Monday, January 22, 2018

WEF Reports More Pakistanis Sharing Fruits of Economic Growth

More and more Pakistanis are sharing in their nation's development, according to World Economic Forum (WEF). Pakistan ranks 47 among 74 emerging economies ranked for inclusive development by WEF released recently at Davos, Switzerland. Inclusive development in the South Asian country has increased 7.56% over the last 5 years. World Economic Forum assesses inclusive development  based on "living standards, environmental sustainability and protection of future generations from further indebtedness."

WEF Inclusive Development Report 2018:

The WEF inclusive development index ranks Pakistan at 47, below Bangladesh at 34 but above India at 62. The 7.56% rate of increase in inclusive development in Pakistan is higher than 4.55% in Bangladesh and 2.29% in India. China ranks 26 and its inclusion is rising at a rate 2.94%.

WEF IDI Rankings. Source: WEF

Pakistan has improved its ranking from 52 last year to 47 this year, while India's rank worsened to 62 this year from 60 last year.  China's ranking also worsened from 15 last year to 26 this year.

Another WEF report compiled by Oxfam said the richest 1% of Indians took 73% of the wealth generated last year.

Income Share Change in Asia's Poorest Quintile: 

The share of national income of Pakistan's poorest 20% of households has increased from 8.1% to 9.6% since 1990 , according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (NESCAP) Statistical Yearbook for 2015.  It's the highest share of income for the bottom income quintile in the region.

The countries where people in the poorest income quintile have increased their share of total income include Kyrgyzstan (from 2.5 per cent to 7.7), the Russian Federation (4.4 per cent to 6.5), Kazakhstan (7.5 per cent to 9.5) and Pakistan (8.1 per cent to 9.6).  India's bottom income quintile has seen its share of income drop from 9% to 7.8%.

Bottom Quintile Income Share Change. Source: UNESCAP Statistical Yearbook

Although more people in China have lifted themselves out of poverty than any other country in the world, the poorest quintile in that country now accounts for a lower percentage of total income (4.7 per cent) than in the early 1990s (8.0 per cent). The same unfortunate trend is observed for a number of other countries, including in Indonesia (from 9.4 per cent to 7.6) and in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (from 9.3 per cent to 7.6).

CPEC Transforming Least Developed Regions:

Development of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is transforming Pakistan.  Among the parts of the contry being transformed the most by CPEC are some of the least developed regions in Balochistan and Sindh, specifically Gwadar and Thar Desert. Here is more on these regions:

Gwadar Port City:

Gwadar is booming. It's being called the next Shenzhen by some and the next Hong Kong by others as an emerging new port city in the region to rival Dubai. Land prices in Gwadar are skyrocketing, according to media reports. Gwadar Airport air traffic growth of 73% was the fastest of all airports in Pakistan where overall air traffic grew by 23% last year, according to Anna Aero publication.  A new international airport is now being built in Gwadar to handle soaring passenger and cargo traffic.




In addition to building a major seaport that will eventually handle 300-400 million tons of cargo in a year, China has built a school, sent doctors and pledged about $500 million in grants for an airport, hospital, college and badly-needed water supply infrastructure for Gwadar, according to Reuters.

The Chinese grants include $230 million for a new international airport in Gwadar, one of the largest such disbursements China has made abroad, according to researchers and Pakistani officials.

New development work in Gwadar is expected to create as many as 20,000 jobs for the local population.

Thar Desert:

Thar, one of the least developed regions of Pakistan, is seeing unprecedented development activity in energy and infrastructure projects.  New roads, airports and buildings are being built along with coal mines and power plants as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). There are construction workers and machinery visible everywhere in the desert. Among the key beneficiaries of this boom are Thari Hindu women who are being employed by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) as part of the plan to employ locals. Highlighted in recent news reports are two Hindu women in particular: Kiran Sadhwani, an engineer and Gulaban, a truck driver.

Kiran Sadhwani, a Thari Hindu Woman Engineer. Source: Express Tribune

Thar Population:

The region has a population of 1.6 million. Most of the residents are cattle herders. Majority of them are Hindus.  The area is home to 7 million cows, goats, sheep and camel. It provides more than half of the milk, meat and leather requirement of the province. Many residents live in poverty. They are vulnerable to recurring droughts.  About a quarter of them live where the coal mines are being developed, according to a report in The Wire.

Hindu Woman Truck Driver in Thar, Pakistan. Source: Reuters

Some of them are now being employed in development projects.  A recent report talked of an underground coal gasification pilot project near the town of Islamkot where "workers sourced from local communities rested their heads after long-hour shifts".

Summary:

More and more Pakistanis are sharing the fruits of development in Pakistan as shown by the World Economic Forum report on inclusive growth. WEF ranks Pakistan at 47, below Bangladesh at 34 but above India at 62. The 7.56% rate of increase in inclusive development in Pakistan is higher than 4.55% in Bangladesh and 2.29% in India.   The share of national income of Pakistan's poorest 20% of households has increased from 8.1% to 9.6% since 1990 , according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (NESCAP) Statistical Yearbook for 2015.  It's the highest share of income for the bottom income quintile in the region.  Development of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is transforming Pakistan.  Among the parts of the country being transformed the most by CPEC are some of the least developed regions in Balochistan and Sindh, specifically Gwadar and Thar Desert. 


3 comments:

Iqbal A. said...

True, true. A long way to go for us Pakistanis.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #GDP "Growth (under #Modi) has dipped below the 30-year average" Economist Kaushik Basu. #ModiAtDavos

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/growth-has-dipped-below-the-30-year-average-kaushik-basu/article22500231.ece

The former Chief Economic Adviser on India’s current slowdown in economic growth and the mix of policies needed to reignite it
In a career spanning more than four decades, economist Kaushik Basu has donned many hats. He was Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India (2009-2012) and Chief Economist of the World Bank (2012-2016). At present, he is Professor of Economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, U.S. He is also President of the International Economic Association for a three-year term (2017-2020). A prolific author, Mr. Basu explains why demonetisation was a bad idea and the need for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

You have been a vocal critic of demonetisation and its intended purpose. Do you think its immediate effects are behind us? And, conversely, if there are increased digital transactions and tax scrutiny, as claimed, will that eventually lead to more growth?
I believe that demonetisation’s worst effects on the economy are behind us now. I do not think it will confer any long-run benefits in terms of digitalisation because that is a slow, natural process. There is no way that an emerging economy like India, with more than half the population still living in the informal sector, can leapfrog advanced economies and get there by a simple policy intervention. The main damage of demonetisation is to India’s reputation as a professionally run economy, since it was an uncalled-for jolt to the market.

You have been a consistent supporter of the other major reform, the GST. Is the current multi-tiered GST design optimal, considering that much of the voiced distress comes from small businesses? The textile sector, for example.
The GST was needed and I am glad that the government managed the political process to get it through. But it has been poorly implemented. For such a large policy shift, the planning and implementation design should have been much better. Also, it should not be too multi-tiered, which is both inconvenient and makes one wonder if this is a sign of sector-specific cronyism. Once we go past these teething troubles, the GST should aid efficiency and growth.

Has the Narendra Modi government leveraged the historic mandate it received, in terms of economic policy? Is there scope for further reform, which could possibly be seen in the Union Budget to be presented soon?
The broad policy continuity that we have seen in India — the GST, the effort to manage fiscal policy in ways similar to what happened before 2014 — is India’s strength. Yes, as always, a lot depends on the Budget, and we are all waiting to see what new initiatives are announced. But in fairness to the Ministry of Finance, India’s challenge is not a matter of fiscal policy alone. India’s economy is doing poorly on several fronts. Consider exports — they have dragged, with India’s trade deficit with China growing rapidly. Exports did seem to grow well from April to November last year, with an annual growth of 12.3%. But it was a time when several emerging economies did well and India’s performance fell short of many other nations, like Indonesia and Vietnam whose exports grew by 16% and 24%, respectively. I believe that India’s long-term prospects are very good, but to get out of the current morass, it needs a professionally designed combination of fiscal, monetary and international trade policy initiatives.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's #Gilgit-#Baltistan region gets #3G, #4G internet service. #Mobile #Broadband https://tribune.com.pk/story/1631513/1-gilgit-baltistan-gets-3g-4g-internet-service/


Residents in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) can now enjoy 3G and 4G internet service provided by Special Communication Organization (SCO), Radio Pakistan reported on Saturday.

An SCO spokesperson confirmed the news, saying the internet service will continue on a trial basis and can be accessed free of cost until further notice.
Internet facility in Gilgit

He said the SCO mobile phone SIMs for this purpose are available at the organisation’s franchises in the area.

Radio Pakistan reported that subscribers have been asked not to pay more than Rs200 after acquiring a receipt for purchasing the Sim.

SCO is a public sector telecommunications service provider, established by the government in 1976. It is responsible for developing, operating and maintaining telecom services in G-B as well as Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan to get 3G/4G services by Feb 2018

In October 2017, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority announced plans of introducing fast-paced information technology services – 3G/4G – in AJK and G-B, which it said would materialise by February this year.

Last year, the number of subscribers of 3G/4G in Pakistan rose to 44.4 million, which PTA expects will rise further.

The arrival of 3G and 4G service in such remote areas promises to boost commerce, bring socio-economic prosperity for the entire region and also benefit people living along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor routes in AJK and G-B.

Pakistan set to outdo India in introducing 5G internet: PTA

As people of AJK and G-B are heavily dependent on remittances, the 3G/4G service will provide them easy access to the financial services.

The technology will also boost tourism, local economy as well as create job opportunities for local people. The hospitality industry and tourism value chain will also improve as it will make online marketing more efficient and effective.
As transportation in the area is also difficult, better connectivity through modern communication technology is important for its people.