extremely low.

Most Indians and the rest of the world don't trust CIA's poverty data either. Just look at recent data from multiple sources like the World Bank, UNDP and Oxford MPI---each shows India not only poorer than Pakistan, but also poorer than sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, India is the 6th poorest country in the India in terms of people living on less than $1.25 a day.

Riaz Haq said...

According to The Fiber Report 2009/10, Indians consumed 4.18 million tons of cotton while Pakistanis consumed 2.558 million tons.

Assuming a population of 1.2 billion for India and 180 million for Pakistan, the per capita cotton consumption works out to 3.48 Kg in India and 14.2 Kg in Pakistan.

http://www.oerlikontextile.com/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-1763/

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts from a Dawn report on World Bank's assessment of Pakistan's economy:

...Pakistan is South Asia’s second largest economy, representing about 15 per cent of regional GDP.
----------
The portion on Pakistan points out that the country’s economy firmed in the second half of 2011. Industrial production surged to grow at a robust 32.1pc annualised pace during the three months ending in October, after falling at 9.1 and 10.1pc rates during the first and second quarters, respectively.

Part of the strengthening in growth reflects base effects due to the widespread flooding that had hampered activity in the second half of 2010. Since the floods occurred in July and August 2010, GDP growth on a fiscal year basis (ending June-2011) slowed to 2.4pc.

The report notes that Pakistan’s weak growth outturns are also tied to “worsening security conditions, accompanied by greater political uncertainty and a breakdown in policy implementation”.

The report also notes that “infrastructure bottlenecks, including disruptions in power delivery,” remain widespread.

A notable bright spot has been a strengthening of exports, evident particularly in the first half of 2011, led by textiles that surged 39pc in the first half of the year.However, like India, Pakistan’s export volume growth saw a sharp fall-off in October.

Indeed, Pakistan’s export volumes fell to a minus 46pc rate in the three-months ending October.

Along with an upswing in worker remittances inflows, robust exports have supported Pakistan’s external positions and contributed to an improvement in the current account from a deficit of 0.9pc of GDP in 2010 to a surplus of close to 0.5pc of GDP in the 2011 calendar year.

The World Bank notes that monetary tightening in Pakistan brought about positive real lending rates in early 2011 as well, the first time since late 2009.
------------
The bank points out that for South Asian nations, including India and Pakistan, domestic crop conditions and price controls are more important determinants of domestic food price inflation.
------------
Regional monetary policy authorities face several challenges in reducing inflation.

More recently, currency devaluation has contributed to inflation as well. In Pakistan, monetary authorities have also been monetising the deficit, complicating the efficacy of other monetary policy efforts to reduce inflation.

A key factor working against monetary policy efforts is the overall stance of fiscal policy, which despite some consolidation, remains very loose.

Monetary authorities in Pakistan have responded to persistent price pressures by raising policy interest rates and/or introducing higher reserve requirements.

Lower revenue growth has contributed to larger fiscal deficits in Pakistan. Terms of trade losses are estimated at about 1.9pc of GDP for the region in aggregate. India and Pakistan saw negative impacts of close to 1.8pc of GDP – estimated January through September 2011 terms of trade impacts relative to 2010.

Remittance inflow to Pakistan rose by an estimated 25pc in 2011, partly in response to the widespread flooding in the second half of 2010.

International reserve positions in South Asia have generally improved since mid-2008. Latest readings of foreign currency holdings were equivalent to at least three-months of merchandise imports in Pakistan.
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A good crop year (2011-12) in much of South Asia and sustained high regional stocks are providing a buffer for grain prices and import demand in 2012....


http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/19/pakistans-economy-recovering-wb.html

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1322593305595/8287139-1326374900917/GEP_January_2012a_FullReport_FINAL.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

India is the deadliest country for girl child, according to a report published by the Times of India:

NEW DELHI: It's official - India is the most dangerous place in the world to be a baby girl. Newly released data shows that an Indian girl child aged 1-5 years is 75% more likely to die than an Indian boy, making this the worst gender differential in child mortality for any country in the world.

Newly released United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs ( UN-DESA) data for 150 countries over 40 years shows that India and China are the only two countries in the world where female infant mortality is higher than male infant mortality in the 2000s. In China, there are 76 male infant deaths for every 100 female infant deaths compared with 122 male infant deaths for every 100 female infant deaths in the developing world as a whole.

The released data has found that India has a better infant mortality sex ratio than China, with 97 male infant deaths for every 100 female, but this is still not in tune with the global trend, or with its neighbours Sri Lanka (125) or Pakistan (120).

When it comes to the child mortality sex ratio, however, India is far and away the world's worst. In the 2000s, there were 56 male child deaths for every 100 female, compared with 111 in the developing world. This ratio has got progressively worse since the 1970s in India, even as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Egypt and Iraq improved.

The UN report is clear that high girl child mortality is explained by socio-cultural values. So strong is the biological advantage for girls in early childhood that higher mortality among girls should be seen as "a powerful warning that differential treatment or access to resources is putting girls at a disadvantage", the report says.

"Higher female mortality from age 1 onwards clearly indicated sustained discrimination," says P Arokiasamy, professor of development studies at Mumbai's International Institute for Population Studies, who has studied gender differentials in child mortality in India. "Such neglect and discrimination can be in three areas: food and nutrition, healthcare and emotional wellbeing. Of these, neglect of the healthcare of the girl child is the most direct determinant of mortality," says Arokisamy. Studies have shown that health-related neglect may involve waiting longer before taking a sick girl to a doctor than a sick boy, and is also reflected in lower rates of immunization for girls than boys.

Moreover, since the outrage over India's poor child sex ratio came out of census data for children aged 0-6 years, the UN data on child mortality indicates that a campaign against female foeticide alone is not a complete solution. "Pre-natal and post-natal discrimination are complementarily contributing to gender imbalance," agrees Dr Arokiasamy. While pre-natal discrimination in the form of sex-selective abortions is more common among better educated upper income households, post-natal discrimination or neglect is more common among poorer, less educated rural households, he adds.


http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-02-01/india/31012468_1_child-mortality-infant-mortality-infant-deaths

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is the third largest arms importer after India and South Korea, according to SIPRI:

Asia and Oceania accounted for 44 per cent of global arms imports, followed by Europe (19 per cent), the Middle East (17 per cent), the Americas (11 per cent) and Africa (9 per cent).

India was the world’s largest recipient of arms, accounting for 10 per cent of global arms imports. The four next largest recipients of arms in 2007–2011 were South Korea (6 per cent of arms transfers), Pakistan (5 per cent), China (5 per cent) and Singapore (4 per cent).

‘Major Asian importing states are seeking to develop their own arms industries and decrease their reliance on external sources of supply,’ said Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. ‘A large share of arms deliveries is due to licensed production.’

China shifts from imports to exports

China, which was the largest recipient of arms exports in 2002–2006, fell to fourth place in 2007–11. The decline in the volume of Chinese imports coincides with the improvements in China’s arms industry and rising arms exports.

Between 2002–2006 and 2007–11, the volume of Chinese arms exports increased by 95 per cent. China now ranks as the sixth largest supplier of arms in the world, narrowly trailing the United Kingdom.

‘While the volume of China’s arms exports is increasing, this is largely a result of Pakistan importing more arms from China’, said Paul Holtom, director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. ‘China has not yet achieved a major breakthrough in any other significant market.’
---------
Other notable developments

In 2011 Saudi Arabia placed an order with the USA for 154 F-15SA combat aircraft, which was not only the most significant order placed by any state in 2011 but also the largest arms deal for at least 2 decades.

Greece’s arms imports decreased by 18 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11. In 2007–11 it was the 10th largest arms importer, down from being the 4th largest in 2002–2006. Greece placed no new order for major conventional weapons in 2011.

Venezuela’s arms imports increased by 555 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11 and it rose from being the 46th largest importer to the 15th largest.

The volume of deliveries of major conventional weapons to states in North Africa increased by 273 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11. Morocco’s imports of major weapons increased by 443 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11.

The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database is accessible from today at www.sipri.org.


http://www.sipri.org/media/pressreleases/rise-in-international-arms-transfers-is-driven-by-asian-demand-says-sipri

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts of The Australian story on the eve of BRICS summit:

INDIA is routinely touted as a big emerging market and a rising global player. Tomorrow New Delhi will host the fourth BRICS summit of the non-Western powerhouses Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
----------
Most major global corporations have a presence there, with substantial expansion plans. Many Indian corporations are expanding their footprints abroad, including in Australia, through investment, mergers and acquisitions. India's growing economic weight has translated into increased political clout.
----------
And yet India has the world's biggest pool of poor, sick, starving and illiterate. It ranks 134 on ease of doing business indicators, 119 on human development, 122 on gender equality, and 87 on corruption. On average, more than 16,500 farmers have committed suicide every year for 13 years running. The annual road death toll is around 150,000, thrice as many as the US or, on a per vehicle basis, almost 20 times the US. Most of those killed in India's traffic accidents are pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and pillion riders - those from the poorer end of society.

Even this single statistic is a proxy for several ailments, including inadequate infrastructure that adds to road risks and public corruption that ensures weak compliance with driving skills and safety regulations.

A report published in January by the Hong Kong-based Political and Risk Consultancy rated India's bureaucrats the most inefficient in Asia with a score of 9.21 out of 10, below China (7.11), The Philippines (7.57), Indonesia (8.37) and Vietnam (8.54). Singapore was judged the best (2.25) followed by Hong Kong (3.53). The report was based on a survey of business executives. Respondents also highlighted onerous and complex tax, environmental and other regulations and a time-consuming, costly and unpredictable court system.

Also in January, the Program for International Student Assessment published its findings of comparative national academic performance of 15-year-old school students in maths, science and English. In the 73 countries tested, India came second last, ahead only of Kyrgyzstan. An eighth-grade Indian student fared the same as a South Korean grade three or a Shanghai grade two student.

Yet another study, also published in January, based on a survey of height and weight of more than 100,000 children in six states, found that 42 per cent of India's children were moderately-severely underweight, and 59 per cent suffered from moderate-severe stunting. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the results as a "national shame".

The following month a government committee concluded that Indian railways have been responsible for thousands of deaths. Some 15,000 people are killed every year trying to cross unfenced railway tracks, half of them in Mumbai alone.

The report called for urgent investment, but when the Railway Minister announced a fare increase to raise the revenue base to invest back in railways for modernisation and upgrade of services and safety, he was forced to resign by his own party, which is in the coalition government.

We read last year how India has more mobile phones than toilets. Some years ago, I had organised an international workshop in a resort along a beautiful stretch of India's eastern coast.

A European participant decided to go for a pre-breakfast run along the beach. I well remember his look of utter disgust and horror as he told us how he had to thread his way through the folks of the village squatting along the beach, defecating. According to a UNICEF survey last year, 58 per cent of the world's population practising open defecation lives in India....


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/india-rises-to-reveal-shameful-stench/story-e6frg6ux-1226311694875

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts of a Bloomberg piece by Indian journalist Pankaj Mishra on Pakistan's "unplanned revolution":

However, I also saw much in this recent visit that did not conform to the main Western narrative for South Asia -- one in which India is steadily rising and Pakistan rapidly collapsing.

Born of certain geopolitical needs and exigencies, this vision was always most useful to those who have built up India as an investment destination and a strategic counterweight to China, and who have sought to bribe and cajole Pakistan’s military-intelligence establishment into the war on terrorism.

Seen through the narrow lens of the West’s security and economic interests, the great internal contradictions and tumult within these two large nation-states disappear. In the Western view, the credit-fueled consumerism among the Indian middle class appears a much bigger phenomenon than the extraordinary Maoist uprising in Central India.
------------
Traveling through Pakistan, I realized how much my own knowledge of the country -- its problems as well as prospects -- was partial, defective or simply useless. Certainly, truisms about the general state of crisis were not hard to corroborate. Criminal gangs shot rocket-propelled grenades at each other and the police in Karachi’s Lyari neighborhood. Shiite Hazaras were being assassinated in Balochistan every day. Street riots broke out in several places over severe power shortages -- indeed, the one sound that seemed to unite the country was the groan of diesel generators, helping the more affluent Pakistanis cope with early summer heat.
Gangsters with Kalashnikovs

In this eternally air-conditioned Pakistan, meanwhile, there exist fashion shows, rock bands, literary festivals, internationally prominent writers, Oscar-winning filmmakers and the bold anchors of a lively new electronic media. This is the glamorously liberal country upheld by English-speaking Pakistanis fretting about their national image in the West (some of them might have been gratified by the runaway success of Hello magazine’s first Pakistani edition last week).

But much less conspicuous and more significant, other signs of a society in rapid socioeconomic and political transition abounded. The elected parliament is about to complete its five- year term -- a rare event in Pakistan -- and its amendments to the constitution have taken away some if not all of the near- despotic prerogatives of the president’s office.

Political parties are scrambling to take advantage of the strengthening ethno-linguistic movements for provincial autonomy in Punjab and Sindh provinces. Young men and women, poor as well as upper middle class, have suddenly buoyed the anti-corruption campaign led by Imran Khan, an ex-cricketer turned politician.

After radically increasing the size of the consumerist middle class to 30 million, Pakistan’s formal economy, which grew only 2.4 percent in 2011, currently presents a dismal picture. But the informal sector of the economy, which spreads across rural and urban areas, is creating what the architect and social scientist Arif Hasan calls Pakistan’s “unplanned revolution.” Karachi, where a mall of Dubai-grossness recently erupted near the city’s main beach, now boasts “a first world economy and sociology, but with a third world wage and political structure.”

Even in Lyari, Karachi’s diseased old heart, where young gangsters with Kalashnikovs lurked in the alleys, billboards vended quick proficiency in information technology and the English language. Everywhere, in the Salt Range in northwestern Punjab as well as the long corridor between Lahore and Islamabad, were gated housing colonies, private colleges, fast- food restaurants and other markers of Pakistan’s breakneck suburbanization....


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-22/pakistan-s-unplanned-revolution-rewrites-its-future.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PakistanToday story on Pakistan's current GDP being closer to $300 Billion:

The actual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Pakistan is nearer to $300 billion and not $210 billion, as is shown officially. And, if the ailing economy of the troubled Pakistan is assumed to grow by 3 per cent per year by 2015 the size of the actual GDP would likely to set between $ 350 and $ 375 billion. This was stated by Managing Director KSE Nadeem Naqvi while briefing the visiting V. Shankar, Member of the Board, Standard Chartered Bank PLC and CEO Europe, Middle East, Africa and Americas here at Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on Wednesday.
“Using conservative estimates, 50 per cent of the economy is in the undocumented sector,” Naqvi said adding that further estimation showed that the per capita income of top 10 per cent of households in Pakistan was near $5,000 versus national per capita income of $1,190.
“This represents a significant potential market for investment and financial services,” the MD added. Also, Naqvi highlighted the areas where KSE and SCBPL could cooperate that, he said, include investor awareness generation, attracting Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs) to the capital market and helping private companies list on the Exchange. Earlier, Shankar, accompanied by Mohsin Nathani, Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited (SCBPL) and senior members of his management team, rang the “Opening Bell” of the KSE in the presence of Chairman KSE Muneer Kamal, MD Nadeem Naqvi, DMD KSE Haroon Askari and directors of the KSE Board.
On the occasion Shankar said there was tremendous opportunity for growth in intra-regional trade for the South Asian economies, particularly India and Pakistan. Illustrating India-China bilateral trade, he said when Sino-Indian trade opened up they had to overcome some apprehensions, however, today they were one of the largest trading partners with benefit to both countries. Welcoming the guests, chairman KSE Muneer Kamal said Pakistan’s economy was at an inflection point. Despite challenges posed by low tax-to-GDP ratio, power sector difficulties and current account pressure due to demand slowdown in key export markets, Pakistan at present was in a position to repay IMF loans.
The foreign exchange reserves, supported by strong remittances by overseas Pakistanis, were in a much healthier position than at the height of global financial crisis in late 2008. While debt servicing burden had risen, it should be viewed in the global context and Pakistan’s total debt-to-GDP ratio of 64 per cent was far lower than many Euro zone and G-8 economies.
A concerted effort to mobilise tax revenue and focus on emerging domestic energy resources such as coal would go a long way in fixing structural deficiencies causing large budget deficits. Kamal highlighted that economic growth can be further accelerated with growing intra-regional trade in the sub-continent. He pointed out that while intra-regional trade in East Asia was 23 per cent of GDP, it was only 1 per cent of the GDP in South Asia.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/03/01/news/profit/kse-contradicts-official-figures-for-pakistan%E2%80%99s-gdp-says-actual-amounts-to-300bn/

Hopewins said...

ISHRAT HUSAIN 2007: Summary of 60th Anniversary Comparison between India & Pakistan

http://www.iba.edu.pk/News/speechesarticles_drishrat/Indo_Pak_economies_compared.pdf

To sum up, Pakistani economy performed very well until 1990 and was well ahead of India during this period. But there has been a perceptible shift since 1991 and India has done much better and has overtaken Pakistan. A growth rate averaging 6 percent for the last 15 years without any periods of decline for a diverse society of one billion is indeed highly creditable. As a global leader in business outsourcing, an attractive location for the services sector, a dynamic Private sector it is positioning itself to become a major player in the global economy. World class professionals educated and trained in India and abroad are adding to the intellectual capital of the country. The out ward orientation, liberalization and integration in the global economy are paying huge dividends. World attention is now focused on India and China. A buoyant and highly confident 200 to 300 million strong middle class has emerged as the back bone of domestic economic expansion led by consumption.

Pakistan has slipped badly in the last 15 years. Despite impressive economic performance between 2002-07 the country is facing serious difficulties. Macroeconomic stability has to be re-established to restore confidence of domestic and international investors and financial institutions. Pakistan has also lost its advantage in international trade by continuing to depend up low-tech non-dynamic sector such as cotton textiles as its main export earner. A narrow base, lack of diversification in commodity composition and markets has accentuated the vulnerability of the economy.

Internal security problems and participation in the war against terror have tampered the investor enthusiasm. Skill shortages and low educational intensity of the labor force are putting at risk the efforts for productivity gains. Private sector players have not yet attuned themselves to the new realities of global markets and are still engaged in lobbying for rents at the expense of the government. Infrastructure deficiencies, particularly the shortages in electricity are having a detrimental effect on the business as well as on the living conditions of the households.

Widening gap between the rich and the poor and regional income disparities are creating pressures on internal social cohesion and inter-provincial harmony. Political divisiveness and tensions have exacerbated these tensions. Unless these challenges are forcefully resolved the gap between Indian and Pakistani economies will continue to widen in the future.

Hopewins said...

ISHRAT HUSAIN 1997: Summary of 50th Anniversary Comparison between India & Pakistan

http://users.erols.com/ziqbal/ih2.htm

What is the bottom line then? The overall record looks mixed. Pakistan scores high on income and consumption growth, poverty reduction and integration with the world economy. India has done very well in developing its human resource base and excelled in the field of science and technology. Both countries face a set of common problems -- the inherited legacy of a control mind-set among the government and rent-seeking private sector, widespread corruption, poor fiscal management, weak financial system and congested and overcrowded urban services.
But there is an important and perceptible positive shift in most of the indicators of India since 1991. Export growth rates have almost doubled, GDP growth is averaging 6 to 7 percent in recent years, current account deficit is down and foreign capital flows for investment have risen several fold. The edge that Pakistan has gained over India in most of these indicators until 1990 is fast eroding. Pakistan, on the other hand, has made greater progress in privatization of state owned enterprises and in attracting foreign investors to expand power generating capacity in the country.

How does the future look like? Since 1991, both India and Pakistan have embarked on a policy of liberalization, outward orientation and faster integration with the global economy. The initial responses have been very positive. As outlined earlier, portfolio and foreign direct investment flows in the last few years have surpassed those accumulated over the last 20-25 years. Indian exports recorded an increase of 50 percent since 1991 while Pakistan, despite a setback due to failure of successive cotton crops, have expanded by two-thirds since 1990. The political uncertainty in India has been minimized after the elections and adoption by the coalition government of the Congress’ agenda on economic reforms. This combination of political stability, economic policy credibility and well developed human resource base places India at an advantage today. But there is no earthly reason as to why we in Pakistan cannot put our house in order, strike a consensus among the two major political parties on the contours of our economic policy direction, stop brick-bating each other for the larger sake of the country’s interests and avoid promoting contrived and perceived sense of economic instability.

The imperatives of globalization and integration with the world economy dictate that the countries that are not agile and do not seize the opportunities at the right time are likely to be losers. What is encouraging is that the economic policy stance of both major parties in Pakistan is identical, i.e., liberalization of the economy. We have made a head-start and let us not lose this momentum by narrow-minded and purely self-serving interests. The destiny of a nation depends upon the hard work, discipline and internal cohesion of its people and the vision of its leaders. Let our future generations not blame our leaders for failing to leave a legacy of prosperity and hope for them.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Pakistan, for doing such a great job...keep it up...!!!

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Business Standard report about Indian GDP shrinking on US $ terms:

The size of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew to Rs 100 lakh crore in 2012-13, about 11.7 per cent higher than the Rs 89 lakh crore a year before. However, it contracted in dollar terms due to the rupee's depreciation.

GDP at market prices (including indirect taxes) had grown 15.1 per cent in 2011-12.

The GDP size, at Rs 1,00,20,620 crore in 2012-13, is only just short of the advance estimate of Rs 10,028,118 crore issued in February this year by the Central Statistics Office.

In dollar terms, the economy's size fell to $1.84 trillion in 2012-13 against $1.87 trillion the previous financial year. It was so because the rupee depreciated to 54.3 against the dollar on an average in 2012-13, against 47.8 in 2011-12.

India's per capita income grew to Rs 68,757 in 2012-13, growing 11.7 per cent over Rs 61,564 the previous year. In dollar terms, per capita income fell to 1,266.2 in 2012-13 against 1,287.9 in 2011-12. (SECTOR-WISE QUARTERLY ESTIMATES OF GDP GROWTH FOR 2012-13)

According to recent estimates of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, India's economy has probably surpassed Japan for the third highest slot in world GDP, in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) at 2005 prices. Both economies had seven per cent share in world output in 2011. However, OECD projected that in 2012 or a year after, India would replace Japan as the third largest economy. Also, India's economy might grow larger than the euro area in about 20 years.

However, in current prices, India's economic size might have shrunk a bit due to fall in the rupee value against the greenback. The OECD estimated that on PPP at current prices, India's share in world GDP was six per cent in 2010 and Japan's was seven per cent.


http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/rupee-fall-shrinks-fy13-gdp-size-in-terms-113060100014_1.html

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's annual GDP rose to $252 billion (184.35 million pop times $1368 per capita) in fiscal 2012-13, according to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2012-13 estimates based on 9 months data.

http://www.finance.gov.pk/survey/chapters_13/executive%20summary.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Sharp fall in Indian currency against the US dollar and slower economic growth have caused India's GDP for Fiscal  Year 2012-13 to shrink in US $ terms to $1.84 trillion from $1.87 trillion a year earlier. The Indian rupee has plummeted from 47.80 in 2012 to 54.30 to a US dollar in 2013, according to Business Standard. Since this report was published in Business Standard newspaper, Indian rupee has declined further against the US dollar to Rs. 59.52 today. At this exchange rate, India's GDP is down to $1.68 trillion, about $200 billion less than it was in  Fiscal 2011-12.

Meanwhile,  Pakistan's economy continues to struggle with its annual GDP rising just 3.6% to $252 billion ($242 billion at Rs. 100 to a USD exchange rate)  in fiscal 2012-13, according to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2012-13 estimates based on 9 months data. The country is facing militancy and energy shortages impacting its economy.

Anonymous said...

The latest 2012 IQ data published by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen puts mean IQ of Pakistanis at 84 and of Indians at 82.2, and Bangladeshis at 81.

Each country has big std deviations and large positive outliers.

The highest IQs are reported for East Asia (100+) and the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa (just over 70).

https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/intelligence-a-unifying-construct-for-the-social-sciences-richard-lynn-and-tatu-vanhanen.pdf

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "Second, 60% of India's workforce produces 16% of Inda's GDP in agriculture. Compare that with 42% of Pakistani workforce in agriculture contributing 19.4% of GDP. "
------

The standardized essence of this comparison is here:
http://alturl.com/8f39k

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "Second, 60% of India's workforce produces 16% of Inda's GDP in agriculture. Compare that with 42% of Pakistani workforce in agriculture contributing 19.4% of GDP..."
------

Here is our country compared to China & India in agricultural productivity:

http://alturl.com/wurvj

Riaz Haq said...

India and Pakistan are running neck and neck in per capita GDP in both nominal US dollar terms and purchasing power parity terms, according to data available from multiple sources.


CIA World Factbook reports that the 2013 official exchange rate GDP of India is $1.67 trillion while that of Pakistan is $237 billion. It's a ratio of 7, about the same as the population ratio between the two countries.


http://www.riazhaq.com/2014/10/india-pakistan-economic-comparison-2014.html

Riaz Haq said...

India is far ahead of Pakistan in more ways than I can count :-)

Here are some:

1. India leads the world in open defecation....in absolute numbers and percentages.

2. India leads the world in child marriages....in absolute numbers and percentages.

3. India has more poor, hungry and illiterate people than any other country in the world. In percentage terms, the poverty rate in India is 2X higher than in Pakistan.

4. More farmers have killed themselves in India than any other country in the world.

5. Top 1% of Indians own 58% of India's wealth, 2nd only to Russia's 70%.

6. India has a mass murderer Modi as its elected leader.

7. India has more slaves than any other country in the world.

8. India has had more anti-minority riots than any other country in the world.

9. India is only one of only two countries where Apartheid is still rampant....the other is Israel.

10. There are more active insurgencies in India than any other country in the world.

And yet, India is a "secular democracy"!!!!!

All of the above are easily verifiable facts from credible sources which track such data.

Riaz Haq said...

Meghnad Desai: A country of many nations, will #India break up? #Hindu #Hindi #Beef #Dalit #Muslim #Naga #Tamil Quartz

https://qz.com/1156242/meghnad-desai-a-country-of-many-nations-will-india-break-up/


Excerpts of Baron Meghnad Deai's book "The Raisina Model"

India has avoided equal treatment of unequal units. Representation in the Rajya Sabha is proportional to population size. If anything, it is the smaller states that may complain about being marginalised, though so far none has. The larger states thus dominate both Houses of Parliament. It would be difficult for small states to object, much less initiate reform. In future, small states could unite to present their case for better treatment. Except for Punjab and Nagaland, there has been no attempt to challenge the status quo.

The issue, however, is that India has still not fashioned a narrative about its nationhood which can satisfy all. The two rival narratives—secular and Hindu nation—are both centred in the Hindi belt extending to Gujarat and Maharashtra at the most. This area comprises 51% of the total population and around 45% of the Muslims in India. It is obviously a large part of India and is contiguous. Of course, ideas of secularism and Hindu nationhood capture the imagination in other parts of India too, but even so, there is a lot of India outside this.

In the agitation to establish Hindi as the sole national language in 1965, India came close to a rupture between the north and the south. It was the Chinese debacle which united the country. But the idea of the south seceding was openly discussed. The north-east is a region which has long felt alienated from what it calls the “mainland.” It has never been woven into the national narrative, just as the south has been ignored. Privileging the Hindu-Muslim divide has left the numerous other minorities and linguistic nations outside the idea of the Indian nation. The current agitation about beef eating and gau raksha is in the Hindi belt just an excuse for attacking Muslims blatantly. As most slaughterhouses in UP are Muslim-owned, owners and employees of these places are prime targets.

But that apart, the idea that beef eating is anathema to Hindus across India is just wrong. Hindus, with the exception of Brahmins, have been known to eat meat, even beef. South Indian Hindus, for example, eat beef. The lower castes and Dalits openly do. Then we come to the tribal people. They have no reason to be deprived of their food sources because some upper caste Hindus in Awadh feel strongly about beef eating.


Across India, Hindus and non-Hindus eat beef. No one has the right to impose a uniform eating culture on others. Just because the BJP has won a large vote in UP, it does not license vigilante attacks on beef eaters. There will be other elections and Indian voters are known for expressing their displeasure through the ballot. The democratic process has bound the different regions and nations together because everyone has a hand in the election of governments.

The idea that India has just two “nations,” Hindu and Muslim, is far too simple.



There are many nations. Across the Dandakaranya are tribes whose names are unknown even to most Indians.

The recent incident at a Delhi club where a woman wearing a north-eastern dress was denied entry as someone in the management decided she was “improperly dressed” tells all. This relative isolation of the peripheral, low-density areas of India is a worry. It has not taken an agitational form as yet. But the integration of the tribal people in India as bona fide citizens has yet to be achieved. The categories of Hindu or Muslim may not apply to them. They may have their own religion, some form of animism or worship of the land. They could be Christians. There are, after all, a number of Christian sects in India as Christianity has been practised in India since the first century ce, before Islam was even preached. The many tribal languages have yet to gain recognition.

Riaz Haq said...

How happy or miserable are we? - Newspaper - DAWN.COM
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https://www.dawn.com/news/1657633

The simple misery index has been modified by other economists like Robert Barro of Harvard and recently by Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins Univer­sity. In Hanke’s formulation lending rates are added because higher lending rates cause misery. Growth in real per capita GDP is subtracted as it causes happiness. This formulation helps make a country by country comparison easier. Hanke has calculated this index for 156 countries for 2020 and ranked these countries from the most to the least miserable.

Venezuela ranks first (most miserable) and its neighbour, Guyana ranks 156 (least miserable or most happy). Why was Guyana most happy in 2020? It struck oil in 2019 and as a result, real GDP per ca­­pita increased by 25.8pc in 2020. Next to Vene­zue­­la in misery are Zimbabwe and Sudan. And next to Gu­­yana in happiness are Taiwan and Qatar. As we are always obsessed with comparisons with India, it may not hurt us to know that India is higher in misery (in­­dex 35.8, rank 39) than Pakistan (index 32.5, rank 49.) Bangladesh is better than both India and Pakis­tan with a misery index of 14 and rank of 129.


https://www.cato.org/commentary/hankes-2020-misery-index-whos-miserable-whos-happy

Riaz Haq said...

2020 labor force participation rate in Pakistan is 50.2%, higher than India's 46.3% but lower than Bangladesh's 55.7%.

https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/india/labour-force-participation-rate


https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/PAK/pakistan/labor-force-participation-rate


https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/IND/india/labor-force-participation-rate

Riaz Haq said...

Food is more affordable in Pakistan than in Bangladesh and India, according to the Global Food Security Index 2021. Earlier in 2021, Global Hunger Index report also ranked Pakistan better than India. Numbeo Grocery Index reports that the food prices in Pakistan are the second cheapest in the world.


https://www.southasiainvestor.com/2021/11/global-food-security-index-2021-food-in.html

Riaz Haq said...

India-Pakistan Comparison:

Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani, a professor at Karachi School of Business Leadership, has recently analyzed household surveys in India and Pakistan to discover the following:

1. As of 2015, car ownership in both India and Pakistan is about the same at 6% of households owning a car. However, 41% of Pakistani household own motorcycles, several points higher than India's 32%.

2. 12% of Pakistani households own a computer, slightly higher than 11% in India.

3. Higher percentage of Pakistani households own appliances such as refrigerators (Pakistan 47%, India 33%), washing machines (Pakistan 48%, India 15%) and fans (Pakistan 91%, India 83%).

4. 71% of Indian households own televisions versus 62% in Pakistan.

https://www.riazhaq.com/2017/05/comparing-ownership-of-appliances-and.html

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistanis are less miserable than Indians in the economic sphere, according to the Hanke Annual Misery Index (HAMI) published in early 2021 by Professor Steve Hanke. With India ranked 49th worst and Pakistan ranked 39th worst, both countries find themselves among the most miserable third of the 156 nations ranked. Hanke teaches Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Hanke explains it as follows: "In the economic sphere, misery tends to flow from high inflation, steep borrowing costs, and unemployment. The surefire way to mitigate that misery is through economic growth. All else being equal, happiness tends to blossom when growth is strong, inflation and interest rates are low, and jobs are plentiful". Several key global indices, including misery index, happiness index, hunger index, food affordability index, labor force participation rate, ILO’s minimum wage data, all show that people in Pakistan are better off than their counterparts in India.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2021/11/misery-index-whos-less-miserable-india.html

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