A new United Nations report has revealed that Pakistan’s elite groups enjoy an estimated $17.4 billion or 6 per cent of the nation’s economy in economic privileges. These groups consist of the corporate sector, feudal landlords, the political class and the country’s military.
The report, titled ‘UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) National Human Development Report (NHDR) for Pakistan’, is centered around matters related to inequality in Pakistan. It was released last week.
The UN report highlights that Power, People, and Policy are the key drivers of inequality in Pakistan. Powerful groups use their privilege to capture more than their fair share; people discriminate against others based on characteristics such as gender and class; and policies are often unsuccessful at addressing the resulting inequality, said the UNDP.
“Social and economic inequality threatens the foundations of a just society. To this end, the framework of the ‘three Ps’ of inequality is a useful tool for deconstructing the challenges and carefully analysing inequality in Pakistan in detail”, said NCOC Chief Asad Umar in response to this.
Speaking on the release of the report, Mr. Knut Ostby, Resident Representative at UNDP Pakistan stated, “This NHDR comes at an especially important time for the country. With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing millions of people into poverty, the issue of inequality has become far more urgent for the success of the country, its institutions, and its people. We hope that the recommendations contained in the report can spawn policy discussions and dialogue, and lead to actionable change at the policy level”.
“Powerful groups use their privilege to capture more than their fair share, people perpetuate structural discrimination through prejudice against others based on social characteristics, and policies are often unsuccessful at addressing the resulting inequity, or may even contribute to it,” the report says.