Journal Issue


International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
July 2010
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Chapter 1 - Introduction: Challenges, opportunities and strategy

1.1 The new Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP–II) draws upon lessons learnt from PRSP-I1 and takes into account recent political, economic and social events, both domestic and international, which have adverse impacts for Pakistan. To steer Pakistan back on the path of sustained and broad-based economic growth and to create jobs and reduce poverty, Pakistan requires a prolonged period of macroeconomic stability, financial discipline and consistently transparent policies that place poverty reduction at the centre of the country’s overall economic policies. Linking the economic growth-poverty reduction nexus are the very elements that the new PRSP focuses on, which has been extensively chalked out in the entire document. Meanwhile, this chapter aims primarily to set the stage for the subsequent discussion by presenting a broad overview of the programme and underscores the main points that underpin the Strategy.

1.2 Setting the Stage for the Strategy

1.2.1 Economic Environment: During the five years ending in FY 2006/07, Pakistan’s economy more than doubled in size with an annual GDP growth rate averaging 7 percent. With relative price stability, the debt burden had reduced to one-half, foreign exchange reserves were sufficient to provide import cover for almost six months, stock market was one of the best performing in emerging markets; foreign direct investment touched close to 6 percent of GDP, and Pakistan successfully launched sovereign bonds of maturity ranging from 5-30 years in the international capital market with manifold oversubscription reflecting strong vote of confidence of global investors. However, the last fiscal year, i.e. 2007/08 has caused turmoil for Pakistan’s economy with several political and economic events, both on domestic and external fronts, occurring unexpectedly. The country suffered a series of shocks since the eruption of the judicial crisis in March, 2007. The then government went into policy inaction, delaying important decisions that were needed to face these challenges. Root causes of macroeconomic instability included delay in passing the effect of the oil price hike to the consumers, resulting in a very high budget deficit which was financed by excessive borrowing from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). For this reason, monetary growth is projected at close to 19 percent during the first half of the PRSP-II term, further fueling the already high inflation. Domestic political and economic instability has led to GDP growth plummeting from as high as 7.5 percent to barely 5.8 percent in FY 2007/08 and an expected growth of 3.4 percent in the current fiscal year (2008/09).

1.2.2 Three main structural weaknesses can be identified for the current economic difficulty: (i) government spending in excess of revenue (fiscal deficit); (ii) imports in excess of exports (trade deficit); and (iii) inadequate social services to allow the poor and the vulnerable to fully participate in times of economic stability and prosperity and be protected during shocks. More recent reasons for the prevailing macroeconomic instability include domestic law and order situation, an unprecedented global increase in prices of oil, food and other essential commodities, instability in international financial markets and, most importantly, bearing the direct and indirect costs being a frontline state in the ‘War on Terror’. As a result of these issues, Pakistan is currently facing major challenges including growing fiscal and current account deficits; rising inflation; growth deterioration; and depleting foreign exchange reserves.

1.2.3 Pakistan’s Role in the Universal War on Terror: One important aspect that has severely dented development in Pakistan is its role in the ‘War on Terror’. Pakistan has sustained immense socio-economic costs of being a partner in the international counter terrorism campaign. The anti-terrorist campaign, which followed the 9/11 event in the United States in 2001, over-strained Pakistan’s budget as allocations for law enforcement agencies had to be increased significantly which meant erosion of resources for development all over Pakistan, particularly in FATA and nearby NWFP areas in addition to human sufferings and resettlement costs. Several development projects, started earlier in the affected areas are afflicted with delays which would ultimately result in large cost over-runs. Since the start of the anti-terrorism campaign, an overall sense of uncertainty has contributed to capital flight, as well as, slowed down domestic economic activity making foreign investors jittery. It is apprehended that Foreign Direct Investment, which witnessed a steep rise over the past several years may be adversely affected by the on-going anti-terrorism campaign in FATA and other areas of NWFP in addition to an excessive increase in the country’s credit risk, which has made borrowing from the market extremely expensive. Pakistan’s sovereign bonds have alos under-performed owing to similar reasons.

1.2.4 Above all, Pakistan’s participation in the anti-terrorism campaign has led to massive unemployment in the affected regions. Frequent bombings, worsening law and order situation and displacement of the local population have taken a toll on the socio-economic fabric of the country. The costs to the economy, both direct and indirect, have been estimated in Table 1.1. The estimated cost of the ‘War on Terror’ to Pakistan was around Rs 484 billion during FY 2007/08. This cost is projected to increase to Rs 678 billion during FY 2008/09. The government is in the process of devising a strategic policy to overcome the menace of terrorism which has captured the entire country.

Table 1.1:Cost of ‘War on Terror’ to Pakistan(Rs billion)
Direct Cost67.10378.06082.499108.527114.033
Indirect Cost*192.000222.720278.400375.840563.760

On account of loss of exports, foreign investment, privatization, industrial output, tax collection, etc.

Source: Finance Division, Government of Pakistan, September, 2008.

On account of loss of exports, foreign investment, privatization, industrial output, tax collection, etc.

Source: Finance Division, Government of Pakistan, September, 2008.

1.2.5 Global Food Inflation: Global food crisis has adversely impacted Pakistan in the form of price hike of food items. This includes over 100 percent increase in the price of oil in the international market since April 2007; over 200 percent increase in the price of palm oil; and an increase of 150 percent in wheat prices. A review of price trends of essential items in Pakistan during FY 2007/08, indicates that the major portion of food inflation during this period stemmed from hike in the prices of wheat, flour, rice, edible oil, fruits, vegetables, pulses, poultry and milk, etc. However, prices of other important food items like sugar, potatoes and moong pulse have decreased owing to improved availability of these items in the market.2

1.2.6 Social Protection: Despite all efforts at job creation, training, and so on, there will always be individuals who for one reason or another are unable to benefit from the country’s economic growth. In March, 2008 the Prime Minister laid out a series of future commitments (100 Days’ Agenda) to benefit the poor during the PRSP-II period and beyond. The coming of a new era of democracy in Pakistan has thus immediately resulted in promising opportunities for people belonging to the lower middle class and poor segments of society. Salient initiatives pledged by the government include: increased employment generation with the help of a new Employment Commission planned to facilitate creation of jobs in the public and private sectors and to provide employment to one member of every poor family from 50 percent of the districts in the country, revision of labour laws as per the requirements of the International Labour Organization (ILO) (minimum wage of labourers will be fixed at Rs 6000 per month: see chapter 8), amendments in the Civil Service Regulations (June, 2008), ‘Article 474 B Public’ for eligibility of public servants who become disabled during service to get full benefits of retirement, with ten years service condition being lifted immediately; development at union council level; low cost housing; provision of medical insurance of Rs 15,000 – 20,000 per year to the poor; cases of political prisoners in the country to be reviewed under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (2007) by a Committee headed by the Attorney General of Pakistan; poor people to be provided free national identity cards; and provision of financial assistance/scholarships to widows and children of innocent victims who lost their lives in terrorist attacks. In context with the last commitment, an aid agenda has been issued to all Provincial Governments and Finance Division with the approval of the Prime Minister for implementation. The Government of Sindh in this regard allocated an amount of Rs 50 million in budget estimates for FY 2008/09. The government has also launched the “Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP)” to provide direct cash transfers to the poor, details of which are covered later in the discussion.

1.2.7 The overall vision of PRSP-II is thus to regain macroeconomic stability and Pakistan’s growth of 5-7 percent per annum over the next five years; create adequate employment opportunities; improve income distribution and global economic competitiveness through economic liberalization; deregulation; and transparent privatization. To ensure that macroeconomic difficulties do not further slow down the pace of job creation and hence, ultimately adversely effect poverty reduction, the government has taken and will continue to undertake a series of fiscal, monetary and exchange rate measures to stabilize the economy. In this light, Pakistan has recently reached an agreement with IMF for a US $7.6 billion package with interest rate varying from 3.51 to 4.51 percent spread out over a period of 23 months. For the first time, IMF has accepted Pakistan’s own proposals/programmes which have two main objectives: (i) to restore the confidence of domestic and external investors by addressing macroeconomic imbalances through tightening of fiscal and monetary policies; and (ii) to protect the poor and preserve social stability through a well-targeted and adequately funded social safety nets. In this light, the PRSP-II endeavours not only to address growth per se but pro-poor growth, which is essential for improving the life of the common man. It is in this perspective that PRSP-II emphasizes commodity producing sectors namely, agriculture and manufacturing, alongside services. High employment intensity sectors such as housing & construction; and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will also receive greater attention, as will skill development and higher education. Tackling the energy crisis to avoid stifling of growth by rapidly adding more power while simultaneously conserving energy will be another top priority. Ensuring the implementation of policies and reform programmes to achieve the desired results as set out in PRSP-II is a critical task. Support from bilateral and multilateral institutions will play an important role in achieving these targets. The Poverty Reduction Strategy covers the three-year PRSP-II period of FY 2008/09–2010/11 but also provides a framework for thinking well beyond this timeframe. It should, therefore, be viewed as an approach to a long-term national economic strategy that has its main focus on reduction of poverty.

1.2 Building up the Strategy

1.3.1 Pakistan’s PRSP is a fully participative process, incorporating the views and suggestions of all stakeholders – parliamentarians, line ministries, development partners, civil society, media and the poor communities. Consultations are an integral element of the PRSP process. PRSP welcomes participation at various stages of the overall process enabling it to become representative of all stakeholder interests increasing the transparency of the formulation process, ultimately, ensuring sustained ownership and successful implementation of the Strategy. The PRSP-II has been compiled incorporating all such feedback. Comprehensive consultations for PRSP-II started towards the end of the year 2005 and have continued till the launch of the Paper in late 2008. This participatory process has included national stakeholder workshops, regular meetings with all partners and informal sharing of the draft for review/feedback. The PRSP-II Draft Summary was launched at the platform of the Pakistan Development Forum, Islamabad in April, 2007. The Draft Summary and the periodic PRSP expenditure reports are available at the Ministry of Finance’s website.3 Details of the entire consultative process are discussed in the next chapter.

1.4 The Strategy for Poverty Reduction

1.4.1 The Strategy consists of the following nine pillars: (i) Macroeconomic Stability and Real Sector Growth; (ii) Protecting the Poor and the Vulnerable; (iii) Increasing Productivity and Value Addition in Agriculture; (iv) Integrated Energy Development Programme; (v) Making Industry Internationally Competitive; (vi) Human Development for the 21st Century; (vii) Removing Infrastructure Bottlenecks through Public Private Partnerships; (viii) Capital and Finance for Development; and (ix) Governance for a Just and Fair System. In addition, the government is putting in place a stringent results-based system to monitor and evaluate the progress of the Poverty Reduction Strategy. Moreover, the government is continuouslly determined to empower women and to reduce gender disparities. This, in addition to environmental sustainability, is a cross-cutting theme and is regarded as an integral part of the programme which is woven throughout the PRSP-II. The following discussion gives a broad overview of the pillars.

1.4.2 Pillar I: Macroeconomic Stability and Real Sector Growth First and foremost, the government’s top priority is regaining macroeconomic stability, which will act as an umbrella over all other government policies. It is on the basis of the macroeconomic framework that assumptions and targets of all policies will be set. The government’s new broad-based programme for economic stabilization has already ensuring adjustment in petroleum prices to reduce burden on the budget; significant cuts in expenditures to curb the rising burden of subsidies; tight monetary policy to fight inflation; and further cuts in development spending, etc. Details are discussed in chapter 4.

1.4.3 Pillar II: Protecting the Poor and the Vulnerable Social safety nets that provide at least minimal safeguard for the poor and the vulnerable which must form an essential element of any poverty reduction strategy. Pakistan has a fairly elaborate network of direct and indirect social protection mechanisms. Direct provisions include employment based guarantees (such as Employees’ Old Age Benefit Institution, Workers’ Welfare Fund and provincial social security benefits), direct transfers (Zakat and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal) and market based interventions (microfinance). Indirect provisions include the provision of the minimum wage, lifeline tariff on electricity, subsidy on the price of flour and food subsidies through the Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan. Funding of specific safety net programmes has traditionally been insufficient given programme objectives and target populations. As a result, safety net programmes are fragmented and often duplicative; have limited coverage and are poorly targeted with small benefit levels relative to household income and the poverty gap; payments are infrequent and irregular; administrative arrangements are inadequate; and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) capacity is not up to the mark, which negatively impact programme efficiency and quality of service delivery. Consequently, these programmes have limited impact on poverty and vulnerability. In response to these challenges a National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS)4 was drafted in 2007, building upon a detailed sectoral review and upon inputs provided by all relevant actors in the sector, both at the federal and provincial levels. The NSPS aims to develop an integrated and comprehensive protection system, covering the entire population especially the poorest and the most vulnerable. The NSPS comprises a range of programmes and policies such as social insurance and assistance; income transfers to the very poor; support to vulnerable households to manage risks; and investment in human capital and physical assets to strengthen their resilience. With the aim to provide relief to the economically stressed segments of the society in the face of spiraling prices of the essential commodities, the government has launched “Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP)” with an initial allocation of Rs 34 billion to be disbursed amongst the target households. The programme envisages cash grant of Rs 1000 per month to each qualifying household through banks/post offices. The vision of BISP is to ensure the government’s role in amelioratating the conditions of the poorest of the poor by directly accessing them through supplementing their sources of income. Similarly, the Government of Punjab has announced a Punjab Food Support Scheme (PFSS), originally designed to provide food stamps to the poorest households, now converted into a cash grant programme of Rs 1000 per household per month. The scheme covers both, rural and urban areas with total subsidy in the scheme amounting to Rs 21.60 billion (at Rs 1.8 billion per month) for 1.8 million families (at 6 persons per family).

1.4.4 Pillar III: Increasing Productivity and Value Addition in Agriculture Agriculture contributes the largest share in the country’s GDP. Agriculture will receive high priority in the PRSP-II as the bulk of the poor are concentrated in rural areas. Self-reliance in commodities, food security through improved productivity of crops as well as development of livestock and dairy are being supported through: (i) development of new technologies; (ii) more productive use of water through precision land leveling and high efficiency irrigation systems; (iii) promoting production and export of high value crops; (iv) accelerating the move towards high-value activities, such as livestock rearing, dairy production, fisheries, and horticulture; (v) creating necessary infrastructure; and (vi) ensuring availability of agricultural credit.

1.4.5 Pillar IV: Integrated Energy Development Programme Ensuring energy security and energy efficiency will be amongst the government’s top priorities in order to tackle the current energy crisis and enable sufficient supply of energy for domestic as well as commercial use. Rapid urbanization in Pakistan has brought tremendous challenges as cities absorb higher populations. Promoting energy efficiency, fuel diversity and interventions that take climate change into consideration transcend the boundaries of energy policy and have a direct impact on the poor. Policies concerning the development and sustenance of transportation, technology, environment, finance, competition, and investment have an important role to play.5 It must be noted, however, that unless the power sector is put on a financially sound footing, sustainable development of the sector will not happen. Pakistan projects annual growth in energy at 7.2 percent by 2010 and 8.8 percent thereafter, whereas, the demand for power is expected to increase by 8.5 percent for the period 2008-10 and 7.7 percent for the period 2010-15.6 Pakistan’s total energy requirements by 2030 will be 361 MTOE (Million Tons Oil Equivalent) compared with 60.4 MTOE in FY 2006/07.7 The links between sustainable development and energy requires even greater efforts for long term energy security. The government approved the Energy Security Plan (ESP) 2005-15 in February 2005. Salient features of ESP include: increasing exploratory efforts to significantly enhance annual production levels of gas and oil; diversifying the energy mix by expanding the share of coal, nuclear and renewable energy (such as wind and solar); and promoting energy conservation and demand management measures.

1.4.6 Pillar V: Making Industry Internationally Competitive The government realizes the need to improve the general business environment to provide a conducive platform for efficient economic activity. Largely as a result of the inward-looking trade policies that Pakistan followed until the 1990s, the country’s share of world trade remained less than 1 percent. The progressive liberalization of world trade and the country’s shift to a more outward-looking trade strategy has created opportunities for Pakistan to become integrated into the global trading system and to fully exploit its comparative advantages. Pakistan will have to upgrade its technological capacity and increase the focus on skills development. Studies by international agencies have found that policy changes since 2000 have improved the business climate in several respects but many business-unfriendly legacies remain. Key policy related areas will include raising investment levels; attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI); and encouraging private sector involvement in all spheres of the economy coupled with improvement in education and health sectors to create a skilled and healthy labour force. This will ultimately lead to improvements in the business environment through increasing competition, firm level productivity and expansion and diversification of exports.

1.4.7 Pillar VI: Human Development for the 21st Century The overarching philosophy informing the government’s growth strategy is that the country’s productive structure must be responsive to the market, which is the most effective means of ensuring that the country is able to meet fierce international competition to which it will increasingly be exposed. Pakistan must seek to employ its entire labour force, both male and female as income generation from employment constitutes the most effective weapon in tackling poverty. Labour market dynamics reflect that with no major change over the years in the overall labour force participation rate, it has grown rapidly because of large cohorts of new entrants joining the market. The gender gap of more than 50 percentage points in the labour force participation rate in Pakistan is much higher than the average gap of 35 percentage points in South Asia. In this context, it will be important to ensure gender equality in accessing social service and labour markets since neglecting provision of equal access to women would forego the potential contribution of half of its human resources. The demographic transition, commonly referred to as the ‘demographic dividend’, results in a smaller population at young dependent ages and relatively more people in the adult age groups, who comprise the productive labour force. The period of the dividend is not infinite but will come to an end as the working-age population grows older ultimately expanding the number of dependants. Moreover, the dividend will not be repeated. However, the event is a unique opportunity, which can, however, easily turn into a ‘demographic liability’ if appropriate policy measures are not taken to fully utilize the expanding labour force. This will depend crucially upon putting in place market-driven policies (including open trade policies and incentives to generate capital formation and higher savings) that will expand the number of meaningful jobs and increase economic efficiency to produce more and also provide the wherewithal to care for the elderly as the population inevitably ages. The government has, therefore, adopted human resource development as a priority area. In this light, the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy envisages massive investment in strengthening its human resource base to produce a skilled and competent workforce that can respond to the increasing demands of a steadily growing economy. To achieve these outcomes, the National Education Policy emphasizes the need for educational reforms addressing financing for the sector, which despite increasing, falls short of the requirements. Significant reforms include: strengthening the planning and implementation capacity of the government improved utilization of resources by educational institutions; improving governance for greater accountability of education service providers to the community; capacity building of district and local level institutions; and strengthening the role of communities through school committees. The health strategy has been constructed on the key principles of equity, universal access to essential health care, timeliness, results, accountability, strong leadership and strategic coordination of the overall effort. The Strategy envisages addressing special needs of the vulnerable population, especially women and children particularly in the rural areas of Pakistan. Simultaneously, the programme under the umbrella of Population Policy 2002 is striving hard to achieve universal access to safe family planning methods by 2010. The Policy also aims to achieve population stabilization by 2020 with the aim to reduce population growth rate from 1.9 to 1.3 percent per annum.

1.4.8 Pillar VII: Removing Infrastructure Bottlenecks through Public-Private Partnerships The government’s vision for economic growth and poverty reduction sets ambitious targets, which will require massive investment in quality and affordable infrastructure (roads and highways, dams, energy, transport) to sustain high rates of private sector led growth, enhance economic competitiveness and optimize Pakistan’s locational advantage. This will be a primary objective during the PRSP-II period and beyond. The magnitude of the investment is such that this will only partially be funded from the Budget. The large part of financing will be leveraged through Public Private Partnerships. The government, with the assistance of mainly the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), launched a major strategic initiative in 2005 to improve the trade and transport logistics chain along the north-south corridor linking Pakistan’s major ports with its main industrial centres and neighbouring countries. With a disbursement of US $6 billion envisaged over the MTDF period (2005-2010), the major focus areas of the ‘National Trade Corridor Initiative Project’ (NTCIP) include: (i) Ports & Shipping (ii) Trade Facilitation (iii) Highways Modernization (iv) Trucking Modernization (v) Railways Restructuring and Modernization (vi) Energy Logistics; and (vii) Aviation and Air Transport Modernization. The Housing sector is recognized as a hugely productive economic activity. This sector contributes to inter-sectoral linkages which specify development in the construction industry. Huge employment potential in construction and housing industry provides a rationale for the government to establish it as one of the key policy sectors in the PRSP-II. Affordable housing for low-income groups also contributes to poverty alleviation, income redistribution and promotes individual productivity and household savings. The strategy for Housing aspires institutional strengthening in support of the development of a commercially based system of housing finance for land and house purchase; upgrading existing towns and cities with better city planning through improvement of infrastructure; creation of employment opportunities; and affordable housing under a phased programme for the low-income population through community participation and squatter-settlement regulation.

1.4.9 Pillar VIII: Capital and Finance for Development Financial institutions allocate resources to the most efficient utilization ensuing rapid accumulation of physical and human capital and technological progress, which in turn leads to higher economic growth - a prerequisite for poverty alleviation. Financial sector development has helped meet growing financing requirements of productive sectors, while generating consumption demand. Key financial sector strategies include: focus on development finance to serve the underserved markets; introduction of new products while increasing the geographical spread of existing ones; further strengthening of the supervisory regime & strengthening risk management; managing volatility and encouraging greater depth and breadth in equity markets; and expansion of the financial sector through SME financing, Islamic banking and microfinance.

1.4.10 Pillar IX: Governance for a Just and Fair System Governance is the manner in which public institutions and officials acquire and exercise authority to shape public policy and provide public goods and services. It is a critical pillar of Pakistan’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, because it is the poor that especially suffer from lack of security, empowerment, and opportunities. In this connection, devolution reforms were designed to move from a system managed by bureaucracy to a system where decisions are made through a political hierarchy. This has put political representatives incharge of service delivery at local levels. The functioning of local governments has been kept under review and studies indicate that three broad issues must be addressed: (a) resources of local governments are poorly aligned with their responsibilities; (b) power regarding personnel matters remains fragmented; and (c) respective roles of the provincial and local governments in development matters must be further clarified. The efficient working of Provincial Finance Commissions, Local Government Commissions, Offices of the Zila Mohtasib8, Zila Mushawarat9 Committees, Accounts Committees, and Monitoring Committees is an important pre-requisite for strengthening the decentralization process. The Federal Government has also constituted a Committee to examine the Local Government Ordinance in view of the performance of this system. According to the Global Competitiveness Report prepared by the World Economic Forum, 2008, consistent military coups, political instability, corruption, volatile law and order situation, and inadequate infrastructure also have an adverse impact on Pakistan’s business environment. The report also identifies crime and theft, tax and foreign currency regulations, inadequately trained workforce and poor public health as having adverse impacts on the global economic standing of Pakistan. The Poverty Reduction Strategy recognizes the importance of strengthening institutions. To this end, police reforms were introduced to protect the rights of citizens especially of the poor and the vulnerable. The promulgation of Police Order, 2002 was a major step towards transforming police into a professionally competent, politically neutral, non-authoritarian, and publicly accountable organization. In cooperation with international agencies, the government commenced a review of the legal system under the “Access to Justice Programme” in 2002. Taking into consideration the useful findings of this extensive reform project, the objective of legal reforms will continue to include cutting down the caseload of judges, lessening the time spent on deciding each case (particularly in the commercial judicial system), and reducing the costs of accessing justice. Institutions that have received greater government attention over the years with a view to reform include the system of taxation; regulations to facilitate fair and competitive business behaviour; fiscal decentralization for transfer of funds; and transfer procedures with a view to making them simpler and transparent. Further improvement will continue in on-going, as well as, new initiatives. Closely allied is further strengthening of the tax administration, public procurement and public financial management reforms. The implementation of the Medium Term Budgetary Framework is an important development which concentrates on government spending, within the available resources in defined priority areas to achieve national goals and to improve the quality of public spending.

1.5 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of PRSP-II

1.5.1 Success in poverty reduction depends on the availability of resources, effective implementation of the strategy, continuous Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) of its impact and regular feedback to policymakers for appropriate adjustment in policies. The PRSP M&E framework aims to ensure improved capacity to formulate and implement pro-poor policies, efficient and effective spending aimed at poverty reduction and an integrated system, which will enable precise comparison of past achievements with future objectives. The PRSP constitutes a set of input, intermediate and output indicators in seventeen pro-poor sectors formulated through extensive consultations. These indicators have been refined over the years with continued interaction with all stakeholders. To measure the progress of implementation of the PRSP-II an M&E system has been designed, the purpose of which is to put in place a sustainable system to deliver timely and reliable data against a set of well-defined indicators, which feeds into the policy process and engages national and sub-national levels.

1.5.2 A new project ‘Strengthening Poverty Reduction Strategy Monitoring’, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Finance and UNDP, with a total budget of US $6.487 million covering the period 2008-12 is the right step in this direction. The PRS Monitoring Project has revised the M&E framework identified during the PRSP-I term (2003-06). Being the most current feature of the consultative process, six Technical Working Groups (TWGs) were formed to identify monitorable indicators so as to regularly keep track of the progress of PRSP initiatives well beyond the PRSP-II timeframe. It includes focus group discussions on six key areas of PRSP-II, including health, education, labour/employment, environment/water & sanitation, gender and social safety programmes from August, 2008 onwards to enhance monitorable indicators from the relevant policy-makers.

1.6 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) of PRSP-II

1.6.1 Given the significant resources required for its funding, the government will prioritize the Poverty Reduction Strategy through the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which provides the ‘linking framework’ that allows projected expenditures to be driven by policy priorities reflected in the pillars laid out above and disciplined by budget realities. Still a rather recent phenomenon, conceptually the MTEF can be an ideal tool for translating PRSPs into public expenditure programmes within a coherent multi-year macroeconomic and fiscal framework. This expenditure framework will adhere to the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act (FRDLA) 2005 and will list projections in the shape of seventeen medium term budgetary pro-poor expenditures, initiated in PRSP-I (2003) and refined for PRSP-II. These cover: Market access and community services: (i) roads, highways and buildings; (ii) water supply and sanitation; Human development: (iii) education; (iv) health; (v) population planning; (vi) natural calamities, Rural development: (vii) agriculture; (viii) land reclamation; (ix) rural development; (x) rural electrification (People’s Works Programme-II); Safety nets: (xi) subsidies; (xii) social security and welfare including Benazir Income Support Programme; (xiii) food support programme including Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal and Punjab Food Support Scheme; (xiv) Peoples’ Works Programme; (xv) low cost housing; Governance: (xvi) administration of justice; and (xvii) law and order. Non-budgetary PRSP expenditures include: Zakat, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, Employees’ Old Age Benefit Initiative (EOBI) and micro-credit disbursement. During FY 2007/08, budgetary expenditure on pro-poor sectors amounted to Rs 573 billion, representing 5.46 percent of the GDP.

1.7 Costing

1.7.1 The costing framework of PRSP-II has largely been based on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Costing Report, resulting from the findings of a study jointly undertaken by Ministry of Finance and UNDP (2007). The MDG costing exercise in Pakistan went through an intensive process of training on costing techniques, which was provided during December 2005. Three social sectors, education, health and water and sanitation were selected to project the cost of achieving the proposed goals. The United Nations MDGs, agreed at the Millennium Summit held in New York in September 2000, are linked to Pakistan’s MTEF, while the key focus of PRSP-II is also intertwined with the achievement of MDGs.

1.8 Pakistan is a rich country in terms of both natural and human resources. However, it is unfortunate that the country continues to find itself as a borderline case in terms of human development as well as economic growth indicators: Over one half of the population is unemployed and a little less than half of it remains illiterate. Clearly, Pakistan has not fully exploited its potential. In the light of this scenario, the PRSP-II will pick up from where PRSP-I left to ensure that clear cut priorities and pro-poor sectoral programmes are in place that will provide the government an appropriate strategic framework to effectively reduce poverty. The PRSP-II attempts to bring related challenges and opportunities together within an integrated and holistic strategy to achieve the vision of a prosperous and poverty free Pakistan.

Chapter 2 - Outcomes of the PRSP-I

2.1 The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper-I provided a broad policy framework outlining the road map for accelerating economic growth and poverty reduction in Pakistan. The strategy was woven around four pillars, including (i) accelerating economic growth while maintaining macroeconomic stability; (ii) improving governance; (iii) investing in human capital; and (iv) targeting the poor and vulnerable. The Strategy launched a multifaceted attack on poverty that combined macroeconomic stabilization, reduction in debt burden, fundamental structural reforms and improved governance.

2.2 An exhaustive review of the outcomes of the PRSP-I specifically in sectors intrinsically linked with poverty reduction is presented below in order to highlight the economic and social sector policies behind improved outcomes on the one hand and to build the PRSP-II around the lessons learnt from implementation of PRSP-I, on the other.

2.3 The chapter is divided into two parts where first portion presents evidence on improvements in the economic environment of the country during PRSP-I period and the progress made in achieving social sector outcomes. The second part contains lessons distilled from consultations with various stakeholders including line ministries, provincial departments, international development partners, civil society, and incorporates an assessment of the perceptions of common people collected during a series of workshops in the community about issues of social sector service delivery and economic well-being.

Section - I

2.4 Macroeconomic Outcomes

2.4.1 The broad macroeconomic framework formulated under PRSP-I put Pakistan on a high growth trajectory. A comprehensive reforms agenda revamped considerable parts of the financial sector; capital market, reform of the tax administration; fiscal transparency; reforms in the privatization programme; governance reforms particularly with respect to devolution and capacity building; and agricultural reforms mainly with regard to agriculture pricing, movement of commodities and introducing private sector in wheat operations. Most importantly, the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act (FRDLA) 2005 passed unanimously by both houses of the Parliament increased the transparency of fiscal operations and injected firmer discipline into the government’s borrowing and debt strategies.

2.4.2 These reforms led to improved economic indicators, moving real GDP growth from 3.1 percent in FY 2001/02 to 9.0 percent in FY 2004/05 surpassing PRSP targets for the said years and maintaining a striking average growth rate of 7.0 percent over the five years period (2004-07). Table 2.1 shows the performance of key economic indicators against the figures as projected in PRSP-I. The performance remained on track in almost all sectors and exceeded targets for growth in GDP in the Manufacturing and Services sectors; and investment, etc till FY 2006/07. This growth momentum, however, witnessed disturbances in FY 2007/08 due to several reasons including a judicial crisis, productivity shocks, in addition to external factors such as the War on Terror and rising oil, food and other commodity prices. However, the GDP still registered a robust growth of 5.8 percent in FY 2007/08 as against 6.8 percent in the previous year. A point of concern though was the rate of inflation which has remained higher than projected since FY 2004/05.

Table 2.1:Performance of key economic indicators
ItemsFY 2003/04FY 2004/05FY 2005/06FY 2006/07FY 2007/08
Large Scale Manufacturing8.818.18.519.
Small Scale Manufacturing5.3-
Real GDP Growth5.
Inflation (GDP Deflator)
GDP current (mp) Rs billion4,4205,6404,8756,4995,3977,6235,9918,7236,66810,478
As % of GDP
- Fixed Investment14.515.015.517.516.020.516.521.317.020.0
- Public Investment5.
- Private Investment9.010.99.513.19.715.710.015.610.314.2
National Savings20.017.919.517.519.018.218.517.818.013.9
Foreign Savings (incl. Official Transfers)3.5-
Memo Items
Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan, FY 2007/08, Finance Division, Government of Pakistan.
Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan, FY 2007/08, Finance Division, Government of Pakistan.

2.4.3 An overall sustained macroeconomic environment led to improvements in the living standards of the people in Pakistan during the PRSP-I period which shows a steady progress in outcome indicators for sectors like education, health, access to drinking water, housing and labour markets. As a result, the crucial figure of the Poverty Headcount in Pakistan fell from 34.46 percent of the population in FY 2000/01 to 23.9 percent in FY 2004/05. This decline was in marked contrast to the rapid increase during the 1990s until the turn of the century. Table 2.1 elaborates this sharp fall.

2.4.4 The decline occurred in both rural and urban areas of the country. Rural poverty dropped faster than urban (although it still remained proportionately higher) thus narrowing the difference between the two. The Planning Commission’s computation of the poverty line takes into account both food and non-food expenditures, such as health, education, housing, transport, and recreation, amongst others. The results of the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) Survey10 FY 2004/05 show that between FY 2001/02 and FY 2004/05, household and per capita expenditures increased in real terms by 15 and 19 percent respectively. The increase in consumption expenditure by rich households was relatively higher than among the poor but the poorest households (lowest 40 percent) also increased their consumption expenditures significantly.

Table 2.2:Decline in the poverty headcount FY 2000/01–2004/05(percent)
RegionFY 2000/01FY 2004/05Difference
Source: Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan.
Source: Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan.

2.5 Social Sector Outcomes

2.5.1 The PSLM Survey enables an in-depth assessment of the performance of the social sectors for the PRSP-I since its inception. Sector wise analysis of outcomes and intermediate variables is presented below. The analysis is limited to the sectors where data for indicators is available without many gaps.

2.5.2 (1) Education Literacy: Between FY 2001/02 and FY 2006/07, overall literacy increased from 45 to 55 percent while missing the target of 59.5 percent set in PRSP-I for the same year. As shown in Figure 2.1, Male literacy increased from 65 percent in FY 2004/05 to 67 percent in FY 2006/07, while the corresponding marginal increase in female literacy was from 40 to 42 percent.

Figure 2.1:Literacy rate

(FY 2004/05 – FY 2006/07)


Source: Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) Survey, various editions, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan. Female literacy rates vary widely between provinces, ranging from a low of 17 percent in Balochistan to 43 percent in Punjab. Moreover, female literacy rate is only improving steadily in Punjab while witnessing fluctuations in the rest of the country as shown in Table 2.3. This encouraging performance by Punjab can be conveniently attributed to enhanced focus on Girl Education and to overall efforts being made by the provincial government under a comprehensive Education Sector Reform Programme.

Table 2.3:Adult literacy rate

(aged 15 years and above)


Regions and

PSLM FY 2004/05PSLM FY 2005/06PSLM FY 2006/05
Source: PSLM Survey, various editions, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan.
Source: PSLM Survey, various editions, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan. Primary, Middle and Secondary Education: The two commonly used indicators for measuring changes in primary and middle schooling are the Gross Enrolment Rate (GER)11 and Net Enrolment Rate (NER).12 The primary-level GER for children 5-9 years old, excluding katchi13 class, according to the PIHS, was 72 percent in FY 2001/02. Sound progress has been made so far in improving both GER and NER and is evident when the comparison is made between 2000-2001 and FY 2006/07 based on PSLM. The PSLM results are encouraging in many aspects. The overall increase in primary school GER is impressive in PRSP period, from 72 percent in FY 2001/02 to 91 percent in FY 2006/07. The second most important indicator for measuring improvements at primary level is NER. The PRSP target was 58 percent for FY 2005/06. A long term target of 100 percent NER by 2015 has been set by the Pakistan MDG Report 2004. Pakistan seems to have made good progress in order to achieve the MDG target as the NER at the primary level (age 5-9) has increased from 42 percent in FY 2001/02 to 56 in FY 2006/07. The PRSP projected target for the middle-level GER of 53 percent in FY 2005/06 was missed by a small margin. The middle-level GER increased from 46 percent in FY 2004/05 to 51 percent in FY 2006/07. The increase for males was 57 percent compared to females at 44 percent. The middle-level NER has remained constant at 18 percent since FY 2004/05. At the matriculation level, the GER was 48 percent in FY 2006/07 registering an increase of 4 percent from FY 2005/06. Provincial disaggregated analysis of GER and NER for Primary and Middle schooling is given in Annex I. Gender Disparities in Education: Gender disparity in education is a major challenge. The disparity increased to 28 percent by FY 1998/99, as literacy among males grew much faster than among females. Since then, however, the gap has begun to shrink, albeit very slowly. The only available data on gender disparity14 is for FY 2004/05 based on PSLM survey. There has also been good progress in closing the gender gap in urban enrolments at primary, middle and secondary levels. The data regarding gender disparities is only available from PSLM FY 2004/05 and shows an overall decline in the gender gap in the GER at the primary level, from 22 percent in FY 2001/02 to 17 percent in FY 2004/05. This decline resulted from the relatively greater increase in the female GER compared to the male GER between FY 2001/02 and FY 2004/05. The gender gap15 in NER at the primary level remained unchanged at the country level between FY 2001/02 and FY 2004/05. The gender gap in GER at the primary level declined during the same period (as discussed above) implying thereby that the number of overage children attending primary school is quite substantial. The gender gap in the NER at the primary level is low in urban areas. However, it remained unchanged between FY 2001/02 and FY 2004/05. Provincial disaggregated analysis of gender gap is given in Annex I. Increasing Role of the Private Sector in Primary Education: The role of the private sector in primary education has increased overtime. Of the total primary level GER of 87 percent in FY 2005/06, the government school GER was 57 percent and private school GER 30 percent. The government school GER increased by 15 percent between FY 2001/02 and FY 2005/06 period while the private school GER increased by 33 percent during this period. It suggested, on the one hand, that new enrolment has taken place in both public and private schools. On the other hand, the relatively higher increase in private school GER suggested some shifting of children from public to private schools. However the PSLM shows that the coverage of the public school system increased to 69 percent in FY 2006/07 compared to 65 percent in FY 2005/06 but witnessed an overall decline from 72 percent in FY 2004/05 to 69 percent in FY 2006/07. In urban areas almost half of the total primary enrolment was currently in private schools. However, in rural areas, private school enrolment, as a share of total primary enrolment, increased from 18 percent in FY 2004/05 to 20 percent in FY 2006/07, suggesting that in rural area, where the majority of the poor live, public schools remain the main source for primary education and thus need special focus regarding improving access and quality. This seems true for all provinces, although in rural Punjab 24 percent of the enrolled children were in private schools.

Table 2.4:Primary enrolment in government schools as percentage of total primary enrolment
Region and ProvinceFY 2004/05 PSLMFY 2005/06 PSLMFY 2006/07 PSLM
A. Excluding Katchi Class:
Urban Areas:525352424543454847
Rural Areas:828282767776808080
Source: Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurment (PSLM) Survey, various editions, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan.
Source: Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurment (PSLM) Survey, various editions, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan. Intermediate Indicators for Education: Education intermediate indicators include functional public schools, basic facilities in public schools, posts filled against sanctioned strength in public schools and percentage of trained teachers in these schools. Regarding the number of functional public schools, their total number declined from 146,316 in FY 2001/02 to 144,558 in FY 2006/07 (Table 2.5). At provincial levels, it is encouraging to see an overall increase of 4 percent in the number of functional schools during the period in Balochistan and similar trends in NWFP as these are the provinces with comparatively lower figures of GER and NER. Data regarding provision of basic facilities and teachers posted against the sanctioned strength is given in Annex I.

Table 2.5:Number of functional public schools FY 2006-07(percent)
Pakistan2003/04 (A)133,95213,668147,620
2004/05 (A)127,04014,146141,186
2005/06 (A)129,11514,522143,637
2006/07 (A)129,80314,755144,558
2007/08 (E)130,54615,000145,546
Source: Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) Survey, various editions, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan.
Source: Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) Survey, various editions, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan.

2.5.3 (2) Health The PSLM provides useful information regarding some of ealth sector final outcomes and intermediate indicators on self-reported sickness, use of health services, child immunization coverage, use of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) during a diarrhoea episode, pre- and post-natal care and drinking water supply and sanitation. Some of these indicators are discussed in the following sections. Immunization reduces child malnutrition as well as mortality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, a child should receive a BCG16 vaccination to protect against tuberculosis, three doses of DPT17 to protect against diphtheria and tetanus, three doses of polio vaccine, and a measles vaccination. The increase (in full immunization) was particularly impressive in rural areas, from 46 percent in FY 2001/02 to 73 percent in FY 2006/07. Under the ‘record’ method, full immunization rate was low at 50 percent in 2006-07 compared to 76 percent under the ‘recall’ method. However, there had been an improvement in record-based immunization rate, from only 27 percent in FY 2001/02 to 50 percent in FY 2006/07.

Figure 2.2:Percent of children aged 12-23 months immunized pre and post natal care

Source: Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) Survey, various editions, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan. Quality pre natal care can contribute to the prevention of maternal mortality by detecting and managing potential complications and risk factors, including pre-eclampsia, anemia and sexually transmitted diseases. Pre natal care also provides opportunities for women to learn the danger signs of pregnancy and delivery, to be immunized against tetanus, to learn about infant care, and be treated for existing conditions such as malaria and anemia. High maternal mortality in Pakistan can be reduced through quality prenatal care. The PSLM shows that the proportion of married women who had given birth during the last three years and had attended at least one pre-natal consultation increased from 35 percent in FY 2001/02 to 53 percent in FY 2006/07 (Table 2.6). Punjab had the highest attendance rate and Balochistan the lowest.

Table 2.6:Pregnant women visiting health facility for pre and post natal consultation(percent)


FY 2001/02 PIHSFY 2004/05 PSLMFY 2005/06 PSLMFY 2006/07 PSLM
Pre natal consultation
Post natal consultation
Source: PSLM FY 2006/07, Government of Pakistan.
Source: PSLM FY 2006/07, Government of Pakistan. Compared to pre-natal, the post-natal consultation rate was low i.e. 24 percent in FY 2005/06. However, it improved considerably during the PRSP period, rising from only 9 percent in FY 2001/02 to 24 percent in FY 2006/07 with consultation rates higher in urban than rural areas. Utilization of Health Services: Utilization of health services include information on the use of different types of health services during recent self-reported illnesses, diarrhea episodes among children, and pre and post natal consultations by married women who had given birth during the last three years. The largest proportion (69 percent overall, 74 percent urban areas and 66 percent rural areas) of sick people consulted a private doctor/dispensary/hospital. Around one-fifth of the sick population consulted a public dispensary/hospital in urban as well as rural areas. A very small proportion of the sick population consulted other health providers, such as Rural Health Centre/Basic Health Units, Hakeem18/herbalist and homeopath. However, in the NWFP a relatively larger proportion of sick people consulted a chemist/pharmacy according to the CWIQ-PSLM19.

Table 2.7:Percentage distribution of health consultations in past two weeks by type of health provider/consulted during FY 2006/07
Region and









Urban Areas7418111410
Rural Areas6618341620
Source: PSLM FY 2006/07, FBS, GoP.
Source: PSLM FY 2006/07, FBS, GoP. In case of diarrhea among children, it is encouraging to see a considerable increase in the use of ORS, an effective way of preventing dehydration. The use of ORS increased to 76 percent in FY 2006/07 as compared to 71 percent in FY 2005/06. The increase in use of ORS was greater in rural areas (75 percent in FY 2006/07 as compared to 68 percent in FY 2005/06) than in urban areas (79 percent in the same time period). No gender differential was found. More than two-thirds of children suffering from diarrhea consulted private doctors/hospitals. The use of public dispensaries/hospitals for diarrhea treatment declined between FY 2001/02 and FY 2006/07 to 13 from 59 percent (Table 2.8) and a persistent increase in use of Private dispensaries and hospitals was witnessed during the respective time span. Only a small proportion of respondents reported the use of RHC/BHU, LHW, LHV/Nurse, chemist or hakeem/homeopath/herbalist for diarrhea treatment. This data provides basis for concrete policy actions by the government to increase the service delivery in rural areas and more specifically in geographically poorer areas as prices are higher in private sector and leads to increase in incidence of poverty.

Table 2.8:Type of practitioner consulted for diarrhea treatment(percent of cases)
Region and PractitionerPercentage of Diarrhea Cases
1998-99 PIHS2001-02 PIHS2004-05 PSLM2005-06 PSLM2006-07 PSLM
Private Dispensary/Hospital5459686572
Govt Hospital/Dispensary2421151913
Hakeem /Homeopathic/Herbalist64332
Source: PSLM FY 2006/07, Government of Pakistan.
Source: PSLM FY 2006/07, Government of Pakistan. The proportion of married women who attended at least one pre and post-natal consultation has been reported earlier. The three most commonly consulted sources for pre-natal care were private hospital/clinic, government hospital/clinic and home-trained birth attendants (TBA) (Table 2.9). However, there seems to be either a data reporting problem or a serious concern regarding health services delivery in the public sector. The PIHS data for FY 1998/99 and FY 2001/02 show that around 40 percent of women attended some government facilities such as hospitals, clinic, RHC or BHU for pre-natal consultation. The CWIQ-PSLM shows a decline of 25 percent in FY 2006/07. It is hard to explain this reduction in pre-natal consultation from public hospitals, clinics, and RHCs. As in the case of pre-natal care, the three most commonly cited sources of post-natal care in both rural and urban areas were private hospitals/clinic, government hospitals/clinics, and home TBA.

Table 2.9:Health facilities used for pre natal consultation(percent)


2001-02 PIHS2004-05 PSLM2005-06 PSLM2006-07 PSLM
Home TBA35410161346571512
Home LHW1435107243397
Home LHV143476233365
Home Doctor111645111433
Govt Hospital/RHC/BHC/BHU414242252525343937252525
Private Hospital/Clinic493743493442554348574047
Source: PSLM FY 2006/07, Government of Pakistan.
Source: PSLM FY 2006/07, Government of Pakistan.

2.5.4 (3) Drinking Water and Sanitation Sources of Drinking Water and Sanitation: Access to safe drinking water, an indicator of the PRSP and MDGs, is at the top of the government’s policy agenda. The PRSP-I clean drinking water target was not achieved. The PRSP definition of the sources of safe drinking water includes tap water, hand pumps, and motor pumps inside or outside the house. Hand pumps20 and motor pumps21 together provided 56 percent of households with drinking water in FY 2005/06, which decreased to 51 percent in FY 2006/07, whereas the percentage of households using tap water22 has shown a slight increase. However, this change appears to be mainly a change in convenience since there seems to be a substitution from hand pumps and motor pumps. Moreover, the percentage of households depending on lower water sources i.e. dug from wells, etc. is either increased or slightly decreased. Tap water has increased from 34 percent in FY 2005/06 to 36 percent in FY 2006/07. Sindh has highest value of this indicator at 47 percent followed by NWFP at 44 percent, Balochistan at 37 percent, and Punjab at 29 percent in FY 2006/07. In FY 2000/01, 44 percent of households had access to hand pumps in Pakistan, which declined to 30 percent in FY 2006/07, probably due to tap water availability to households. In FY 2000/01, 17 percent of households had access to motor pumps, which increased to 21 percent in FY 2006/07 (Table 2.10).

Table 2.10:Main sources of drinking water in Pakistan(percent)

FY 2001/02 PIHSFY 2004/05 PSLMFY 2005/06 PSLMFY 2006/07 PSLM
Tap water581025602339592134622236
Hand pump14564413392712423294130
Motor pump221417221418252324242021
Dug well2107296275164
Source: PSLM 2006/07, Pakistan Millennium Development Goals Report 2004 and Accelerating Economic Growth and Reducing Poverty: The Road Ahead, Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, 2003.Note: Percentage of population with access to piped water, MDG baseline year FY 1990/91: 53 percentPercentage of population with access to clean drinking water, PRSP baseline year FY 2001/02; urban: 95 percent, rural: 80 percent, overall: 86 percentPercentage of population with access to clean drinking water, PRSP target FY 2005/06, urban: 97 percent, rural: 84 percent and overall: 90 percentPercentage of population with access to piped water, MDG target 2015; 93 percent*Sum of tap water, hand pump and motor pump

Totals may not add to 100 because of rounding

Source: PSLM 2006/07, Pakistan Millennium Development Goals Report 2004 and Accelerating Economic Growth and Reducing Poverty: The Road Ahead, Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, 2003.Note: Percentage of population with access to piped water, MDG baseline year FY 1990/91: 53 percentPercentage of population with access to clean drinking water, PRSP baseline year FY 2001/02; urban: 95 percent, rural: 80 percent, overall: 86 percentPercentage of population with access to clean drinking water, PRSP target FY 2005/06, urban: 97 percent, rural: 84 percent and overall: 90 percentPercentage of population with access to piped water, MDG target 2015; 93 percent*Sum of tap water, hand pump and motor pump

Totals may not add to 100 because of rounding The overall proportion of households with a flush toilet23 facility increased by 14 percentage points to 58 percent in FY 2006/07 compared to FY 2001/02. The use of flush toilets was 92 percent for the urban households, Punjab with 93 percent – the highest; and Balochistan with 78 percent – the lowest. About 15 percent of households in FY 2006/07 had non-flush toilet and 27 percent do not have any toilet. This varies greatly between urban and rural areas i.e. 4 percent of urban households have no toilet compared to 39 percent of rural households. Proportion of households with a flush toilet in FY 2006/07 in Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan stood at 64, 55, 52 and 25 percent, respectively. Rural Punjab had the highest proportion of households reporting no toilet at all i.e. at 44 percent while rural Sindh had the lowest, at 27 percent.

2.5.5 (4) Housing Adequate housing is a key determinant of human welfare. According to the PSLM FY 2004/05 nearly 87 percent households in Pakistan owned a dwelling in the survey year. There were 86 percent households in Pakistan who own a dwelling in FY 2006/07 (87 percent in FY 2005/06), while 7 percent of households had rented dwelling units and about 6.12 percent had rented free houses but a small number of 0.96 percent households were on subsidized housing units. Congestion in housing is another important indicator of poverty. In Pakistan, the PSLM FY 2004/05 indicates that about 24 percent of households had one room while 69 percent had 2-4 rooms. In rural areas, 27 percent of households lived in one room, compared with 20 percent in urban areas. According to the PSLM survey-CWIQ, there were 24.33 percent dwelling units with one room and 69 percent with 2-4 rooms during FY 2006/07. The Survey indicates that 6.62 percent of households had five and more living rooms in their dwelling units. In rural areas the proportion of dwellings with one room (27 percent) were greater than in urban areas (19.5 percent). Electricity has become a necessity of life. In Pakistan in FY 2006/07 there were 86.6 percent households who used electricity for lighting. At the provincial level, NWFP province had the highest proportion of households (91 percent) and Balochistan has the lowest (65 percent) which use electricity for lighting. In urban areas 97 while, in rural areas 81 percent households used electricity for lighting while the remaining households used gas/oil or candle for lighting.

Table 2.11:Distribution of household by type of housing and electricity use(percent)
Region and



Used for


Units with

One Room
Percentage Households Using

Electricity for Lighting
Urban Areas75.6760.7719.4797.58
Rural Areas91.2816.9826.8980.82
Source: PSLM FY 2006/07, Government of Pakistan.
Source: PSLM FY 2006/07, Government of Pakistan.

2.5.6 (5) Employment Employed Labour Force: Employment is central to reducing poverty. For monitoring the labour market, the PRSP tracks two indicators: the ‘total employed labour force’ and the ‘unemployment rate.’ Trends in these are discussed as follows:

  • ▪ The LFS computes the labour force by multiplying crude activity rate by total population. The former increased from 29.6 percent in FY 2001/02 to 30.4 percent in FY 2003/04. During this period the total population of the country increased consequently increasing the total labour force from 43 million in FY 2001/02 to 50.30 million in FY 2006/07. Open unemployment in Pakistan decreased from 8 percent in FY 2001/02 to 7.48 percent in FY 2006/07 while this corresponds to the period when overall poverty decreased.
  • ▪ The number of employed persons also increased—from 38.88 million in FY 2001/02 to 47.65 million in FY 2006/07 surpassing the PRSP-I target of 42.03 million in FY 2005/06. This increase affected gender, provinces, in both rural and urban areas. Since the economy was able to create more jobs than the increase in the labour force, the volume of unemployed fell from 3.51 million in FY 2001/02 to 2.65 million during FY 2006/07. Unemployment: Overall unemployment decreased from 8.3 percent in FY 2001/02 to 5.27 percent in FY 2006/07, mainly because of a steep decline in women unemployment from 13 to 9 percent than men i.e. from 6.6 to 5.4 percent evenly across the areas. Age specific rates for teens to early fifties experienced decline again more for women than men. The rates for later fifties and beyond scaled up, however, due to men exclusively. Among males, this decline was nominal—i.e. from 6.7 to 6.6 percent (Figure 2.3)

Figure 2.3:Percentage of age wise unemployment rate Changes in the unemployment rates varied between rural and urban areas. The female unemployment rate declined in rural (from 10.9 in FY 2003/04 to 7.7 in FY 2005/06) as well as urban areas (from 19.8 in FY 2003/04 to 15.8 in FY 2005/06). The rate for males fell modestly in rural areas, but in urban areas it increased from 8.4 percent in FY 2003/04 to 6.9 percent in FY 2005/06. This decline could be due to two reasons: females were able to get job opportunities or they withdrew from the labour force mainly because of discouragement. But female participation in the labour force increased considerably between FY 2001/02 to FY 2003/04 in rural areas, and there was a modest decline of 0.6 percentage point in urban areas. It thus appears that female unemployment fell primarily because of an expansion in job opportunities. It has been suggested that microfinance facilities, focusing on women in rural areas, may be a major factor helping to reduce female unemployment rate. Employment in the Informal Sector: In consonance with often-held contention, informal sector accounts for 73 percent of the employment in main jobs outside agriculture sector. In the same vein, percentage of employed (75 percent) in rural areas was higher than that of urban areas (71 percent). As expected, formal sector activities were more concentrated in urban areas (29 percent) as compared to rural areas (25 percent). Male workers were more numerous relatively in urban while females in rural. The profiles of comparative surveys are analogous which indicates structural rigidities. Informal sector’s employment surged from 70 percent in FY 2003/04 to 73 percent in FY 2005/06, across gender and areas.

2.6 Pro-poor Expenditures

2.6.1 Assessing qualitative as well as quantitative aspects of PRSP expenditures is central to the PRSP process; and the government has attached critical importance towards their regular monitoring, analysis and transparency. Since the initiation of I-PRSP in 2001, pro-poor expenditures on 17 sectors have been reported regularly on a quarterly and annual basis. This section gives an overview of the expenditures incurred since FY 2001/02. Table 2.12 presents data on sector-wise PRSP total expenditures in absolute numbers from FY 2001/02 to FY 2007/08.

Table: 2.12PRSP expenditures(FY 2002-08)
SectorsExpenditure (Rs million)
Roads, Highways & Bridges6,34013,14522,74635,18153,24860,00384,825
Water Supply and Sanitation4,6443,4215,7996,53810,33816,61919,817
Population Planning1,3313,1204,6894,57810,2297,00213,322
Social Security & Welfare3,6641,3014,1442,0307,5754,51318,942
Natural Calamities18941052992219,1485,0087,728
Land Reclamation1,8381,7332,0162,1112,6732,3483,130
Rural Development12,32516,88318,60715,36915,04022,17523,334
Rural Electrification001,4224,3541,0002,4992,748
Food Subsidies5,51310,8598,5135,3596,0215,45554,872
Food Support Programme2,0172,0172,8042,7033,0813,4584,370
Khushal Pakistan Fund*80080059078-201,420
Low Cost Housing00423318305299597
Justice Administration1,9812,1962,4373,1165,6425,0817,820
Law and Order**31,00436,29339,37047,4161,1152,0882,429
Total Budgetary167,280208,528261,301316,243376,139®426,680®572,620
Total Non-budgetary***7,66912,11910,46111,61914,831 ®18,734®27,985
Total beneficiaries (000) of non-budgetary transfers1,8102,0783,6543,6326,390 ®5,120®5,563
Total (Budgetary and non-budgetary)174,949220,647271,762327,863390,970445,414600,605
Grand Total: Rs. 2,432 billion (FY 2001-08)
Source: Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, 2008.Note: ® Refers to revised figures.

Expenditure for FY 2001/07 relates to Tawana Pakistan Programme

Based on actual expenditure for FY 2006/08.

Consists of Micro-credit, Zakat, EOBI and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (excludes Food Support Programme, which is already reported in budgetary expenditure).

Source: Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, 2008.Note: ® Refers to revised figures.

Expenditure for FY 2001/07 relates to Tawana Pakistan Programme

Based on actual expenditure for FY 2006/08.

Consists of Micro-credit, Zakat, EOBI and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (excludes Food Support Programme, which is already reported in budgetary expenditure).

2.6.2 Pro-poor budgetary and non-budgetary expenditures gradually increased from Rs 174,949 million in FY 2001/02 to Rs 600,605 million in FY 2007/08, while pro-poor expenditure as a share of GDP increased sharply from 3.8 percent in FY 2001/02 to 5.46 percent in FY 2007/08 as shown in table 2.13.

Table: 2.13PRSP current & development expenditures(FY 2002/08)
YearPRSP Expenditures (Rs Million)PRSP Expenditures as percent of GDP
Source: Civil Accounts provided by Accountant General’s Office.

Based on actual expenditure

Note 1: GDP (mp) for FY 2006/07 and FY 2007/08 in Rs. Million amounts to 8,723,215 and 10,478,194 respectively.Source for GDP: Economic Adviser’s Wing, Finance Division, 2008
Source: Civil Accounts provided by Accountant General’s Office.

Based on actual expenditure

Note 1: GDP (mp) for FY 2006/07 and FY 2007/08 in Rs. Million amounts to 8,723,215 and 10,478,194 respectively.Source for GDP: Economic Adviser’s Wing, Finance Division, 2008

Section - II

2.8 Participatory Process in PRSP Formulation

2.9 The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) approach is a promising way to design poverty reduction strategies that command broader discussions within a country with numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations, and external development partners through a comprehensive consultative process. The PRSP process recognizes the participation of the poor as a critical element in the formulation of a Poverty Reduction Strategy.

2.10 During the formulation process of the second generation Poverty Reduction Strategy, a comprehensive and widely spread round of consultations at federal and provincial levels, and with communities all over Pakistan was held. The objective of the participatory process was to engage parliamentarians, line ministries and departments, development partners, civil society, and above all the poor communities in policy formulation and to build ownership for the reform programme. The aim of the government was to build Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)-II on the outcomes of PRSP-I and understand expectations of the stakeholders. For this purpose, the consultative process was initiated at two levels: consultations at the district, provincial and national levels; and consultations with the communities all over Pakistan, the lessons drawn from which are compiled in subsequent paras as ‘Voices of the Poor.’

2.11 A comprehensive process of consultations was initiated in 2005 including research studies, seminars, poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA) and workshops to discuss various elements of the evolving PRSP issues like poverty measurement, education, health and population sector intermediate indicators, gender mainstreaming, environment, employment and pro-poor growth policies. In addition, the World Bank and other key development partners including Asian Development Bank, Department for International Development (DFID), INGAD, UNDP, UNFPA, ILO, UNICEF, WHO, JICA, CIDA, USAID, EU, GTZ, NORAD, etc remained actively involved in the PRSP-II process and contributed towards policy design, implementation, and evaluation. DFID helped in carrying out a PSIA in Microfinance sector of Pakistan. The study examined the impact of policy and programmes in the PRSP-I time period and assessed the impact of proposed policy and programmes ex-ante on poverty. As part of the assessment, a Financial Services Survey was also conducted which, investigated the formal and informal financial instruments used by poor households in general, and the impact of microfinance services on beneficiary households in particular. The total number of participants at all consultative workshops are listed in Annex II.

2.12 Federal Level workshops

2.12.1 A series of workshops have been held at national and provincial levels for consultations on the PRSP II which are listed below:

  • ▪ Consultation with Academicians, Researchers and Civil Society (December 12th, 2005)
  • ▪ Consultation on Globalization, Unemployment, Gender, Inequality in income distribution and Environment (May 5th - 6th, 2006)
  • ▪ Consultation on Health, Education and Governance (July 24th – 26th, 2006)
  • ▪ Consultation on MDG Costing at the national level (September 19th, 2006)
  • ▪ Launch of PRSP-II Draft Summary at the Pakistan Development Forum (April 25th – 27th, 2007)
  • ▪ National Workshop on ‘Competitiveness’, ‘Infrastructure’ and ‘Financial Sector Development’ (July 17th, 2007)
  • ▪ Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Health (August 12th, 2008)
  • ▪ Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Education (August 12th, 2008)
  • ▪ Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Labour (August 29th, 2008)
  • ▪ Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Environment/ Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation (September 29th, 2008)
  • ▪ Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Gender (October 10th, 2008)
  • ▪ Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Social Safety Nets (October 15th, 2008)

2.13 Provincial Workshops

2.13.1 Following provincial workshops were arranged in the four provinces with the aim to identify vulnerable areas where incidence of poverty is the highest and to conduct urban and rural poverty comparisons:

  • ▪ Balochistan (July 29th, 2006 – Quetta)
  • ▪ Sindh (31st July, 2006 - Karachi)
  • ▪ Punjab (7th August, 2006 - Lahore)
  • ▪ NWFP (9th August, 2006 - Peshawar)

2.14 Research Studies

2.14.1 Several exclusive studies have been carried out by consultants, covering some of the key areas of the PRSP-II. Keeping in view the crucial linkages between employment generation and poverty reduction, a study on ‘Employment Generation Strategy for PRSP II’ was carried out. The outcomes of this study strongly emphasized the importance of employment as a crucial factor in attaining economic growth in Pakistan and its role in eradicating poverty. The study also provided a detailed analysis of the tremendous scope of various service sectors (trade, transport, non-farming sectors/meat-processing, floriculture, dairy, fisheries, fruits, etc. housing & construction) to employ a large number of people.

2.14.2 Another study on ‘Globalization and its impact on Poverty in Pakistan’ suggests key strategic steps necessary for the country to maximize its growth and poverty reduction, in order to fully benefit from globalization.

2.14.3 The study on ‘Income Inequalities in Pakistan and a Strategy to Reduce Income Inequalities’ undertook an in-depth review of income inequalities in the country. It suggested various measures for a more equitable income distribution for incorporation in the poverty reduction strategy.

2.14.4 A study on ‘Reducing the Gender Gap/Engendering PRSP II’ was also conducted which highlighted the existence of gender disparities in Pakistan and lists certain key areas identified by PRSP for effective integration of women in the economy. ‘Environmental Sustainability’ was another study that developed the crucial linkages between environmental sustainability and poverty reduction.

2.14.5 Input from Ministries

2.15.1 To ensure that every government department relevant to the PRSP is fully engaged in the formulation and implementation of the strategy to reduce poverty, all Line Ministries and departments provided their strategic road maps with regard to related policy parametres envisaged for the next three years. Exclusive brainstorming sessions to discuss the medium term policies were held with Ministries of Education, Health, Food Agriculture & Livestock, Commerce, Population Welfare, Petroleum & Natural Resources, etc.

2.16 Technical Working Groups

2.16.1 An effective Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework is the key to the successful implementation of any strategy. Keeping in view the importance of this critical issue Technical Working Groups (TWGs) on Health, Education and Labour/Employment, Gender, Environment, Water & Sanitation and Social Safety Nets have been constituted under Strengthening Poverty Reduction Monitoring Project. The TWGs consist of sector specialists from diverse backgrounds and includes officials from concerned ministries/departments, experts from international development organizations, civil society and academia. As mentioned above, six meetings of TWGs were held which critically analyzed the monitoring indicators conceived during PRSP-I and developed new indicators for the PRSP-II M&E framework. The TWGs also provided input for finalizing the data sources and baseline for PRSP output and outcome indicators. The suggestions synthesized from these technical meetings have been made part of PRSP-II’s M&E framework.

2.18 Final Round of Consultations for Finalization of Draft PRSP-II

2.18.1 Embodied in the PRSP framework is the expectation that participation by national stakeholders and international development partners in developing and implementing the poverty reduction strategies will create broad-based ownership. Translating these expectations into operational recommendations the PRSP framework advocates participation of the poor in poverty analysis; prioritization of public actions to be addressed in the Strategy; and monitoring the government’s delivery of the commitments made. Recognizing that the participation of various stakeholders in the PRSP process needs to be further bolstered for the strategy to become more effective, a final round of consultations to finalize draft Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)-II was held at three levels in November – December, 2008 including: (a) Consultation with national stakeholders; (b) Consultations with international development partners; and (c) Consultation with Parliamentarians.

2.18.2 National Workshop for Sharing Draft PRSP-II: To further deepen the sense of local ownership of the PRSP process, and to institutionalize participation of national stakeholders including government ministries/departments, academia, civil society, youth and beneficiaries at community level, a workshop for sharing the Draft PRSP-II was held on November 14th, 2008 at the National Library Auditorium, Islamabad. The workshop was conducted with the aim that it is vital for the public officials and representatives of civil society, as well as the public in general, to have a greater voice in making and implementing policies like the PRSP, so that the fruits of prosperity are distributed more equitably. The participants were divided into the following three groups based on various pillars of the draft poverty reduction strategy and their sectoral linkages:

Box 2.1:Breakout groups during consultative workshops

Group IPillar II: Protecting the Poor & the Vulnerable

Pillar VIII: Capital and Finance for Development

Pillar IX: Housing and Land Management

Pillar X: Governance for a Just & Fair System
Group IIPillar III: Increasing Productivity and Value addition In Agriculture

Pillar IV: Integrated Energy Development Programme

Pillar V: Making Industry Internationally Competitiveness

Pillar VII: Removing Infrastructure Bottlenecks (PPPs)
Group IIIPillar VI: Human Development for the 21st Century: Education; Health; Access to Clean Drinking Water & Sanitation; Population Programme; and Women Empowerment The participants deliberated on the Draft PRSP-II and analyzed the document from different perspectives. The officials from line ministries, provincial departments, civil society, and academia examined the text in view of their previously contributed input regarding sectoral policies, proposed interventions and targets given for the PRSP-II period. They also verified the data and sources given in the document for effective monitoring and evaluation of the PRSP’s output and outcome indicators. The participants also scrutinized the document with a view to identify missing interventions, errors and omissions. Their recommendations and submissions were carefully recorded and at the end of the day were presented in the plenary session of the workshop.

2.18.3 Consultative Workshop to Share Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP-II) with the International Development Partners: The global consensus on the importance of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) brings the discussion of poverty reduction strategies to the centre stage of the international development efforts. The development partners play not only a key role in sustained efforts for poverty reduction as outlined in their specific country assistance plans and strategies but also provide guidance in the light of their international experiences in poverty reduction. It is imperative that development strategies and programmes of development partners must reflect the wishes and aspirations of the people to build consensus and ownership. Foregoing in view, a consultative workshop to share the Draft PRSP-II with international development partners was organized on November 19th, 2008 at the Finance Division, Islamabad. This full-day workshop was attended by a large number of representatives from international development community including the World Bank, IMF, ADB, EU, USAID, DFID, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNIDO, UN World Food Programme, WHO, JICA, CIDA, SDC, and FAO, etc. Representatives from line ministries and departments were also present. The participants deliberated on the various pillars of PRSP-II and synthesized their comments and suggestions into presentations. These presentations based on recommendations which were then presented in the plenary session of the workshop.

2.18.4 Consultative Workshop to share PRSP-II with the Parliamentarians: Involving the elected representatives of the people in the consultative process of poverty-reduction is not only necessary for sustainability of the process, but parliamentary oversight of the PRSP can ensure long-term ownership of the strategies and generate the support necessary to sustain reforms. Parliament is an institution where the voices and preferences of the public and particularly of the poor can be heard. Parliamentarians’ outreach to their constituencies on issues of PRSP is particularly relevant in this context. Greater parliamentary involvement in the poverty reduction process helps to ensure that a country’s poverty reduction strategy is generated, implemented and evaluated through national institutions with the legitimacy to ensure ownership and sustainability. Parliamentarians also have a significant role to play in influencing the government’s poverty alleviation programmes through the budgetary process. To institutionalize the role of Parliamentarians in formulation of PRSP-II, a consultative Workshop to share the Draft PRSP-II was held on December 4th, 2008 Islamabad. During the workshop, the Parliamentarians stressed the need for legislative oversight of government policies in general and of the budget process in particular to ensure that government is effectively working towards poverty reduction. They unanimously maintained that agriculture is the engine of growth needs to be specially highlighted in the strategy for poverty reduction. In addition, focus on key areas of human development while giving utmost importance to education health and access to clean drinking water for the marginalized. The government’s efforts in providing the poor relief in the form of Benazir Income Support Programme in face of rising inflation were lauded. Parliamentarians overwhelmingly supported government’s efforts to improve governance and institutional development. They were of the view that by instituting accountability and good governance in the administration and management of pro-poor activities and programmes, we can effectively continue the crusade against poverty.

2.19 PRSP-II Communication Strategy

2.19.1 The government firmly believes that the process of designing and updating the PRSP-II remains inclusive so as to ensure that all voices (including those of the poor) are heard. In order to further ensure general public participation and ownership of the Strategy, the PRSP-II has been placed on the Website of Ministry of Finance (

2.19.2 The PRSP Secretariat is working towards developing an all-inclusive communication strategy to ensure ownership through sharing and dissemination of PRSP-II at all levels of society. This would not only ensure accountability, participation and transparency in the implementation process but will also provide food for thought and input for future strategies. Communication interventions would utilize diverse channels in accordance with audience needs including electronic and print media, workshops and seminars, translation of PRSP into national and regional languages, and special supplements in national dailies.

2.20 Voices of the Poor

2.21 This section summarizes results from consultations held with poor communities all over Pakistan on the outcomes of the PRSP-I. It expresses the perspectives of the poor on poverty reduction strategies adopted by Pakistan during the past few years, and their opinions on how far they considered these strategies to have been successful. It thus helps to frame policies for the future.

2.22 In late 2005, the Rural Support Programme Network was asked to organize community consultations for formal feedback on the people’s views about the on-going PRSP24. The consultations with rural poor were intended to ascertain whether they thought PRSP had made any difference in their lives and, if so, through what interventions and by how much.

2.23 During February 2006, 54 dialogues were held in 21 districts, with a total of 1,214 participants. The dialogues were held separately with a total of 646 male and 568 female participants. An effort was made to include as diverse a group of participants as possible, including small farmers, daily wage labourers, employees of public and private sectors, unemployed members of the labour force, Mustahiqs25 of Zakat26, people engaged in small enterprises, students, etc. A summary of these dialogues - highlighting the perceptions of the people on what has worked and what has not, as well as their suggestions on how to improve matters - is presented below.

2.24 Employment: A consensus emerged that the employment situation had improved slightly in the formal sector during the last few years though the change was not substantial. The improvement had resulted particularly from public sector development initiatives especially at the village and Union Council levels. In general, people related access to employment opportunities with education and with having the right contacts. They felt that merit was often not the determining factor. There was a growing trend for women to seek jobs including in non-traditional areas. The jobs mainly sought by women were in the social sectors especially those of lady health workers and school teachers.

2.24.1 High unemployment persisted among young people and lack of technical education cited as a major reason for the difficulty in finding employment. In the construction sector, work opportunities were more easily available than earlier. Salaries as well as daily wage rates of skilled and unskilled labour had risen substantially. However, majority of those consulted believed that the rise in salaries and wages had been offset by increasing prices of daily necessities and consumption goods. Participants in the dialogue emphasized that since the majority of rural population was engaged in farm-related work, a flourishing agriculture and expanding agribusiness were crucial to increasing rural employment opportunities.

2.24.2 The participants recommended that policies and programmes for education and training should take into account current and future employment opportunities. Technical education and vocational skills training could give more people opportunities to contribute. Effective promotion of self-enterprise and SMEs would provide many additional employment opportunities.

2.25 Small Enterprise Development: Participants stressed that SMEs needed assistance in making links with market centers; i.e. they lacked knowledge about market preferences. Overall, it appears that in the view of dialogue participants, little progress had been made in facilitating small enterprise development, particularly in the area of skill development and establishing market linkages.

2.26 Micro-credit: During the last few years, access to micro-credit had considerably improved, but the geographical coverage remained very limited relative to that required by the population and what could potentially be achieved.

2.26.1 Recommendations included the expansion of geographical coverage of micro-credit institutions to cover the entire country in addition to an increase in loan ceilings from micro-credit institutions and for loaning to be tailored to client needs, for instance, repayment schedules should be consonant with the cash flows of their clients’ businesses. Demand for new credit products to cater to client needs, such as, consumption loans was also high such as insurance for agriculture and livestock.

2.27 Agriculture: The entire rural economy is directly or indirectly dependent upon agriculture (including livestock). Most participants in the dialogues believed that there had not been much improvement in this sector during the last few years. The general view was that, despite higher prices for produce, profitability in this sector had not improved as costs of production had increased. Services and facilities for small farmers continued to lack. Agricultural inputs were expensive and in many places were not of good quality or were completely spurious.

2.27.1 The National Programme for Improvement of Watercourses was widely appreciated. Many participants thought that it was productive and would have long lasting benefits. However, the prerequisites asked of small farmers and the procedures to be followed for such schemes such as those relating to disbursement of funds by the government needed to be streamlined while the amount of community contribution needed to be lowered.

2.27.2 The seasonality of the canal system was a major cause of concern. Growing scarcity of water was affecting agricultural production both in rain fed and irrigated areas. Furthermore, many small farmers believed that they did not get their fair share of irrigation water, which they believed was usurped by influential farmers in collusion with the Irrigation Department.

2.27.3 In general, participants were not happy with the extension efforts of the Agriculture Departments. The results of agricultural research, new and innovative techniques, and seed/crop varieties, were not being effectively disseminated among the farming communities. The management of natural resources had improved in districts where area/development programmes had been working; people were more aware about improved farm practices but more efforts were needed. Participants suggested that the government needed to further facilitate farmers in the marketing of produce as well as in storage. The dialogue participants had not experienced any change in tenancy rights. The landless tenants remained at a disadvantage and were prone to exploitation.

2.28 Livestock: Livestock was an important source of income in the rural areas. In most dialogues, participants believed that livestock-related services had not improved markedly during the last 3-4 years. They expressed a need for technical services for improving livestock breeds and for disease prevention and treatment. The majority also felt that few people could actually avail of such services through the Livestock Department. Nevertheless, in parts of the NWFP, participants thought that the services of the Department of Livestock and Dairy Development had indeed improved.

2.28.1 Some of the women participants said that in their areas they had received training in poultry farming through a government department. With the provision of Livestock Extension Workers (LEWs), now livestock medication and vaccination services were available which were previously not available. However, in most villages, veterinary facility and access to qualified veterinary doctors was not available. That gap was filled by quacks. It was suggested that the network of veterinary hospitals/dispensaries be expanded and the presence of qualified staff be ensured. Moreover, since females were actively involved in livestock and poultry keeping, more women veterinarians should be inducted by the Livestock Department. This also strengthened the need for further village-based LEWs.

2.28.2 Awareness about improved practices had risen in districts where area/rural development programmes had been working, in particular and communities were socially organized. Participants stressed that proper marketing facilities for dairy products were largely absent. Participants felt that dairy activities offered a huge potential and should be supported in rural areas by linking small farmers to commercial dairy businesses.

2.29 Governance: The general consensus on the devolved system was that the concept was well-founded but was not being implemented in its true spirit. One of the main reasons why most ordinary rural people appreciated the devolved setup was that it had improved access to government institutions and their services. However, participants complained that in many cases funds were allocated on the basis of allegiance to political parties. Some felt that the elected representatives did not listen to the poor and cooperated with the influential and with their own relatives. Participants complained of a lack of coordination between local elected representatives and government functionaries. Initially there was considerable confusion about role, responsibility, and authority. The participation of women as elected representatives at the local level was so far seen as more symbolic than substantive. However, despite the current limitations, most people were glad that some at least among them had access to power structures that could assist in resolving issues.

2.29.1 The general view was that accessing justice and curtailing corruption in the public sector had not noticeably improved in the last few years. Rural people were especially unhappy with what they had to go through in dealings with the police, revenue and with irrigation departments. Court cases continued to be lengthy and costly. The legal system took years before cases were concluded and judgments implemented.

2.29.2 People felt that most government departments had an uncooperative and occasionally even hostile atmosphere unless they agreed to pay bribes or had a ‘reference.’ Some of the participants did feel that problems in dealing with the police and other government departments had been somewhat eased with the help of elected representatives. However, most participants felt that the efficiency and effectiveness of public servants had not improved significantly during the period under consideration

2.30 Education: Participants generally agreed that during the last few years, access to primary level schooling had improved for both girls and boys. Beyond the primary level, access was often more difficult, especially for girls, the distances involved and because of deficiencies in schools’ infrastructure particularly of boundary walls and toilets. Many schools, both, for boys and girls lacked adequate facilities for providing clean drinking water.

2.30.1 Recruitment of teachers on contract by district governments had helped bridge the shortage of teaching staff. Teacher absenteeism had been checked to a large extent during the last few years. The free education policy of the government had enabled many poor families to enroll their children. The provision of free books, waiver of school fees, and scholarships to girls had significantly improved girls’ enrolment in schools.

2.30.2 In the opinion of most participants, the quality of education had largely remained unchanged. School Management Councils (SMCs) existed but in most cases were dormant and did not play an active role in school management. Government schools often lacked even the minimum requirements of laboratory facilities and other equipment. Technical education centers were located in big towns and Tehsil/District headquarters making access to them especially difficult for girls.

2.30.3 Private sector education was a growing and widespread trend. People preferred private schools. In the view of some participants, government schools only served the poor as those who could afford sent their children to private schools.

2.30.4 It was suggested that there should be a formal system for adult literacy with adequate facilities and properly paid staff. Some participants expressed satisfaction with the current adult literacy programmes initiated by the government (e.g. through National Commission for Human Development) and by NGOs. In none of the dialogues did anyone express knowledge of any specialized education or training facilities for disadvantaged/special children.

2.30.5 It appeared from the dialogues that there had been no improvement in higher education. Access to higher education (beyond matriculation) was especially difficult for people in rural areas as higher education institutions were usually located in towns or cities. This made them more expensive because of travel time and transportation costs.

2.31 Healthcare: In the dialogues there was general agreement that during the last few years there had been very little improvement in healthcare facilities besides some special initiatives. Government hospitals (including at Tehsil/District levels) lacked doctors, paramedic staff, lifesaving drugs, and diagnostic equipment. Since larger specialized hospitals were located in urban areas, the rural population had to travel there to seek secondary-level medical care which entailed a huge cost as well as inconvenience with particular difficulties for women. People were forced to seek private healthcare facilities for better service. Majority of the dialogue participants felt that the needy never got any financial assistance in civil hospitals.

2.31.1 In the rural areas, in general, Basic Health Units (BHUs), Rural Health Centres and Dispensaries were not fully functional and did not provide an acceptable level of service. Participants stressed that life-saving medicines ought to be available free at BHUs. Some participants mentioned the Punjab Chief Minister’s Initiative for Primary Healthcare under which a Public Private Partnership had been initiated for managing BHUs. It was claimed that subsequent to this initiative, primary healthcare facilities had improved during the last three years, doctors and other staff were now present and the supply of required medicines had improved. This could be a model for wider replication.

2.31.2 One of the new initiatives that people thought a definite improvement during the last few years was the Lady Health Workers (LHWs) programme. The LHWs were available where needed in the villages, and they extended timely and effective services. People were generally satisfied with immunization services for children and, in particular, were quite happy with the anti-Polio immunization programme. Participants suggested that free and easily accessible healthcare treatment be given to poor and marginalized families.

2.32 Water Supply and Sanitation: The dialogues revealed that in many locations the situation had improved in this sector. In particular, many district governments had taken steps to resolve water and sanitation issues in villages and towns. However, in remote and isolated villages things had not changed. Even areas where progress had been made in sanitation lacked a proper system for disposing of solid waste. Clean (safe for human health) drinking water was not available for a majority of the rural population. Participants in the dialogues emphasized that there was a tremendous need for more (safe for human health) drinking water schemes.

2.33 Social Safety Nets: Some participants estimated that as much as 25 percent of the community might deserve financial support through safety nets, but perhaps just 15 percent of the deserving got any assistance. Members of the Zakat Committees were nominated by the government. There was a general perception that the selection of the deserving by the Committees is not transparent. Some people said that the members of Zakat Committees usually gave benefits only to their relatives and friends or on the basis of political affiliation or biraderi.27 Participants thought that the process of obtaining social safety net assistance was lengthy and complicated. The majority felt that the Guzara (living) allowance provided through Zakat was insufficient for even subsistence living.

2.33.1 In some dialogues in the NWFP, participants said that in their area Zakat was now more easily available to the deserving, however, the scheme still needed improvement. Majority of the people recommended that the coverage of social safety nets must extend to all those who merit assistance. The amount of Guzara allowance ought to be increased to ensure subsistence. Besides the monthly financial living allowance, social safety nets ought to include skills training, credit for setting up self-owned enterprises, basic healthcare for family members, and support for children’s education. The participants felt that the Zakat fund should be administered in a fair and transparent way and be easily accessible to the deserving. People need to be fully aware about what assistance is available for the deserving and the Mustahiq ought to be able to receive what is due without hurdles and delays.

2.33.2 In general, the dialogues revealed that socially mobilized communities were better able to participate in and to access services and facilities that were available. They were also better able to convey their needs and priorities to decision makers and to implementing agencies. This applied in the economic field, e.g., micro-credit and agriculture; in the social sectors, e.g., school management and oversight; and to social safety nets.

2.34 Satisfaction with Basic Services

2.34.1 The recently conducted CWIQ-PSLM, covering over 70,000 respondents all over the country, substantiates most of the reflections coming out of the dialogues with the poor reported above. The CWIQ-PSLM, for the first time, generated information on the satisfaction from schooling, health facilities, family planning, veterinary hospital, agriculture, and the police. Perception about health and education services based on this data set is discussed here. The survey reported that 59.8 percent of respondents were satisfied with schools in FY 2004/05 (Table 2.14a). The highest level of satisfaction from schooling (67 percent) was found in the NWFP, while the lowest (48 percent) was in Balochistan. The level of satisfaction from schooling was higher in urban areas than in rural. However, only 36 percent of the population was satisfied with basic health units. Satisfaction with the services of basic health units was more or less the same in all provinces, except the NWFP, which recorded a higher level (52 percent). Rural areas expressed greater satisfaction with the services of basic health units than did urban.

Table 2.14(a)Household satisfaction by facilities and services use(percent)
Region and ProvinceFacilities and Services Use in 2004-05
Basic Health unitSchool
Urban Area29.3666.38
Rural Areas40.9654.85
Source: CWIQ-PSLM FY 2004/05-FY2006/07.
Source: CWIQ-PSLM FY 2004/05-FY2006/07.

2.34.2 The CWIQ-PSLM FY 2004/05 for the first time assessed a qualitative aspect regarding households and changes in their economic situation during the year preceding the survey. An answer to this question does not, of course, substitute for poverty estimates based on income or consumption data, however, it does provide useful insight. In both rural and urban areas, half the households perceived no change in their economic situation during the year, however, 27 percent of households in urban areas and 23 percent in rural areas reported an improvement in their economic situation compared to the previous year (Table 2.14b). Proportionately more households in the Punjab and the NWFP reported improvement in their well-being than households in Sindh and Balochistan. One-quarter of the rural households reported a worsening of their economic situation in the one-year period suggesting they had not benefited from the high agricultural growth.

Table 2.14(b):Households’ perception of their economic situation in FY 2004/05 compared with that in FY 2003/04(percent)
Region and

Economic Situation of the Household



Urban Areas3.5918.7350.5123.972.710.49100
Source: PSLM 2004/05
Source: PSLM 2004/05

2.34.3 These voices of the poor provide important feedback for fine-tuning the Poverty Reduction Strategy and ensuring its better implementation. From the dialogues, it became evident that the participants’ dissatisfaction was chiefly with inadequacies in implementation and not with the Strategy itself.

Chapter 3 - Poverty diagnostics

3.1 This chapter provides a brief review of the level and the correlates of poverty in Pakistan, which will form an empirical basis for the discussion of the strategy and policy measures to tackle poverty laid out in subsequent chapters. Most of poverty related data in this chapter are drawn from a key poverty monitoring instrument, i.e. a series of the Pakistan Integrated Household Survey (PIHS) and the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey (PSLM). This chapter pays special attention to the PRSP period, i.e. since FY 2001/02 and often compares major poverty statistics between FY 2001/02 and the latest available survey year.28

3.2 Poverty has many dimensions in Pakistan. The poor have not only low incomes but they also lack access to basic needs such as education, health, clean drinking water and proper sanitation. The latter undermines their capabilities, limits their opportunities to secure employment, results in their social exclusion and exposes them to exogenous shocks. The vicious cycle of poverty is accentuated when the governance structures exclude the most vulnerable from the decision making process. These issues are discussed in detail in different chapters of the report; strategies to address them constitute the main pillars of the PRSP-II.

3.3 Poverty Trend

3.3.1 A long-term trend of poverty in Pakistan is shown in Figure 3.1. Poverty, measured in terms of the headcount of the poor (the proportion of the population with consumption below the official poverty line), shows a mixed trend throughout the 1990s until it peaked at 34.5 percent in FY 2001/02.29

Figure 3.1:Poverty headcount rate in Pakistan FY 1987/88 – FY 2005/06

(percent of population)

Source: Pakistan Economic Surveys, FY 2001/02 & FY 2007/08, Finance Division, Government of Pakistan.

3.3.2 However, it can be seen from Figure 3.1 that there was a large turn-around in the poverty trend in FY 2001/02. Poverty in the country declined by more than 12 percentage points between FY 2001/02 and FY 2005/06 and reached 22.3 percent - its lowest level during the PRSP period.

3.3.3 The overarching objective of the PRSP-II is to reduce poverty. This requires that existing poverty estimates reflected in PRSP-II are realistic and based on surveys. The poverty estimates are worked out at the national level using the PSLM data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Statistics. The latest PSLM data is available only for FY 2005/06. The Planning Commission considers that a Poverty Reduction Strategy based on FY 2004/05 or FY 2005/06 data would underestimate the extent of poverty.

3.3.4 The Planning Commission is of the view that no reliable data exist for estimating poverty in recent years. Significant changes in the growth pattern; and an increase in food and fuel prices have occurred since 2005 adversely affecting the poor. The Planning Commission will undertake a comprehensive estimate of poverty trends over the next three years after it receives the PSLM data for FY 2007/08 from the Federal Bureau of Statistics, which is likely to be available by January/February 2009.

3.3.5 In the meantime, a Panel of Economists set up by the Planning Commission has provided a preliminary estimate of poverty (based on informed judgment) for FY 2008/09 that indicates an ‘addition of 6 percentage points to poverty incidence since FY 2004/05.’

3.3.6 Poverty declined both in rural and urban areas (Table 3.1). Urban poverty declined more than 40 percent between FY 2001/02 and FY 2005/06 from 22.7 percent to 13.1 percent, while rural poverty declined slightly more than 30 percent from 39.3 percent to 27 percent. As a result, the urban poverty is now less than half of the rural poverty in FY 2005/06. However, in terms of percentage point decline, rural areas experienced a larger decline (12.3 percentage points) than urban areas (9.6 percentage points).

Table 3.1:Decline in the poverty headcount FY 2001/02-2005/06
RegionFY 2001/02FY 2005/06Percent decline
Source: Pakistan Economic Survey, FY 2007/08
Source: Pakistan Economic Survey, FY 2007/08

3.4 Distributional impact of economic growth

3.4.1 The Pakistan economy took off since FY 2003/04 and the GDP growth rate jumped to 7.5 percent and remained high till FY 2006-07. An important question is whether the growth benefitted the poor as well. This section focuses on the distributional impact of the recent upward trajectory of economic growth.

3.4.2 Figure 3.2 shows the distribution of population ranked by household expenditure per adult equivalent for both FY 2001/02 and FY 2005/06. It clearly shows the proportion of poor population has declined and the proportion of middle income class increased. This suggests that the benefits from the recent economic growth have spread widely over different income groups. Also, the concentration of population near the poverty line declined substantially, which indicates that a small shock in income and expenditure likely to have less impact on the poverty headcount rate.

Figure 3.2:Distribution of consumption expenditure per equivalent adults, 2001/02 and 2005/06

(Rs at 2005/06 prices)

Source: PIHS FY 2001/02 and PSLM FY 2005/06

3.4.3 Table 3.2, which follows the classification of the PRSP, reinforces the observations from Figure 3.2. The proportions of the extreme poor, the ultra poor and the poor all declined substantially since FY 2001/02. On the other hand, the proportion of the rich, including both ‘Quasi non-poor’ and ‘Non-poor’, increased noticeably.

Table 3.2:Population distribution by household expenditure per adult equivalent(Percent)
Poverty Category2001-022005-06
Extremely Poor50% of poverty line or less1.10.5
Ultra Poor50% - 75%10.85.4
Poor75% - 100%22.516.4
Vulnerable100% - 125%22.520.5
Quasi Non-Poor125% - 200%30.136.3
Non-poor200% of poverty line or above13.020.9
Source: Economic Survey FY 2007/08, Government of Pakistan.
Source: Economic Survey FY 2007/08, Government of Pakistan.

3.4.4 To see the growth impact by different income groups in more detail, growth incidence curves are shown in Figure 3.3. These curves map the average annual growth rate of per adult equivalent consumption expenditure for each centile over the period FY 2000/01 to FY 2004/05. The figure shows that almost all income groups enjoyed a similar rate of growth in rural areas, while the rich enjoyed a higher growth rate in urban areas. Although there are some variations in growth rates, it is noteworthy that all groups recorded more than 3 percent annual growth rates.

Figure 3.3:Growth incidence curves between FY 2001/02 and FY 2005/06

Source: PIHS FY 2001/02 and PSLM FY 2005/06

3.5 Poverty profiles

3.5.1 Profiling the poor is often useful to identify where the poor live; who they are; and what they are doing; which are essential in designing poverty alleviation strategies. This section overviews the poverty profiles.

3.5.2 Urban-Rural breakdown The poor are overwhelmingly concentrated in rural areas. As stated above, the poverty headcount rate in rural areas is 27 percent, more than double the size of urban areas. Furthermore, 80 percent of the total poor population lives in rural areas.

Table 3.3:Urban-Rural breakdown of poverty statistics in FY 2005/06
Headcount rate (Percent)13.127.0
Share of poor population (Percent)20.579.5
Source: PSLM FY 2005/06
Source: PSLM FY 2005/06

3.5.3 Poverty and demographics Poverty is highly correlated with household size. Larger households and households with high dependency ratios are likely to be much poorer than smaller households (Figure 3.4). For example, no household with one member is poor while more than 35 percent of households with 10 or more members are poor.

Figure 3.4:Household size and poverty rate FY 2005-06

Source: PSLM FY 2005/06, Government of Pakistan.

3.5.4 Agriculture and Poverty Pakistan is an agrarian country where about two-third of the population still lives in rural areas. Not surprisingly, rich households in rural areas were more likely to own agricultural land than poor households in FY 2005/06. The richest 20 percent of rural households were on average more than 3.5 times likely to own agricultural land than the poorest 20 percent of rural households (Figure 3.5). Also, the richest 40 percent of rural households owned agricultural land that was on average about 4 times larger than that owned by the poorest 60 percent.

Figure 3.5:Agricultural land ownership (in rural areas) by rural consumption quintiles FY 2005/06

Source: PSLM FY 2005/06

3.5.5 Education, Occupation and Poverty Educational attainments and occupations of household heads appear to be highly correlated with poverty incidence of the households. For example, according to PSLM FY 2005/06 data, educational attainment of household heads differs starkly between the rich and the poor. Among the poorest 20 percent of population (or quintile), nearly 70 percent of household heads did not complete class 1; however, among the richest quintile, only around 20 percent of household heads did not complete class 1. On the other hand, almost no heads in the poorest quintile completed class 11 or more, while more than 30 percent of heads in the richest quintile completed class 11 or more. Also, occupational status is clearly different between the rich and the poor. In FY 2005/06, nearly 40 percent of household heads in the poorest quintile held so-called “elementary occupations” while less than 20 percent of heads in the richest quintile held the elementary occupations.

3.5.6 Service delivery and Poverty Access to key community services is strongly associated with a household’s poverty situation. Using the PSLM FY 2004/05, which has rich data on access to key facilities and infrastructure, Figure 3.6 shows the relationship between the distance to some basic community services, such as the nearest primary school, hospital/clinic, family planning facility, or public transport, and poverty. It shows that households closer to the basic community services are in general richer than those isolated from these services.

Figure 3.6:Poverty rates by minutes to the nearest facility in FY 2004/05

Source: PSLM FY 2004/05

3.5.7 Other important factors Needless to say, other factors are also important. Poor and vulnerable households tend to lack access to jobs, assets, savings, insurance products, institutional credit, and assistance options. Due to this, they are often compelled to resort to desperate measures to cope with chronic stress and shock, often with tragic outcomes. Patterns of multi-generational poverty traps can be identified, whereby poverty incurred by one generation is transferred to subsequent ones, with no apparent hope of escape. A prime example is offered by the effects of the educational attainment of the household head on that of the family—children in families of which the household head is illiterate, tend to be illiterate. Since literacy is correlated with poverty, this tends to perpetuate poverty by transferring it across generations. Another instance is provided by borrowing or the sale of assets, which results in the depletion of already scarce resources. Selling or mortgaging land, house, and productive assets occur with disturbing frequency. Another consequence is economic inefficiency—self-insurance against risk can have high opportunity costs and stifle innovation and investment, as households choose to maintain liquid and low-risk, low-return assets. These factors need to be studied further.


Among the many approaches and definitions in the theoretical literature and adopted by various developing countries, the Planning Commission of Pakistan has used the following definition for estimating the poverty line.

“Calorific requirement approach wherein all those households (or individuals) are classified as poor who do not have income sufficient to allow a consumption pattern consistent with minimum calorie requirements. It is also assumed that the households earning incomes equivalent to poverty line not only have sufficient food to meet the minimum nutrition requirements but also the non-food requirements”.

It is to be noted that the current (FY 2005/06) estimates of poverty status (headcount ratio, poverty gap and squared poverty gap) are updated by Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the revised poverty estimates of FY 2000/01. The methodology of revised poverty estimates of the FY 2000/01 involved the following steps:

I. Constructing Consumption Aggregate

The Aggregate Consumption Function (ACF) is constructed as follows:

  • ▪ Aggregate the various sub-components;
  • ▪ Adjust for cost of living differences; and
  • ▪ Adjust for household composition.

The Sub-components of ACF can be classified into four categories:

  • Food items;
  • Non-food items;
  • Consumer durables; and
  • Housing.

(i) Food Items

It includes food consumed from all sources and needs data on the total values alongwith the quantity of various food items consumed in the reference period:

  • ▪. Food purchased in market place;
  • ▪ Home produced food;
  • ▪ Food items received from the employer as payment in kind for services rendered; and
  • ▪. Food items received from other household as gift or remittances.
  • ** Tobacco is not a food item

The whole of food consumption is transformed into a uniform reference period:

  • ▪ 1 month = 2.71 * fortnights
  • ▪ 1 year = 12 months

There are some households that report zero quantities consumption but non-zero values of the expenditure on few items. In such cases, prices for the data from other households are constructed and median price paid by other households in the same cluster is used to come up with the quantities.

(ii) Non-Food Items

The non-food items are heterogeneous in nature and hence data on values is available only; quantities data is absent except in case of fuels. Following non-food expenditures have been excluded from the non-food sub-aggregate:

  • ▪. Expenditure on taxes/levies;
  • ▪ Purchases on financial assets, interest payments, and debts; and
  • ▪ Lumpy expenditures such as marriages/funerals.

(iii) Consumer Durables

Appropriate measure of consumption of durable goods is the value of services that the household receives from all the durable goods in its possession over the relevant time period. It is a tedious process and requires a lot of data which is not captured by HIES. Therefore, all durable goods are excluded from ACF except Services and Repair Charges of household effect, etc.

(iv) Housing

It is the most problematic of all sub-aggregations. It includes utilities (electricity, gas, water) and the value of rent paid by the household. The rental value is not always reported, especially in the rural areas. In such cases, implicit or imputed rental value is calculated by using ‘Hedonic Housing Regression.’

For regression purpose, consider all the households that report a payment/benefit from the rent. Regress this variable on some of the household characteristics that can affect the value of rent such as:

  • ▪ Number of rooms, if missing use median number of rooms
  • ▪ Availability of electricity; dummy variable : 1 if yes, 0 if not
  • ▪ Availability of gas; dummy variable : 1 if yes, 0 if not
  • ▪ Availability of telephone; dummy variable : 1 if yes, 0 if not
  • ▪ Availability of water; dummy variable : 1 if yes, 0 if not
  • ▪ Availability of toilet; dummy variable : 1 if yes, 0 if not
  • ▪ Availability of garbage collection; dummy variable : 1 if yes, 0 if not
  • ▪ Location: dummy for strata in the survey: urban, rural, and provinces

Take logarithm of the dependent as well as the independent variables for regression. Parameter estimates from this model are used to calculate rent for the other segment of population.

II. Adult Equivalence Scale

Nutrition based adult equivalent scales which differentiate between households on the basis of sex and age are also used for transforming the number of persons in a household to adult equivalents. The application of nutrition based equivalent scales to any expenditure other than food expenditure is questionable from a methodological point of view. The “revised estimates” are based on a simple equivalent scale that weights 0.8 to individuals younger than 18 years old and 1 for all other individuals. The adult equivalent scale of Planning Commission is based on calorie requirements and therefore, applicable only to food consumption expenditure. Moreover, food expenditure represents only about 50 percent of the total consumption expenditure, therefore, an adult equivalent scale (0.8 for younger than 18 years old and 1 for others) has been used to adjust the total household consumption expenditure.

III. Methodology of Poverty Line Estimation:

Poverty line is estimated from a regression of per adult equivalent monthly consumption expenditure (food and non-food) against estimated daily per adult equivalent calorie intake. This methodology implicitly assumes that those households that reach the minimum requirement of calorie also consume necessary nonfood items, otherwise they would have increased calorie intake. The regression is run for the first three quintiles so that expensive and luxury consumption habits of the rich may not overestimate the poverty line.

Regression Equation Form

The regression equation is as under:


Y = Monthly per adult equivalent consumption expenditure (food and non-food)

X = Daily per adult equivalent calorie intake


Ln Y = (6.112 + (2.019E-4*2350)) = Rs 723.40 (Updated Estimates)

R2 = 0.195

Standard error of the estimate = 0.2112


  • ▪ There exists specifically defined amount of calories that is considered essential. Here, this per adult equivalent minimum calorie requirement (X) is 2350 calories per adult equivalent per month;
  • ▪ In case the minimum calorie requirement is achieved, then implicitly, the nonfood essential items are also achieved;
  • ▪ Same goods basket is consumed in all the provinces.; and
  • ▪ The first three per adult equivalent consumption expenditure quintiles are used in the regression equation estimating the poverty line so that the consumption pattern of the rich does not affect the determination of the poverty line.

IV. Methodology of Poverty Indices Estimation

Poverty indices

Once the decision has been made regarding the choice of poverty line there is then choice of aggregator. This can range from a simple count of individuals below poverty line to more complicated measures which take account of the distribution of income amongst the poor. We use the poverty measures proposed by Foster, Greer, and Thorbeck (1984) that are the headcount ratio (P0), average poverty gap (P1) and the squared poverty gap (P2).

Headcount ratio (P0)

The headcount ratio is defined as the proportion of people below the poverty line. This measure is easy to calculate but it has some disadvantages. It takes no account of the depth of poverty. Someone just below the poverty line has the same weight as the very poorest of the poor. It also fails to obey the principle of transfers i.e. a transfer of income from a poorer person to a rich person does not increase headcount ratio. Indeed, if the recipient of the transfer is just below the poverty line and the transfer raises him just above the poverty line then the transfer will have reduced poverty. This gives rise to the situation where the most effective means of the reducing poverty is to target the comparatively best-off the poor. Despite these drawbacks, the headcount ratio is still perhaps the most widely used poverty measure.


Where z is the value of the poverty line, wi is the per adult equivalent consumption expenditure of the individual i, and N is the total population. For all the indices, when the individual values are summed up they are multiplied by the household size and properly weighted to represent the whole population.

Poverty Gap (P1)

Poverty gap is the product of incidence and average distance between the incomes of the poor and the poverty line. It reflects the average shortfall of the incomes of the poor expressed as a share of the poverty line. Poverty gap does take account of the depth of poverty but it does not take account of the distribution of income amongst the poor.

Poverty gap:

Squared poverty Gap (P2)

The squared poverty gap measure of poverty is sensitive to the distribution among the poor as more weight is given to the poorest below the poverty line. It corresponds to the squared average distance of income of the poor to the poverty line. Hence moving from Po towards P2, more weight is given to the poorest in the population.

Severity of poverty:

V. Updating the Poverty line to FY 2005/06

Following steps were undertaken to update the poverty line and estimate poverty status from the household data contained in the PSLM FY 2005/06 survey:

  • ▪ Total household consumption expenditures in nominal terms in FY 2005/06 prices were reduced to common denominator of a single month.
  • ▪ In arriving at total household consumption expenditure, prices prevailing in 1100 Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) and across the twelve month period (July 2005 to June 2006) were standardized to conform to a consistent consumption welfare concept.
  • ▪ These were divided by household size adjusted for children less than 18 years of age. For example, if there were 5 children under 18, these were treated as 4 adults. This adjustment yielded consumption expenditure per adult equivalent per month.
  • ▪ The poverty line of Rs 878.64 obtained in FY 2004/05 was raised by 7.48 percent CPI inflation during FY 2004/05 and 2005/06 to arrive at the new inflation adjusted line of Rs 944.47 per adult equivalent per month.30
  • ▪ By comparing the per adult equivalent per month expenditure of each sampled individual with the FY 2005/06 poverty line of Rs 944.47, the above indicators on poverty status were calculated.

Chapter 4 – Pillar I: Macroeconomic stability and real sector growth

4.1 The study of global and regional poverty as well as Pakistan’s own experience from the PRSP-I period suggest that a country’s economy must grow rapidly over a prolonged period in order to reduce poverty. At the macro level, economic growth implies greater availability of public resources to improve the quantity and quality of education, health and other services. At the micro level, economic growth creates employment opportunities, increases the incomes of the people, and therefore reduces poverty. Many developing countries have succeeded in boosting economic growth for brief periods, but only those that have sustained high growth over substantial periods (say, two or more decades) have seen a lasting reduction in poverty. East Asian countries such as Korea, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong offer clear examples of the effects of economic growth on poverty alleviation. It is also evident from the experience of these countries that growth does not come automatically—it requires policies. Macroeconomic stability is the key to sustain high economic growth for longer periods. The persistence of high economic growth and not a short sequence of bust and boom that characterized the Pakistan economy over the years is the best hope for poverty alleviation.

4.2 The distribution of poor population in Pakistan suggests that almost 75 percent of the poor are clustered around the poverty line. Thus a slight rise in the mean income pulls many people above the poverty line whereas one crop failure or economic shock may send millions below the poverty line. Pakistan has historically posted higher economic growth too often in its checkered history of sixty years. The volatility in economic growth due to macroeconomic forces is the basis of the asymmetric growth in Pakistan and played an important influence on income distribution. The effects of income growth and the distributive effect associated to structural change were positive on reducing poverty but the evolution of relative prices and wage policies avoided a real income growth of urban and rural low skilled labours. The volatility of the income has proved very costly for the poor. The economy experienced longer spell of slower economic growth only in the 1990s and the poverty level reached as high as 34 percent of the population in 2001.

4.3 The economy moved to a higher growth trajectory in the vicinity of 6-7 percent real GDP growth during FY 2002-07 and resultantly the poverty declined substantially in FY 2004/05. However, the growth strategy relied heavily on external financing and use of sale proceeds from some public sector assets to meet a growing current account deficit. The poor resource mobilization efforts within the country remained hallmark of the economic policy in this period and exacerbated vulnerabilities to external shocks.

4.4 The domestic factor behind higher growth during 2002-07 was a consumer boom on the back of enhanced access to credit. The services sector and production of durables in the manufacturing sector spearheaded the move to higher growth trajectory. The agriculture sector and small and medium industry were largely ignored. These two areas were the best hope for poverty reduction. Financial businesses and telecommunication were the major attractions of foreign investors and these two sectors registered double digit growth feeding into higher growth in the services sector. The minimal potential of job creation and lower level of forward and backward linkages has given rise to a ‘jobless and joyless’ growth.

4.5 The productive capacity of the economy remained alien to this higher growth and new industrial capacity was hardly added to the economy. The agricultural policy was not announced during the last eight years. The input prices of agriculture escalated at a faster pace while output prices remained almost stagnant up to 2006 and it was only in the last two years the output prices witnessed upsurge. Poor water resource management was another area of concern and no serious efforts were made to augment smooth supply of the irrigation water. The agriculture sector faced acute water and input shortages during the last eight years but no conscious effort was being done to bridge demand-supply gap.

4.6 Severe macroeconomic pressure impacted economic activity in Pakistan in FY 2007/08. Beside other factors, Pakistan has had to face significant costs during the last few years being a frontline state in the ‘War on Terror’, thereby neutralizing buoyancy in capital inflows. The law and order situation in certain parts of the country has deteriorated alarmingly. Pakistan, with the rest of the world felt the force of a steep rise in the prices of petroleum and primary products.

4.7 The fiscal year 2007/08 was a volatile year for Pakistan’s economy both on domestic and external fronts. Number of unfavourable and unexpected events occurred during the years, which include: political unrest; law and order situation; supply shock; rising oil; food and other essentials prices; and crisis in the international financial market together with shortcomings in economic management. All these events have adversely affected the key macroeconomic fundamentals of Pakistan. The economy suffered a setback as GDP registered a growth of 5.8 percent against the target of 7.2 percent and a growth rate of 6.8 percent in FY 2006/07. The major sectors, agriculture and manufacturing, performed poorly. Services sector was the saving grace of economic growth in FY2007/08 which primarily stemmed from better than expected performance achieving 8.2 percent as against 7.6 the previous year.

4.8 The FY 2007/08 saw the fragility of the growth model adopted by Pakistan during the last several years. Surging oil, food and commodity prices accompanied by the turmoil in international financial markets and the disturbed domestic political conditions had an adverse impact on Pakistan’s budgetary position. Furthermore, over a year of policy inaction on account of political expediency for addressing the challenges, accentuated the budgetary imbalances. Expenditures greatly exceeded their budgeted amounts, mainly because of subsidies on oil, power, fertilizer, wheat and other foods.

4.9 The mismanagement of wheat operations led to an unanticipated import of 1.7 million tons of wheat at high prices, despite a bumper wheat crop (23.3 million tons) in 2006/07. This imposed a burden of Rs 40 billion on the government as payment for differential between the cheaper price in the domestic market and imported cost. In a similar fashion, the higher cost of furnace oil used in power generation was not allowed to pass through to domestic consumers of electricity. Therefore, against the budgeted subsidy of Rs 52.9 billion the projected power subsidy stood at Rs 113 billion—a slippage of Rs 60 billion.

4.10 The fiscal deficit surpassed the target by 3.4 percentage points of GDP. The combined impact of subsidies to the budget on account of oil and commodity shocks was estimated at nearly 3.6 percent of the GDP. It means the overrun of the fiscal deficit was entirely driven by the subsidies. Belated attempts to obtain savings from reductions in the development expenditures were unsuccessful. The efforts to curb the fiscal deficit within the target were further undermined by the huge overruns in interest payments. In the wake of major disruptions like domestic food and energy shortages and a plummeting exchange rate with high inflation, and exceptionally high macroeconomic imbalances, the required contingency plan was missing.

4.11 With the beginning of the new fiscal year (2008/09), Pakistan economy faced four major challenges: decelerating growth; rising inflation; growing fiscal deficit; and the widening gap in merchandise trade leading to a sharp depletion of foreign exchange reserves and a plummeting exchange rate.

4.12 The high price of food in the global arena threatens to push millions into poverty. Rising food prices have pushed up overall inflation not only in Pakistan, but across the region, particularly during 2007 and mid 2008. This is worrisome, because food price inflation is the most regressive of all taxes, hurting the poor and fixed income groups the most.

4.13 The recent upsurge in inflation is unprecedented in Pakistan and the victim of this hike is the lowest income group where incidence of inflation is the highest among all income groups. Downward adjustments in fuel prices will be neutralized by upward adjustment in energy prices but increase in support price of wheat will also play a role. Inflation has edged up due to massive borrowing from the SBP for budget financing and the government has, therefore, committed itself to restrict SBP financing to zero (on net basis) in order to stabilize inflation.

4.14 Macroeconomic Framework

4.14.1 Macroeconomic imbalances are inimical to longer-term growth and macroeconomic stability. The longer the imbalances persist, the greater the subsequent adjustment will be needed. Macroeconomic stability is, therefore, found to be absolutely vital for improving the investment climate and taking the economy at higher growth path on a sustained basis. The objectives of Pakistan’s stabilization programme are to reduce the ‘twin deficits’ (fiscal and current account) to restore macroeconomic balance, to bring the balance of payment to a viable position, and to build up foreign exchange reserves with a view to strengthening shock absorbing capacity of the economy.

4.14.2 Empirical evidence suggests that macroeconomic instability has generally been associated with poor growth performance and the consequent rise in poverty. The persistence of large fiscal and current account deficits and the attendant rise in public and external debt have been the major source of macroeconomic instability in Pakistan in the 1990s and the last fiscal year (2007/08) proved once again that these imbalances vitiated a stable macroeconomic environment which can not be conducive for investment and growth. Indeed, Pakistan witnessed its investment rate decelerating, economic growth slowing, employment opportunities shrinking, poverty level rising, debt burden reaching alarming proportions, and foreign exchange reserves plummeting in the past as a result of macroeconomic imbalances.

4.14.3 Against this backdrop the government has taken a series of steps to stabilize the economy. The government’s Economic Stabilization Programme includes a combination of stabilization measures and structural reform. The former is aimed at restoring macro-economic balance by bringing the level of demand and its composition in line with the output capacity of the economy and a sustainable external current and fiscal account position. The latter comprises microeconomic and institutional reforms directed at fostering an efficient allocation of resources and removing obstacles to optimize savings and investment. The ultimate objective of the stabilization programme is to harness long-term growth potential of the economy for more inclusive growth.

4.14.4 The macroeconomic stabilization is, unfortunately, likely to slow down economic growth, cause unemployment and push poverty rate up in the short run. Therefore, the central element in the government’s strategy is to protect the poor and vulnerable from the adverse effects of the adjustment by increasing the allocations for social safety nets. In the long run economic stabilization will benefit the vulnerable segments of society. The macroeconomic framework for PRSP-II has been prepared with a view to steering the economy to a higher growth trajectory in a stable macroeconomic environment. Growth, investment, and inflation aspects of the macroeconomic framework are shown in Table.4.1.

Table 4.1Growth, savings and investment FY 2008-13
- Major Crop%-
- Livestock%
- Large Scale

- Wholesale & Trade%
- Financial Businesses%
Real GDP Growth%
Inflation (CPI Based)%
Nominal GDP Growth%
GDP (Current mp)Rs. Billion10,47813,38415,88017,92620,23722,736
As % of GDP
- Fixed Investment%19.918.419.822.323.023.3
- Public Investment%
- Private Investment%14.215.416.016.817.117.1
National Savings%13.313.415.619.220.521.2
Foreign Savings%
Memo Items
Nominal Exchange RateRs / $62.582.092.797.3101.6104.7
Nominal GDPUS $ Billion167.5163.2171.3184.3199.2217.3
Per Capita GDPUS $10409971029108911581243

4.14.5 Higher economic growth—which is indispensable for reducing poverty—will depend on the ability of the country to unlock the creative energies of the people. This requires investment in human capital and higher spending on social sector. Going forward, Pakistan will have to allocate substantially large resources for strengthening the country’s physical and human infrastructure to sustain the growth momentum. However, with low domestic savings rate and low foreign direct investment, a key policy question is how to finance growth in the medium term. Pakistan has heavily relied on foreign saving in the form of international borrowing in the past to finance development. The growth model based on foreign savings has increased vulnerability of the economy in recent past and we have to reverse the recent downward trend in domestic saving.

4.14.6 To mobilize an adequate quantum of household savings, we should provide appropriate incentives so that households invest in financial assets with higher returns instead of putting money into physical ones such as land, housing, dollars and gold. One such instrument is contractual savings which has potential to fill in the demand gap for saving instruments with medium and long term maturity not only for individual but also for institutional investors. The effectiveness of contractual saving vehicles, such as pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies, etc. in helping to increase savings has been established. Development of the debt market for government securities and corporate bonds is equally important in order to address medium and long term mobilization of saving, the development of institutional investors, the diversification of financial intermediation from commercial banks, and the introduction of advanced financial instruments.

4.14.7 Pakistan has traditionally mobilized modest national savings to GDP ratio which is hardly sufficient to finance investment need of the economy. The fiscal deficit and its financing patterns explain more of poor domestic savings ratios in the country than any other factor. The easy access to external resources to finance the deficit and creation of base money at will are two main causes of the poor domestic savings ratios in the country. The government has emerged as a major dissaver over the years.

4.14.8 The government had committed itself to fiscal discipline where the revenue deficit had to be eliminated by end of fiscal year 2008 under Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act 2005. However, the extraordinary situation prevalent in the country forced to default on this clause. Under the new stabilization plan, the government is likely to generate savings by end of fiscal year 2010 after another year of default in FY 2008/09. Additionally, the economy has to create incentives for household and corporate savings through financial sector improvement, development of insurance sector, installing new pension funds, corporate bond markets and so on.

4.14.9 Table 4.2 documents trends in public finance. Total revenue is projected to increase from 14.3 percent of GDP in FY 2007/08 to 17.8 percent in FY 2012/13. Total expenditure between these two dates remains more or less constant at around 20 percent of GDP thereby leading to a reduction in the overall deficit. The key to the creation of fiscal space during the PRSP-II period will be a sharp increase in the tax-to-GDP ratio. This will require a reform of the tax system; the World Bank is currently preparing a study that will help the government in this area. The government has also initiated a programme of strengthening tax administration, which will include simplifying tax compliance and minimum interaction between the taxpayer and the tax official. To this end, a full description of required reforms in the area of tax administration, including an action plan for harmonizing the GST and income tax administration, will be prepared and the draft legislative amendments will be submitted to the parliament to harmonize the income tax and GST laws and reduce exemptions. The government will initiate a process to implement a full value-added tax (VAT) with minimal exemptions, to be administered by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Draft legislation for the VAT is expected to be ready for public debate by end-2009.

Table 4.2Pakistan: Consolidated Fiscal Framework FY 2008–2013
(Rs billion)
Total revenue1,499.41,995.02,510.02,935.03,512.04,055.0
- Tax Revenue1,056.31,468.01,868.02,270.02,722.03,240.0
- Non-Tax Revenue443.1527.0642.0665.0790.0815.0
Total expenditure2,276.62,510.02,987.03,430.03,950.04,520.0
Current Expenditure1,857.62,111.02,375.02,460.02,755.03,095.0
- Interest489.7618.0744.0580.0580.0580.0
Development expenditure423.4399.0612.0970.01,195.01,425.0
Primary balance-287.5103.0267.085.0142.0115.0
Overall balance-777.2-526.0-477.0-495.0-438.0-465.0
(As % percent of GDP)
Total revenue14.314.915.816.417.417.8
- Tax Revenue10.111.011.812.713.514.3
Total expenditure21.718.818.819.119.519.9
Current Expenditure17.715.815.013.713.613.6
Development expenditure*
Net lending-
Primary balance-
Overall balance-7.4-3.9-3.0-2.8-2.2-2.0

4.14.10 For the government to remain fiscally responsible and prudent we need more revenue. With current undoubtedly narrow tax base, it will be difficult to generate enough resources to finance infrastructure development. The government will therefore make efforts to extend the tax base to hitherto untaxed or under-taxed sectors. Broadening the tax base will also ensure a fairer distribution of the tax burden among various sectors of the economy. The overall services sector, including wholesale and retail trade as well as agriculture, are potential candidates for broadening the tax base.

4.14.11 Medium term fiscal consolidation will be supported by strong tax policy and administration measures, and the medium-term fiscal framework assumes a further increase in tax revenue of at least 2.5 percentage points of GDP. The government will reduce exemptions under the GST and harmonize the income and GST laws in the context of the 2009/10 budget discussions. Finally, a new draft VAT law will be submitted for public debate by end 2009. The full revenue impact of this law will materialize over the medium term.

4.14.12 The government plans to use the ongoing review of the FBR to modernize the tax administration and bring it to high international standards. Improving the coverage and working of the GST to make it a proper VAT and taxes consumption rather than the narrow sectoral focus that has resulted in erosion of the base and operation of the GST. Similarly, the income taxes need to be fully implemented with a global treatment of income. The fiscal adjustment will be achieved primarily by phasing out energy subsidies, better prioritizing development spending, and implementing tax policy and administration measures. The historical level of tax-to-GDP ratio will keep Pakistan into a vicious circle of fiscal deficit, financing problem and debt trap. FBR is tasked to come up with more innovative strategies to expand its tax mobilization efforts to under-taxed and un-taxed sectors. The consolidated fiscal framework envisages enhancing tax-to-GDP ratio from its low level of 10.4 percent of GDP in 2007/08 to 14.3 percent in 2012/13.

4.14.13 The government’s objective is to increase tax revenue by at least 3.5 percentage points of GDP over the medium term. This is based on strengthening the tax administration and taking parallel tax policy measures. An integrated tax administration organization on a functional basis at FBR level will report to the Chairman. This will also integrate the Income Tax and Sales Tax organizations by end 2009. A risk-based audit strategy will be implemented. On the policy side, the government will harmonize the income tax and GST laws, to facilitate joint functioning of the new administration to be included in the Budget 2009/10. Following the tax policy review in mid December 2008, the government will initiate a process to implement a full VAT with minimal exemptions, to be fully administered by FBR. The exemptions on various sectors have to be eliminated. It will enable the government to reduce marginal tax rates which will help further stimulate investment and production and will promote voluntary tax compliance. It will also ensure the fair distribution of the tax burden among various sectors of the economy.

4.14.14 Investment is the key driver of economic growth. In order to achieve the desired growth, investment rate is projected to move from 21.6 percent of GDP in FY 2007/08 to 24.8 percent in FY 2012/13. Private investment will take the lead in reinvigorating directly the production sectors—rising from 14.2 to 17.1 percent between the two dates, while public sector investment will focus on human and infrastructure development. National savings are projected to increase from 13.3 percent of GDP to 21.2 percent over this period. The savings-investment gap is therefore projected at 6.5 percent of GDP in FY 2008/09 and 3.6 percent of GDP in FY 2012/13 (Table 4.1). This shows that reliance on foreigner’s savings will be reduced with the passage of time and the investment demand for higher growth would be financed from domestic savings.

4.14.15 The dynamics of macroeconomics of the country have undergone substantial change in recent years. The strategy of financing growth through higher current account deficit is seen to have failed, and the focus on production sector has to be enhanced for more inclusive growth. The people at the bottom of the pyramid need more share of opportunities in the process of economic development. Pakistan is introducing second generation of reforms with a greater focus of inclusion of people at the bottom of pyramid by creating more jobs and opportunities. The strategy will focus on small businesses which will help in resolving the problem of income distribution.

4.14.16 These are all included in the stabilization plan. In implementing its new broad-based programme for economic stabilization, the government has already taken the following actions:

  • ▪ raised petroleum prices to reduce burden on the budget;
  • ▪ significantly cut expenditures, particularly on subsidies;
  • ▪ tightened monetary policy to fight inflation, as interest rates were raised by nearly 350 basis points (bps);
  • ▪ depreciated exchange rate by nearly 20 percent between March and December, 2008;
  • ▪ introduce additional measures (such as curbing forward booking of foreign exchange) to cool off import demand;
  • ▪ put restrictions on the use of foreign exchange;
  • ▪ committed to remove all subsidies on oil and electricity by end December 2008 and June 2009;
  • ▪ eschewed further borrowing from the State Bank (on a net basis);
  • ▪ imposed regulatory duties on non-essential imports; and
  • ▪ Cut development spending to adhere to the fiscal deficit target of 4.3 percent of GDP.

4.14.17 In order to cushion the impact of this programme on the poor, the government initiated the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) with an allocation of Rs 34 billion (this is discussed in detail in the next chapter). The new macroeconomic framework reinforces commitment to target vulnerable segments of the society and an increase of 0.6 percentage points of GDP in FY 2008/09 in the social safety net spending to 0.9 percent of GDP, in order to protect the poor and cushion the impact of the elimination of subsidies on vulnerable groups.

4.14.18 The consolidated fiscal framework strikes a balance between resource availability and expenditure spree. The latter are made to decline from 21.7 percent of GDP to 19.9 percent in the medium term. The composition will shift towards growth-enhancing components—current expenditure will fall from 17.7 percent of GDP to 13.6 percent, while development expenditure is projected to rise from 4.3 percent of GDP to 6.3 percent. To keep the fiscal deficit at a sustainable level, greater emphasis is placed on additional resource mobilization. The fiscal deficit is envisaged to be reduced from 7.4 percent of GDP in FY 2007/08 to 2.0 percent in FY 2012/13.

4.14.19 A credible and prudent fiscal policy comprised of: (i) a balanced tax structure based on rational and affordable rates with minimal exemptions covering a broad range of taxpayers; (ii) an expenditure policy that aims to moderate growth in non-developmental expenditure and adequately accommodative for pressing social and infrastructure needs of a developing economy; and (iii) a prudent debt management policy.

4.14.20 The Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act (FRDLA), 2005 binds the government to achieve revenue balance (total revenue minus total current expenditure) by the end of the fiscal year 2007/08. This target was not achieved because of extraordinary developments in the year, caused mainly by higher food and oil subsidies. The fiscal aspect of the macroeconomic framework adheres to the limit set by the Act, and accordingly a revenue surplus is maintained throughout the period of the Medium-Term Macroeconomic Framework. Within this framework, current expenditures decline from nearly 17.7 percent of GDP in FY 2007/08 to 13.6 percent in FY 2012/13. This restraint is largely brought about by declining payments for interest.

4.14.21 Pro-poor expenditures will be prioritized through a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) that will be consistent with the FRDL Act, 2005 which stipulates that expenditures on social sectors would be 4.5 percent of GDP in any given year and that allocations for health and education would double as a percentage of GDP over the next 10 years ending in FY 2013. The targets for key macroeconomic aggregates presented in the Framework are the broad direction over the medium term and are indicative; they are not intended to preempt any future adjustments that may be required to achieve the desired targets. As a consequence of the divergent movements in revenues and expenditures, public debt is projected to decline from 56.3 percent of GDP in FY 2007/08 to 45 percent by the end of 2013. The path of the country’s debt burden is consistent with the FRDL Act, 2005.

4.14.22 On the external side the macroeconomic framework projects a drastic reduction in the trade gap from US $15.3 billion in FY 2007/08 to US $13.7 billion in FY 2012/13 that would enable reduction in the current account deficit from US $14.0 billion to US $7.9 billion in this period (Table 4.3). As a percentage of GDP the current account deficit is projected to decline from 8.4 to 3.6 percent of GDP during this period. The reduction in the trade deficit is mainly on the back of drastic compression of non-essential imports as well as stabilization of prices of crude and edible oil along with commodity prices. Exports are expected to grow at their long-term average of 14-20 percent in the medium term. With the declining trade deficit, the current account deficit will also fall and thus necessitates external debt reduction from 27.3 percent of GDP in FY 2007/08 to 21.9 percent by the end of the macroeconomic framework period.

Table 4.3Pakistan’s Balance of Payments Outlook FY 2008-13
(US $billion)
Trade balance-15.3-13.3-12.9-13.2-13.4-13.7
Exports, f.o.b.20.122.525.027.830.834.2
Imports, f.o.b.-35.4-35.8-37.9-40.9-44.2-47.9
Services, net-6.3-6.2-6.4-6.9-7.6-8.3
Income, net-3.9-3.7-4.2-4.1-4.5-5.3
Transfers, net11.512.513.815.717.619.4
Current account balance (incl. official transfers)-14.0-10.6-9.8-8.5-7.9-7.9
Overall balance5.84.30.3-1.8-3.0-4.1
SBP gross reserves8.68.611.312.313.514.5
Nominal exchange rate (average)62.582.092.797.3101.6104.7
Nominal GDP (US $billion)167.5163.2171.3184.3199.2217.3
Export Growth16.512.
Import Growth31.
(As % of GDP)
Trade balance-9.1-8.1-7.5-7.1-6.7-6.3
Current account balance (including official transfers)-8.4-6.5-5.7-4.6-4.0-3.6

4.14.23 The overall vision of PRSP-II is, therefore, to steer Pakistan’s economic growth back in the range of 5-7 percent per annum by stimulating growth prospects in the production sector; creating adequate employment opportunities; improving income distribution; and harnessing the country’s economic competitiveness through economic liberalization, deregulation and transparent privatization.

4.14.24 The most crucial part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy is to regain macroeconomic stability and establish an enabling environment for investment. The risk to macroeconomic stability emanates from the security situation and from the turmoil in the world economy. The structural reforms to be implemented in Pakistan during the next five years should make higher domestic savings and investment a permanent feature. To ensure that macroeconomic problems do not impede the pace of job creation and poverty reduction efforts, the government will continue to review fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policies to harmonize them with stabilization goal. The country’s growth prospects would be further enhanced by a more externally driven growth process, and by an acceleration of structural reforms to further improve productivity and investment climate. In this light, the PRSP-II will also endeavour to make growth more inclusive and with a human face, which is essential for improving the life of the common man. The PRSP-II will revolve around this macroeconomic framework.

Chapter 5 – Pillar II: Protecting the Poor and the Vulnerable

5.1 Assisting the poor and vulnerable is the key objective of a Poverty Reduction Strategy. Broadly speaking, Pakistan’s Strategy intends to achieve its objectives in three ways. First, it seeks to create productive employment by expanding the demand for labour through a rapid growth of GDP. Second, it concentrates on the development of the country’s human resources so that the largest possible number can participate in and benefit from the enlarged job offerings. However, third, the strategy recognizes that despite best efforts there will always be sections of the population that require additional support. A humane society will try to ensure that special measures are devised to deal with the problems of the disadvantaged. A particular urgency to expand existing programmes and to institute new measures has been provided by the rapid escalation in food prices in FY 2007/08, which is likely to have pushed significant numbers below the poverty line. Special measures are also required to deal with the results of natural disasters—such as earthquakes, floods, prolonged drought—which Pakistan has suffered in recent years.

5.2 Other chapters in this report deal with the first two elements of the poverty reduction strategy. This chapter takes up the third element, namely, the strategies and methods of providing special protection. It should, of course, be understood that the chapter covers only the most significant policies that inform the strategy and the institutions that will implement it. It must also be remembered that a considerable amount of social support is provided by private philanthropies, and the description of these is beyond the scope of this paper.

5.3 The social protection network

5.3.1 Over the years, a substantial safety net of direct and indirect social protection mechanisms has evolved. The direct provisions include direct transfers such as Zakat and the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM); employment-based guarantees of income such as by the Employees’ Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI), the Workers Welfare Fund (WWF); and provincial social security benefits. Indirect provisions include subsidies on electricity, price of flour, other food items and housing. In addition, there are special programmes to construct elements of the infrastructure using labour-intensive methods, which both generates income for the poor and increases the productive capacity of the country by adding to its capital stock.

5.3.2 Between FY 2002/03 and FY 2007/08 the total expenditure on non-budgetary/social safety programmes, directly targeting the poorest and the most vulnerable segments of the society increased from Rs 16 billion in FY 2002/03 to Rs 62 billion in FY 2007/08, and the amount projected to be spent on these programmes in FY 2008/09 is more than Rs 148.6 billion31 (about 1.1 percent of GDP and 3.74 percent32 of total budgetary expenditures for this year)—more than double that of the previous year (Table 5.1). The National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) also envisages doubling the number of beneficiaries during the five years 2007-12. Moreover, social care services are to be provided to about 100,000 persons with disabilities and vulnerable groups. As the system improves and more fiscal space becomes available, the programmes will be expanded.

Table 5.1 (a):Direct transfers and beneficiaries, 2001/02-2008/09
ProgrammeDisbursement /beneficiaries2002-032003-042004-052005-062006-072007-082008-09

ZakatAmount disbursed (million Rs)8,0095,3303,6924,5204,6114,0905,724*


Pakistan Bait-Ul-Mal (all programmes)Amount disbursed (million Rs)2,3353,1593,2703,8383,9115,5217,965


Benazir Income Support ProgrammeAmount disbursed (billion Rs)------34


Punjab Food


Amount disbursed

(billion Rs)


Workers Welfare FundAmount disbursed (million Rs)2,2361,9442,0062,6092,7917,84027,975


Peoples Works

Amount disbursed (million Rs)8443,6812,8282,9812,1971,8964,420


Peoples Works Programme-IIAmount disbursed (million Rs)1,0646,5884,0319,90019,99817,2557,184^


Micro-credit***Amount disbursed (million Rs)2,5183,0345,4316,6559,94714,147-
Total Clients (000)2162864706069061,1542,528
EOBIAmount disbursed (million Rs)1,5921,7421,9292,8993,4464,2277,464


Source: For Zakat: Ministry of Religious Affairs Zakat and Ushr, for Pakistan Bait-Ul-Mal: Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education, for EOBI: Employees’ Old Age Benefits Institution, Head Office Karachi.

Excluding Permanent Rehabilitation Scheme and National Level Deeni Madaris33.

Includes Food Support Programme and Individual Financial Assistance only.

From FY 2002-03 to FY 2007-08 Micro-credit data was taken from Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) Khushali Bank and ZTBL.

Up to 8.11.2008

Source: For Zakat: Ministry of Religious Affairs Zakat and Ushr, for Pakistan Bait-Ul-Mal: Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education, for EOBI: Employees’ Old Age Benefits Institution, Head Office Karachi.

Excluding Permanent Rehabilitation Scheme and National Level Deeni Madaris33.

Includes Food Support Programme and Individual Financial Assistance only.

From FY 2002-03 to FY 2007-08 Micro-credit data was taken from Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) Khushali Bank and ZTBL.

Up to 8.11.2008

Table 5.1 (b):Direct transfers and beneficiaries FY 2001/02–2008/09*





Amount disbursed (million Rs)*---274,9582,337*****

beneficiaries (000)*
Source: Ministry of Finance, Internal Finance Wing.

Part of the above table, the data is based on the calendar year of National Bank of Pakistan.

Up to June 2008.

Projected allocation for FY2008/09 is Rs 32.250 billion

Source: Ministry of Finance, Internal Finance Wing.

Part of the above table, the data is based on the calendar year of National Bank of Pakistan.

Up to June 2008.

Projected allocation for FY2008/09 is Rs 32.250 billion

5.3.3 For FY 2008/09, the government is finalizing a comprehensive social protection programme in response to the escalating food prices. The major change that has occurred this year is a steep increase in the targeted social protection allocations. In addition to the existing Zakat and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), as described below, initiated by the Federal Government and the Food Support Programme (FSP) of the Punjab Government have together allocated Rs 56 billion for this purpose. This presents a trend break—qualitatively and quantitatively—in terms of government commitment to social protection. The intended scale of these programmes sends out a clear signal of changed priorities. The introduction of these programs also necessitates the re-visitation of existing programs to ensure a coherent strategic vision for social protection in Pakistan.

5.4 Pakistan’s social protection net

5.4.1 Pakistan’s safety net developed largely as a series of adhoc responses to problems thrown up by particular circumstances. It is, therefore, not surprising that it contains duplicating and overlapping programmes. Moreover, since it has grown up over a considerable number of years, combines the interests of many different constituencies, and incorporates several institutions, it would be unrealistic to expect that the different elements could be merged into a seamless entity in a short period.

5.4.2 The intention, however, is to start working towards an overall social protection strategy that is both efficient and well-targeted, and minimize duplication and overlaps of programmes. It is also intended to make poverty interventions more gender-sensitive; the emphasis in developing future programmes is to ensure that they do not neglect but empower women. The ultimate aim of the government is to strengthen the safety net programs through better targeting and devise programmes that also support graduation from safety net to income generation and sustainable livelihoods.

5.5 The National Social Protection Strategy

5.5.1 In response to the challenges, a National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) was drafted, building on detailed sectoral reviews as well as on inputs provided by all the relevant actors, both at the federal and provincial levels. The NSPS provides a framework for addressing poverty alleviation that is consistent with the PRSP, the MTDF, the Vision 2030, and other strategic documents. The vision for the Social Protection Strategy is to bring the poor and vulnerable elements of the population and the backward regions into the mainstream of development, thus reducing existing inequalities.

5.5.2 The Social Protection Strategy complements other strategies and action plans that pertain, directly or indirectly, to social protection. National policies and action plans already exist for specific vulnerable groups, for example, persons with disabilities, child labourers, children at risk of trafficking, bonded labourers, and the most vulnerable in disaster-affected areas. The NSPS seeks to complement these initiatives and to address poverty and vulnerability broadly, wherever it exists. It also seeks to coordinate implementation of all these plans.

5.5.3 One of the main objectives of the strategy is to provide a roadmap for the development of a minimum social protection package for the poor and vulnerable. For this purpose the document identifies priority areas for policy action and outlines a broad reform agenda aimed at improving programme targeting, coverage, implementation and monitoring. These priority actions are to:

  • ▪ Increase access to economic opportunities among the working and entrepreneurial poor: Policies and interventions to be considered in this area are: (i) programmes aimed at employment/income generation (or active labour market programmes) such as training/skill development for vulnerable groups (disabled, youth drop-outs, and adult workers), microfinance programmes, reduction in constraints to access product markets, and public works; (ii) support for labour market institutions (e.g. unions, collective bargaining, minimum wage, social security regulations, severance programmes) that protect the poor, while ensuring labour market flexibility and facilitating formal sector growth.
  • ▪ Prevent individuals (poor and nonpoor alike) from falling into poverty from income shocks. Policies and interventions to be considered in this area are: (i) social security programmes to help individuals for longevity, and to insure against disability, sickness/health, or unemployment; (ii) other programmes that provide insurance for the informal sector, such as micro-insurance, workfare, and social pensions.
  • ▪ Provide basic needs for the chronic poor, and those unable to work. Policies and interventions to be considered in this area are: (i) social assistance/income support to the poor, including stipend programmes and conditional cash transfer programmes that provide incentives for human capital accumulation among the poor; (ii) programmes that increase access to basic health/nutrition and education services/early childhood development; and (iii) social welfare services (e.g., community-based rehabilitation, foster/adoptive care, street children programmes).

5.5.4 Many of these needs are strongly linked and need to be addressed holistically—unless health services are improved, the incidence of ill health will continue to rise; unless educational retention is improved, children will never be able to exit from poverty because they will be concentrated in low-return employment or remain unemployable. It is, therefore, important to address primary needs via social protection, while simultaneously focusing on the mechanisms that ensure that the exit from absolute poverty is permanent for the majority of the vulnerable and a large proportion of the chronically poor.

5.6 The strategy

5.6.1 In discussing a strategy for social protection, it is more relevant to examine the issues that such a strategy aims to address than to catalogue the different institutions that implement the strategy. Since it is now widely recognized that poverty is a multifaceted state, comprising not only low incomes but also the absence of capabilities that enable a person to lead the sort of life of life that he or she values, Pakistan’s poverty reduction strategy encompasses a number of different aspects. Within the overall strategy, efforts to provide special protection to the vulnerable are directed to five key elements: (1) income support; (2) nutrition support; (3) human resource development; (4) natural disaster management; and (5) facilitating the role of the non-government and private sector.

5.6.2 (1) Income support The strategy envisages three main avenues for supporting the income of the indigent: (a) direct income transfers; (b) pensions and similar social benefits; and (c) programmes to boost employment. Each of these measures is supported by one or more institutions. (a) Direct income transfers Four institutions comprise the major agents for direct income transfers: Zakat; the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM); the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP); and the Punjab Food Support Scheme. Zakat: The institution of Zakat plays a significant role in mitigating the sufferings of the poor segment of the society, and derives from the injunction to Muslims to donate one-fortieth of their wealth to charity. It is a key instrument for social rehabilitation and reducing vulnerability to exogenous shocks. About 25 percent of the Zakat budget is given through institutions while the remaining 75 percent is disbursed directly to individuals through Local Zakat Committees (LZCs). Zakat is disbursed under different programmes, such as: financial assistance (Guzara Allowance), educational stipends, health care, Eid grant, assistance to leprosy patients, national level health institutions, and marriage assistance. A total of Rs 4.1 billion was disbursed among 2 million beneficiaries in FY08. In order to overcome tendency of permanent reliance on Zakat, rehabilitation schemes and technical education stipends have been introduced to support the move towards self-reliance. For example, under the Permanent Rehabilitation programme, grants of Rs10,000–50,000 for starting a small business are provided. According to a Gallup Survey, the first phase had a success rate of more than 90 percent. Technical educational stipends have also helped increase the capacity of the poor. Reportedly, 88 percent of the beneficiaries of this scheme get employment or are engaged in self-employment. The Zakat system is being computerized which will help ensure better control, monitoring and reformation of both collection and distribution systems of Zakat. Objectivity has been assured by subjecting families to a computer-based verification process. This process has been entrusted to NADRA, which will apply software to screen out those not eligible according to the specified criteria, and will transmit the final list of recipients electronically to Pakistan Post. Work is under way to develop a ‘smart card’ system that will ultimately become the medium for disbursement for the programme as well as for other supports that the government is contemplating to launch in due course. An internal monitoring mechanism is being put in place to verify actual delivery of exact amount to the designated families. A proposal is under consideration to place the list of recipients on the website to enable instant, round-the-clock Independent Third Party Validation to verify that the families receiving the payouts do fulfill the specified criteria. The Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM): The Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal has made a significant contribution towards poverty reduction by providing assistance to destitute widows, orphans, invalids, the infirm and other needy persons. The PBM disburses to the needy under a wide variety of programmes that encompass food support, child support, rehabilitation of child labour, vocational training, support to medical centres, and others. The PBM, which disbursed Rs 6 million to 25,000 beneficiaries in its initial year of existence (1992), disbursed Rs 5.52 billion in 2007/08 to around 2 million households, with an increase of only 3.5 percent in administrative cost. The Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal has taken important steps towards better targeting, administration and management.

  • ▪ It has a Monitoring and Evaluation Wing, which carries on the spot visits to the different districts throughout the year. The organization has developed a computerized Food Support Programme Management System (FSPMS) which ensures efficient and transparent delivery of the subsidy. Pakistan Post also monitors the programme through its Vigilance Cell.
  • ▪ Similarly, the PBM’s Child Support Programme (CSP) is monitored monthly and quarterly to ensure that inputs are being delivered and work schedules are complied with. The follow-up and monitoring mechanism help in preparing monthly reports containing information on quantitative and qualitative efficacy of the programme. The World Bank is also providing technical assistance to PBM on strengthening of the monitoring and evaluation system for cash transfers.
  • ▪ The PBM has assigned the task of impact evaluation of the CSP to Gallup Pakistan. The impact of the programme will be evaluated in the current financial year. If the evaluation shows a successful operation, it will be scaled up in a phased way during the period of the PRSP-II.
  • ▪ The PBM has developed a database of its beneficiaries that is the only available computerized information of people living below poverty line. This information can also be helpful for formulating other Poverty Alleviation Programmes. The network has been expanded to all the districts. A review of existing safety net programmes indicates that the vehicle with the highest potential for scaling up is the PBM. During the PRSP-II period, steps will be taken to: (i) enhance the rate of subsidy and coverage; (ii) build on existing PBM programmes to improve design, selection, poverty targeting and coverage; (iii) institute formal, systematic procedures for the review of entitlements and the exit of beneficiaries from the programmes; and (iv) reduce leakages and improve targeting in Zakat programmes, particularly in rural areas. Obviously, given the recent launch of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), all these plans will need to be carefully vetted and coordinated with the BISP plans to avoid duplication and overlap. The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP): The government is conscious of the cost being imposed on poor families from the sharp escalation in food prices. The government is committed to a policy that combines macroeconomic stability and the stability of family budgets. An important new programme is the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), whose objective is to provide cash grants to the poorest families in the country. The programme has been allocated Rs 34 billion for the fiscal year 2008/09. It is the third largest allocation in the current budget, constitutes 0.25 percent of GDP, and will cover up to 12-14 percent of the population in low income brackets in the entire country, including FATA, Northern Areas and Azad Jammu Kashmir. Special attention has been accorded to remote areas, including those in Balochistan, Chitral, North and South Waziristan, Kohistan and Tharparkar. The next year’s budget for BISP is expected to be expanded to Rs 84 billion and intends to increase coverage to 7 million families. The BISP is intended to compensate economically vulnerable families for the erosion of their purchasing power. A multipurpose survey is being planned to ensure that the disbursement goes to the right person; to check the impact of the assistance on the lives of poor by the change in their nutritional intake; and to test the impact on the intra-family distribution of resources. Its unique feature is that the payment will be made only to the female head of the family. Impact on female empowerment is likely to be decisive, particularly in the context of social development. The payout is not claimed to be able to remove a family’s poverty, but it should certainly serve to protect its nutritional intake to a large extent. The programme will disburse Rs 2000 every alternate month to around 3.4 million families, at least for the remainder of the fiscal year 2008/09, that have a monthly income of less than Rs 6000. The impact could be quite significant. For families earning, say Rs 5000 per month, a payout of Rs 1000 will amount to a 20 percent increase in their current purchasing power. Families in low income brackets spend between 50-70 percent of their income on food. At current flour prices, Rs 1000 a month amount will be sufficient to finance 20-25 days of flour needs for a 5-6 member family. At present, the BISP uses a combination of two methods for targeting. Beneficiaries must apply through forms distributed by local MNAs. Forms require applicants to provide information on a number of socio-economic characteristics, such as income, employment, formal sector employment/pensions, disability, asset ownership, and household members abroad, etc. which match the targeting criteria for the scheme. This information is verified by the nominator and by the information held for or provided by the applicant to the NADRA. Selected beneficiaries must possess a NADRA National Identity Card, which will be provided free of cost and expeditiously in case a beneficiary does not possess a card. Plans are underway to incorporate a question in the forthcoming survey that will provide information on the economic status of each household, through which a clear picture of the intended beneficiaries can be seen. If all of the BISP beneficiaries are amongst the poor, the scheme will cover around 6 percent of the national population, and upto a quarter of those below the poverty line. All members of Parliament have been provided equal opportunity to recommend deserving families, based on specified criteria. A serious attempt has been made to ensure maximum objectivity and transparency in the programme by separating the programme management, recipient selection, verification, and disbursement processes. However, the government is aware that despite the safeguards, there is still the possibility of funds being misdirected. The authorities recognize that the design of the programme and measures for its implementation need to be monitored and strengthened and are working on ways to improve the current system to ensure that the poor are not excluded from the programme. They intend to further refine the design by switching to an objective and transparent targeting tool (such as the well-tested ‘Poverty Scorecard’). With the new targeting tool rolled out/launched in December 2008; the scorecard will be the way the poor and vulnerable are identified in the country for the purpose of social protection. Punjab Food Support Scheme (PFSS): The Punjab Food Support Scheme (PFSS) is a provincial programme, also initiated in 2008. It was originally designed to provide food stamps for the poorest households, but has now been converted to a cash grant of Rs 1000 per household per month. In this sense it is exactly like the BISP, except run for the Punjab Province. The targeting relies on local government officials (district and union councils) and political appointees to propose an initial list of beneficiaries. The subsidy is aimed at:

  • ▪ Households that do not have a bread-earner;
  • ▪ Widows, orphans, and the destitute;
  • ▪ Chronically sick and/or disabled persons;
  • ▪ Elderly persons who have been abandoned by their family;
  • ▪ The poorest of the poor segments of the society with marginal income. The scheme covers both rural and urban areas, with a total estimated subsidy of Rs 21.6 billion for 1.8 million families. The first two phases of the scheme have covered about 1 million beneficiaries. The programme is being monitored in three ways: A strong database has been developed by the Punjab Government to distinguish between various categories of beneficiaries included in the scheme. The Pakistan Post Office has monitoring teams to ensure the transparency in the disbursement process, plus district monitoring teams set up by the DCOs provide a further check on implementation. Finally, an audit will be conducted by a firm of good repute in accordance with international standards. The government recognizes that targeted subsidies of all kinds, especially for food, are more efficient than universal subsidies. However, while it is the government’s intention to move in this direction, a prior condition is that the targeting mechanism be improved. In this connection, as mentioned earlier, the government is open to refining the targeting of BISP, while also learning from the current experience in its implementation. Furthermore, there is ample room to align and streamline all safety net programs to ensure that (a) the poorest are reached and served, (b) duplication across programmes is minimized, and (c) appropriate exit options are devised so that the poor and vulnerable can graduate from cash transfers to livelihoods and income generation. As targeting improves it will be possible to move from universal to targeted subsidies that promise to create the fiscal space for such programmes. Therefore, building the required information base to support a social policy platform that can align all social protection programs will be a medium term goal for building a robust and sustainable system in the country.

5.6.3 (b) Pensions and similar social benefits Employees’ Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI): The Employees’ Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI) established under EOB Act 1976, maintains the Employees’ Old Age Benefits Fund. It provides old age benefits to insured persons employed in industrial, commercial and other organizations in the private sector. The sources of revenue for the fund are the contributions and any other payments made by the employers, income from investment of the money of the institution and donations. An insured person with 15 years of contribution is entitled to a monthly old-age pension – over 60 years for men and over 55 years of age for women. The Act currently applies to establishments employing 10 or more workers. It has registered 2.7 million workers from 56,632 industries/establishments. The EOBI is providing old age pension to 209,649 individuals; invalidity pension to 7,246 individuals; survivors’ pension to 89,429 beneficiairies; and old age grant to 10,901 retirees (Table 5.2). During FY 2007/08, a sum of Rs.4.2 billion was disbursed to around 273,000 beneficiaries.

Table 5.2:Coverage and Beneficiaries of Employees’ Old Age Benefit Institution
No. of industries/establishments registered56,632
No. of workers registered2,753,907
No. of Pensions granted317, 225
Old-Age Pension209,649
Invalidity Pension7,246
Survivors Pension89,429
Old-Age Grant10,901
Source: Labour Legislation and Administration in Pakistan, Labour and Manpower Division, 2008.
Source: Labour Legislation and Administration in Pakistan, Labour and Manpower Division, 2008.

5.6.4 (c) Employment The strategy seeks to increase the income of the poor by special efforts to create additional employment. These efforts comprise programmes to boost employment directly by harnessing workers to create public assets through largely labour-intensive methods (the Public Works Programme), and others to indirectly increase employment by improving access to micro-credit. Public Works Programme: The government has revived the People’s Works Programme (PWP) of small development schemes that would cover such basic areas as: provision of electricity, gas, farm to market roads, and water supply. The programme would serve the dual purpose of providing employment and improving infrastructure. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development coordinates the implementation of the PWP-I, for which Rs 4420 million were provided in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for FY 2008/09. The PWP-II is a special programme launched by Prime Minister’s Secretariat for funding development schemes. The programme supplements the government’s development efforts by executing small schemes in roads, electricity, education, health, water supply, sanitation, and other fields. These projects are identified by local communities according to their needs. During FY 2008/09, an amount of Rs 22 billion has been allocated under PWP-II. Year-wise expenditures under this programme from FY 2002/03 to FY 2008/09 are given in Table 5.1 (a). During FY 2006/07, 3590 schemes costing Rs 2197 million under PWP-I were funded, out of which, 2729 schemes have been completed. Similarly, during FY 2007/08, 2021 schemes were funded, costing Rs 18967 million, out of which 878 have been completed. Projects in electrification and roads accounted for about three-quarters of the funds, and these will remain the priority sectors, followed by drinking water supply, during the period of the PRSP-II. Microfinance: The microfinance industry grew at over 40 percent a year during the period of the PRSP-I. By March 2008, the sector had reached more than 1.7 million savers, and had a clientele of almost 1.6 million borrowers, of which nearly half were female. The provision of these loans to businesses and individuals for economic purposes helped to create additional employment in different parts of the country—microfinance service providers are present in 105 districts, including some of the most far-flung, such as FATA. Six specialized microfinance banks currently provide microfinance services, with a major share of their advances going to the livestock sector, followed by micro-enterprises and agricultural inputs. Several NGOs also provide microfinance services to marginalized communities. The sector continues to grow rapidly and plans to reach 3 million borrowers by 2010 and 10 million by 2015. The private sector is very active in the provision of microfinance. The Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) is a network for organizations engaged in microfinance and is dedicated to improving the outreach and sustainability of microfinance in the country. It also aims to establish performance measures, enhance the capacity of retail microfinance institutions through specialized training, and promoting the financial transparency of such institutions. The PMN is well-positioned with 95 percent of the total microfinance coverage and with the 20 leading microfinance institutions and banks as its members. An important player in this regard is the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) which has aligned itself with the evolving microfinance landscape in the country. The cumulative outreach of PPAF has extended to around 85 districts of the country. About 800,000 persons have been disbursed credit, with a considerable percentage of PPAF loans going exclusively to women (375,000). Upto September 2008, the PPAF had disbursed a total amount of Rs 27.5 billion to over 1.7 million borrowers. The PPAF also helps to deal with special problems. Thus, in the wake of the October 8, 2005 earthquake, an amount of Rs 300 million was diverted from PPAF’s existing programme to the relief effort. During the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase, the PPAF was assigned responsibility of 34 union councils in AJK and NWFP by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority. As of September 2008, an amount of Rs 14.6 billion had been disbursed for housing reconstruction; Rs 404 million for rehabilitation of infrastructure, and Rs 392 million for reconstruction of education and health facilities. Another important player is the People’s Rozgar Programme (PRP). Creation of self-employment opportunities has to form part of any programme for employment generation. For this purpose, the government has made arrangements for the unemployed to have access to credit to enable them to start a useful business. The Government of Pakistan has extended its support to the scheme in the form of interest rate subsidy (6 percent), credit loss sharing (up to the first 10 percent of total credit loss), life/disability insurance, and other means. The National Bank of Pakistan has disbursed an amount of Rs 6.059 billion in 42,382 cases up to June, 2008 under the Scheme. Microfinance is discussed further in chapter 11 on the financial system.

5.6.5 (2) Nutrition Support For nutritional support to the poor the strategy relies on three major institutions: Food Support Programme of the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal: The Food Support Programme (FSP) of the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) is a social safety net that targets the poorest of the poor in order to provide relief from the increase in wheat prices that has occurred since August 2000. Since its inception, the programme has disbursed about Rs 23 billion. The PBM has taken important steps towards better targeting, administration, and management and has set up a monitoring and evaluation system which carries on-the-spot visits to different districts throughout the year. The programme is also monitored through the Pakistan Post Office. The Punjab Sasti Roti34 Programme: Hunger is an important part of poverty. The Government of the Punjab has put in place a programme to provide bread at prices that the poor could afford. This requires providing flour to participating breadmakers at subsidized prices. Out of about 13,000 bread makers surveyed in the Punjab, over 5500 joined the programme. The government intends to help set up more than 30,000 subsidized bread making sites. The programme will be monitored right down to the level of tehsils and mohallahs 35. District governments intend to utilize services of Revenue, Cooperative, Health, and Union Council staff in the monitoring process.

5.6.6 (3) Human Resource Development A number of institutions support the safety net by providing additional programmes for education and health. The PBM is one such institution, and provides finance to vocational training centre, hospitals and medical centres in addition to extending scholarships and stipends to poor students. The Government of Pakistan and the provincial governments are preparing plans to provide medical insurance of about Rs 15,000–20,000 per year to the poor. The Government of Sindh has set a target of about 100,000 households to be given health insurance in the first phase. The Sindh government is also launching a scheme to provide free medical treatment for poor orphans and widows in all its districts. The Government of the Punjab is preparing similar projects.

5.6.7 (4) Natural Disaster Management In recent years Pakistan has suffered a series of natural disasters, such as powerful earthquakes in 2005 and 2008, and major floods in 2007. These calamities killed thousands and were responsible for destroying the homes, animals, farms, and other assets of hundreds of thousands. Since Pakistan is situated on major fault lines in the Earth’s crust, the likelihood of similar tragedies in the future remains significant. A reactive emergency response remained the country’s predominant way of dealing with disasters. These events were dealt with mainly under the Calamity Act of 1958, which was concerned mostly with organizing an emergency response. The country lacked a systematic approach towards managing the effects of natural disasters. The Government has therefore, established agencies namely: (a) the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA); and (b) the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to provide relief to the affectees. (a) Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) The ERRA was established on October 24, 2005. The mandate of the ERRA is to plan, monitor, and regulate reconstruction and rehabilitation in earthquake-affected areas. The Social Protection Strategy (July 2006-June 2009) formulated a three-year plan of action to support the most vulnerable groups. The aim of ERRA’s Social Protection Strategy is to ensure that the vulnerable in the earthquake affected areas are provided basic social services, livelihood assistance, and support for rehabilitation, primarily within their own families and communities and to establish linkages with the mainstream social welfare structures and services. The ERRA launched massive rescue and relief operations and has initiated the following programmes to protect the poor in the earthquake-affected areas.

  • Livelihood Support Cash Grant Programme (LSCG): LSCG was implemented in all nine affected districts of NWFP and AJK from May 2006 to October 2007. LSCG was further extended for six months for a total of 22, 2007 most vulnerable families. Monthly support of Rs 3,000 per month has benefited 267,402 families.
  • ERRA Rural Landless Programme: The Project has been planned to provide package of Rs. 250,000 to each verified landless household. The Project is being implemented in two hases. Phase-I concluded on May 15, 2008 and Phase-II started on July 22, 2008 till March 2009. Total Project cost (Phase I is US $50 million (Rs 3 billion) funded by USAID as grant and project implementation cost of US $1.72 million is provided by DFID.
  • Medical Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities: The Project involves:
    • ▪ Institutional strengthening of NIRM (National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine) Islamabad and DGQs/THQs at Battagram, Shangla, Bagh, Oghi, Atthmuqam, and Hattian Bala;
    • ▪ Construction of 50 bed Rehabilitation Centers for persons with disabilities (PWDs) at Muzaffarabad and Abbottabad; and
    • ▪ Establishment of Community Based Rehabilitation Centers in Muzaffarabad, Bagh Shangla and Mansehra. Project implementation is underway.
  • Legal Aid Centres: This project is funded by ADB at the cost of US $512,900 which aims to provide free legal assistance to vulnerable groups in the earthquake affected areas. Under this project 18 Legal Aid Centres have been established at Tehsil level providing assistance in the cases related to documentation, administration and courts. Till November, 2008 26,321 cases have been received out of which 20,519 cases have been resolved and 5,802 cases are pending at various stages.
  • Targeted Vulnerability Survey (TVS): ERRA has conducted “Targeted Vulnerability Survey” with a total cost of Rs. 40.237 million to identify the vulnerable population in earthquake-affected areas of the NWFP & AJK. Affecters have been categorized according to their basic socio-economic demographic details into four vulnerable groups i.e. Orphans, Female Headed Households, Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly. In this survey, a total of 459,467 individuals and households were identified in the four categories (NWFP: 247,744 and AJK: 211723).
  • Social Welfare Complexes (SWCs) and Women Development Centres (WDCs): ERRA has initiated establishment of SWCs and WDCs in all the nine affected districts of AJK& NWFP with the aim to strengthen Social Welfare Departments and to provide appropriate services to the vulnerable categories in an efficient and effective manner. SWC will house District level Social Welfare Offices which will undertake the following activities: existing SWD managed facilities (Kashana, Dar-ul-Aman, Darulfalah etc); will provide new initiatives (old people’s home, hostel for orphans and vulnerable women, psychosocial support, legal assistance, child protection services; vocational training programmes; Special Education; referrals; basic medical care and community re-integration of the vulnerable groups. The WDCs will offer support and services for women in distress. It will provide vocational skill development that would create opportunities for sustainable income through skills enhancement production and marketing of goods; legal aid, psychological counseling, basic medical care, and short term residential facilities. Total estimated cost of SWC/WDC projects amount to US $15.607 million. The construction of SWC/WDC Muzaffarabad would be functional in the first quarter of 2009. (b) National Disaster Management Authority The Government is establishing an appropriate legal, institutional, and policy structures under a strategy to minimize the vulnerability of the population to natural catastrophes. A Natural Disaster Management Ordinance (2006) has been promulgated, which provides appropriate institutional and policy structures. These structures have been created at the federal, provincial, and district levels. They encompass responsibility for coordinating at and between these administrative levels; for monitoring hazards and risks within districts, provinces and regions; for integrating disaster risk management issues into sector development plans; for implementing policies formulated under the National Disaster Management Framework (see below); and for setting and ensuring compliance with hazard and safety standards. The strategy for responding to natural disasters has been laid out in the National Disaster Management Framework. This guides the work of the entire system and has been developed through wide consultation with stakeholders at the local, provincial, and national levels. A national plan of action is being developed and will be finalized during the period of the PRSP-II. This plan will cover the entire spectrum of disaster management, including mitigation, prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and rehabilitation aspects of disaster management. Disaster management plans for the provinces have been finalized, as have those for 12 of the most vulnerable districts; plans for the other districts are being formulated and will be finalized during the PRSP-II period. The Framework will also include contingency plans for industrial and chemical disasters.

5.6.8 (5) Role of non-government and the private sector The efforts of the government will be supplemented by: (a) NGOs; and (b) elements in the private sector. The government will work to facilitate the work of these organizations and attempt to forge partnerships where necessary to ensure that these programmes complement the government’s efforts. (a) Rural Support Programmes The Rural Support Programmes (RSP) are the largest, non-government rural development organizations in Pakistan, working currently with 2 million rural households in 3165 rural union councils in 95 districts. These households have been mobilized into more than 130,000 Community Organizations; about 77,000 employment creation infrastructure schemes worth Rs 8.9 billion have been financed; almost one million community members received training in technical, vocational skills, and leadership; and micro-health insurance has been provided to more than 960,000 persons. Communities have accessed a cumulative micro-credit portfolio of Rs 35 billion, benefiting 2 million clients. The RSP network has developed a five year, comprehensive Union Council Poverty Reduction Plan, which proposes to mobilize and identify the poorest households. The plan complements the objectives of the PRSP-II in the areas of a People’s Works Programme, employment generation, social safety net, vocational training, micro-health insurance, and micro-finance for the poorest. The critical element of the plan is its methodology to identify the various bands of the poor, through household-wise poverty ranking, with PRSP inputs relevant to each band. The plan’s key component is its poverty targeting through the Grameen Foundation’s Poverty Score Card, a census method of ranking all households in a union council. A database of ranked 900,000 households has already been created. The plan gives importance to gender balances, with a parity of 50 percent between men’s and women’s social mobilization. The key element of this plan is the institutional mechanism of grassroots organizations of the poor, through which the proposed plan inputs will be channelized and managed. The mechanism ensures widespread inclusion and participation, thus ensuring that the poor retain a voice in decisions that affect their future. The PPAF has also commenced implementation of a World Bank (US $75 million) supported programme that focuses on social mobilization and community empowerment that concentrates on the 25 poorest districts of the country. This is a part of Pakistan’s Medium Term Development Framework. (b) The private sector and philanthropy The government of an emerging country, such as Pakistan, does not have the resources to develop an adequate safety net on its own. Fortunately, the country possesses a lively tradition of private philanthropy—exemplified by organizations such as the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy—that supplements the government’s efforts. The Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy is an independent, non-profit, support organization. It was established in August 2001 to lead the promotion of philanthropy in Pakistan. Central to this promotion, remains the effort of mobilizing resources from the private sector, in particular the corporate sector for development initiatives. In doing so, the Centre also supplements the government’s poverty reduction agenda.36 The Centre does not engage in direct philanthropy; instead, it seeks to facilitate such efforts of others through support services37. Key stakeholders include corporate and individual philanthropists, citizen organisations, communities and the government. The Centre’s mission is to increase the volume and effectiveness of philanthropy for social development in Pakistan. Its long term vision is to link the primary actors in development, i.e. the government, business, and civil society in a strengthened partnership for increased social investments. The Centre’s objectives and developmental activities of raising broad societal understanding through communications and advocacy; creating an enabling environment and influencing public policy through evidence-based research; bridging the information and credibility gap between grant-makers and grant- seekers; and providing philanthropy support services through public-private partnerships in education flow out of its broader vision and mission, which ultimately supplement government’s poverty reduction and development efforts. The Centre has made important contributions to poverty alleviation through support to the government’s education sector reforms, to disaster relief and management (after the 2005 earthquake, the PCP mobilized over US $1.2 billion international philanthropy), and by providing inputs into the government’s poverty reduction policies.

5.7 Towards a medium term strategy

5.7.3 The foregoing sections have described the main elements in the social protection strategy that will be important during the period of the PRSP-II. However, the strategy will be implemented flexibly with improvements and adaptations introduced as experience is gathered. This may be particularly likely for new initiatives, such as the BISP, or where existing programmes are significantly scaled up. In most cases, the effort will be to reduce the amount of unnecessary overlap and duplication. The process will begin during the period of the PRSP-II, but reforms will continue beyond the end of the period. The strategy will pay especial attention to two issues: the need for improved targeting, and the need to improve coordination between the different levels of government.

5.8 Need for improved targeting

5.8.3 The new social protection programme aims primarily at improving the targeting system, so that a social platform with a comprehensive database can be created on which all programmes are built and to which they are aligned. The overall objective is to move towards a well-integrated social protection system to provide social security to the poor and vulnerable.

5.8.4 In order to fulfill their mandate, the existing social protection programmes need to strengthen their targeting to ensure that they efficiently reach the intended beneficiaries. It is proposed to approach the main short term objective of reaching the poorest by: (i) keeping the current benefits working and effecting a transition to better and more comprehensive systems; (ii) introducing new means testing and development of databases through some pilots across chosen rural and urban areas; (iii) scaling up successful pilots across the country following assessment and generation of lessons learned; (iv) extension of the current level of benefits to the target population of the poorest of the poor; (v) introduction of pilot Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes; and (vi) scaling up successful pilots to the whole target population.

5.8.5 The government is currently in the process of (i) revising the NSPS to better reflect the priorities of the new administration (including the creation of the BISP), and (ii) creating an institutional structure for the implementation and monitoring of the strategy. A revised strategy, together with a proposed institutional framework, should be ready by January 2009 and would then be presented for discussion and ratification by the Cabinet.

5.8.6 Given that the creation of the BISP is fully aligned with the priorities identified under the NSPS, especially in what regards the provision of income support to poor and vulnerable households, it is not expected that significant changes will be required to the document’s strategic framework. However, more significant revisions will have to be considered to the institutional arrangements currently governing the sector to reflect the creation of the new implementation agency.

5.8.7 Although the BISP, Zakat, and PBM share a similar objective of providing basic support to the poorest households, they have different histories, target groups and financing methodologies and their coordination and integration will need to be improved. Moreover, numerous cash, conditional cash and in-kind transfer initiatives flourishing in various areas of the country need to be integrated.

5.8.8 In terms of the number of beneficiaries, a small fraction of those below the poverty line are covered. There are some important implications that arise from this comparison. First, the increase in fiscal commitment to targeted schemes will require more resources. Second, duplication of beneficiaries between the BISP and FSP must be avoided. The Federal and Punjab governments will require to coordinate through sharing each others’ lists to minimize this occurrence. Lists of both schemes are likely to be made public so that independent third party verification can take place. Third, given fiscal constraints, it is not possible for targeted cash grants to reach all poor individuals or households. This implies that the resources will have to be rationed amongst the poor. This makes the task of targeting all the more pressing, and will require transparent and verifiable criteria.

5.8.9 The success and credibility of a targeting system depends on the ability of the state to: (a) identify the poor/vulnerable in a credible, reliable, transparent and verifiable manner; (b) reach the target group efficiently and cost-effectively; and (c) maintain the ability to monitor progress so as to graduate those who do not need help any more and to enroll those who may have fallen into bad times. Pakistan does not as yet have a comprehensive data base that identifies each household as poor or non-poor, nor a system of regular and independent verification of recipients (the PBM has had occasional external checks, but these are not built into the design of the programme). Identifying the poor has been a problem for all social protection programmes so far. Given this tenuous base of targeted provisions, the new government has increased allocations and attempted to rectify some of the arbitrary methods adopted in the schemes. Currently the government is exploring ways to support the creation of a comprehensive database through a refined poverty scorecard that can help to create a sound platform for (a) identifying the poor, and (b) aligning its targeting of cash and other transfer programmes to this single unified database.

5.8.10 Well-implemented social protection reforms are likely to bring significant benefits in human welfare and in productivity, both in the short and long run. Although each of the individual initiatives in this proposal can be implemented at its own scale and speed, the overall package put forward in the strategy is designed so that its parts jointly make a reasonable social protection system that would result in higher and more stable incomes for poor and vulnerable households; enhanced food security; a significant increase in school enrolment, attendance, and completion, and reduction in child labour; reduced rural to urban migration; and moderately lower income inequality.

5.9 Coordination between federal, provincial and local governments

5.9.3 The foregoing discussion highlights the importance of better coordination between the different executors of a social security system in order to make it efficient and equitable. This emphasizes the need to clarify the roles of the federal, provincial, and local governments and to improve coordination between them.

5.9.4 The strategy sets out to provide an effective institutional mechanism. The overall policy guidance is provided by the Cabinet Committee for Social Sector Coordination (CCSSC), as social protection is a cross-sectoral initiative. The SSCC will submit an annual report to the parliament. The day-to-day implementation and coordination will be managed by the concerned federal, provincial and local governments in consultation with the stakeholders. The main responsibility for implementation will rest with the provinces, in collabouration with districts, Bait-ul-Mal, Ministry of Religious Affairs, line departments, NGOs, community groups, and the private sector. The monitoring will be carried out with national and provincial data banks as the baseline for information, and through use of information and communication technology. The evaluation of the programmes will rest with outside and nongovernmental agencies besides the Planning Commission.

5.9.5 The federal government generally formulates strategies and policies, monitors and evaluates the implementation of the strategy (including reporting back to elected and other bodies). The role of the provinces, the districts and tehsil governments will be that of implementation and, at the lower levels of government, beneficiary identification, local-level monitoring, and evaluation of specific interventions. Given the number and different types of stakeholders, well thoughtout, strong institutional coordination at the provincial level between all stakeholders will be an important feature of the implementation of the strategy.

5.9.6 The provinces will also play a major role in developing and formulating different strategies and programmes. Some of these programmes are financed and implemented in collaboration with the federal government while others are undertaken with the cooperation of development partners. The success of these programmes depends crucially on the targeting tool used for beneficiary selection, the quality of implementation of the programme, the disbursement mechanism of the income support (to facilitate auditing and transparency), well defined entry and exit criteria, and regular monitoring.

Chapter 6 – Pillar III: Increasing Productivity and Value Addition in Agriculture

6.1 Being the single largest sector in the economy, agriculture plays an important role in Pakistan’s growth and forms the major source of foreign exchange earnings. Over three-quarters of the Pakistan population are in rural areas and are dependent mainly on agriculture. About 69.5 percent of the country’s labour force belongs to rural areas, out of which 43.6 percent is employed in the agriculture sector.38

6.2 While it is clear that Pakistan is capable of adding significant value to agricultural raw materials, demographic data show that much of the resources might not be available for significant value-added processing, because it is needed for direct consumption by the local, poor population who produce it. As the population grows, local demand for unprocessed or semi-processed agricultural raw materials will increase, placing price pressure on raw materials and reducing opportunities for food manufacturing and export. The solution adopted by the government is to increase productivity in both crops and livestock to ensure an adequate raw material supply and to combine this with increased value-added in downstream food processing. The main objectives of agricultural development during the PRSP-II period will be to ensure food security, improve the quality of agricultural commodities and achieve productivity of crops.

6.3 These objectives are driven by a longer-term strategic vision. The vision of the agriculture strategy is to raise productivity and profitability of the farming community; to enhance the living standards of rural masses; to protect the natural resource base by protecting land and water and countering situations of short water supply or drought; and to ensure food security, especially for the rural and urban poor. Achieving pro-poor economic growth policy through Public Private Partnerships in promoting agri-business, trade and investment will also be part of the core strategy. The need is to innovatively increase agricultural productivity with improved technologies and appropriate practices which also ensure environmental sustainability and the health & safety of consumers and produceRs

6.4 The current development of agriculture is based on 19th and 20th century models of development and these models which were built on the natural resource base and exploitation of natural resources of a country. The fact now is that the previous envisaged models are no longer tenable because of the increasing depletion of natural resources on the one hand and the increasing population that have to be fed. The existing system requires a complete overhaul.

6.5 Notwithstanding its declining share in GDP, agriculture is still the single largest economic sector having contributed 20.9 percent to the GDP during FY 2007/08. Growth performance of components to GNP at constant factor cost (FY 1999/2000) is stated in Table 6.1 below.

Table 6.1:Performance of components to GNP growth at constant factor cost(FY 1999/2000)
Sector2005-062006-07 (R*)2007-08 (P**)
Major crops-3.98.3-3.0
Minor crops0.4-1.34.9

Note: R*: Revised, P**: Provisional

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan, Economic Adviser’s Wing, Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, 2008.

Note: R*: Revised, P**: Provisional

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan, Economic Adviser’s Wing, Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, 2008.

6.6 Pakistan faces a formidable challenge of tackling the dual issues of economic growth and poverty reduction in rural areas where the great majority of people live. Most rural people depend either directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. Poverty is also considerably higher in rural areas as compared to urban areas. Social uplift and economic development of the rural population would be possible through improving performance of the agriculture sector, which has strong potential to create jobs and self-employment opportunities. The existing situation demands that farming as well as other rural communities may be facilitated with financial and other resources through supply of rural credit, human resource development and setting up of associations around income generation activities. Such planned efforts would help improve the performance of agriculture and help reduce rural poverty. This would need major re-orientation of the macro-policy framework in favour of small farmers and other disadvantaged segments in rural communities. Farm to market roads will be improved to provide easy access to the farmers to market their produce. A growing agriculture sector would not only serve the purpose of rural livelihood but would also enable the urban poor easy access to cheaper food and other agricultural goods and services.

6.7 Realizing the productivity gap

6.7.1 Both non-farm employment levels and the productivity of rural non-farm employment depend critically on the performance of the agricultural sector. Three related factors have tended to push up non-farm employment and productivity growth. One is the adoption of improved technologies in agriculture which directly increase local demand for modern inputs and services as well as increasing farm incomes. The second is the impact of rising farm incomes on the structure of local consumer demand, which shifts in favour of ‘superior’ foods and non-farm goods and services. The third is access to improved agricultural infrastructure, such as irrigation, electric power and market roads, which by reducing farm costs per unit of output and raising farm incomes, also leads to higher productivity in non-farm sector enterprises. Evidence suggests that infrastructure development can be described as the prime mover in facilitating the generation of more productive employment opportunities in rural areas. It tends to reduce poverty by increasing labour productivity in both farm and non-farm sectors by stimulating non-farm sector development, and thereby pushing up real wage rates.

6.7.2 The public sector National Productivity Organization (NPO) endeavours to promote socioeconomic development in the country through productivity (see chapter 8 on competitiveness). In collaboration with the NPO, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has hosted 4 projects covering food safety, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in agriculture, technology transfer and commercialization, and value addition of fishery products; and two training courses covering organic farming and post-harvest of horticultural crops.39

6.7.3 Over the years agriculture has been a beneficiary of massive investments and most of these investments have not delivered the expected results. The need is to focus on small farmers so that they may have a tradable surplus from their assets. This will depend not only on the input prices but also on the pricing of outputs of the farmer. The small farmer will also require assistance to benefit from new technological developments pertaining to the efficient utilization of factor inputs. In particular, the farmer will require assistance in using water more economically, in distinguishing the type of fertilizer (organic or chemical) that would be optimal for his soil, and in choosing the correct pesticide. At the moment he sells short and buys expensive. Input factor prices are usually at international retail prices while the inelastic output prices are based on wholesale basis.

6.7.4 Farmer Friendly schools established with the help of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have enabled small farmers to embark on an integrated pest management system. This has caught on and the two in tandem; organic fertilizer and bio-pesticide should work to the advantage of farmers.40

6.7.5 Similarly, the Punjab Government has revived the Green Tractor Scheme during the current financial year (2008-09) to facilitate small farmers. A subsidy of Rs 2.0 billion is to be provided on 10,000 locally manufactured tractors.41 Eligibility criteria includes the fact that land is self-cultivated by the applicant with landholding not to be less than five acres in a Tehsil; not more than 25 acres in case of irrigated area; and not more than 50 acres in case of barani42 area in the whole of Pakistan.

6.7.6 Such a scheme has also been approved at the federal level where it entails provision of 20,000 locally manufactured tractors with Rs 0.2 million subsidy, per unit.

6.8 National Medium-Term Policy Framework (NMTPF)

6.8.1 The National Medium-Term Policy Framework (NMTPF) 2007–2010, prepared by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture & Livestock43 with the assistance of Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), is the government’s main strategic tool to facilitate resource mobilization of external technical assistance for Pakistan’s agriculture sector. Pakistan is one of the eight pilot countries where the ONE UN System Reform is being implemented. The government perceives the NMTPF as a strategic planning and resource mobilization tool for developing partnership programmes with UN and non-UN agencies, the private sector, NGOs, civil society as well as other relevant organizations and financial institutions. The NMTPF was prepared through a highly participatory and consultative process with a wide range of stakeholders. The NMTPF will contain technically sound systematized and categorized Strategic Priority Areas (SPAs) which would require external technical assistance based on an integrated and coherent conceptual framework for an Agricultural Development Strategy (ADS) to assist Pakistan’s poverty reduction process coupled with economic growth.

Figure 6.1:National Medium Term Priority Framework (NMTPF) for 2007 – 2010

Source: National Medium-Term Priority Framework (NMTPF) for 2007 – 2010 for Pakistan’s Agriculture Sector, Ministry of Food, Agriculture & Livestock (MINFAL), Government of Pakistan and Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations, October, 2007.

6.8.2 The PRSP-II highlights that economic growth must emanate from sectors that have greater potential to generate employment. In addition, it recognizes the need for targeted interventions for quick relief through creation of short-term employment opportunities. The table below illustrates the share of employed labour force by major sectors reflecting the highest increasing share in agriculture followed by the financial sector. For example, in agriculture which, contributes the largest share to the country’s GDP; self reliance in commodities; food security through improved productivity of crops; and development of livestock and dairy – all employment and income augmenting – are being supported through: i) development of new technologies; ii) efficient use of water-precision land leveling and a high efficiency irrigation system; iii) promoting production and export of high value crops; iv) creating necessary infrastructure; and vi) ensuring availability of agricultural credit.

Table 6.2:Employed labour force by major industry sectors
(No.s in million)(Percentage)
Electricity & Gas------
Source: Labour Force Surveys FY 2003/04, FY 2005/06 & FY 2006/07, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan.
Source: Labour Force Surveys FY 2003/04, FY 2005/06 & FY 2006/07, Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan.

6.9 Value addition in agriculture

6.9.1 After they leave the farm, agricultural raw materials pass through three main stages: primary processing (divided into post-harvest storage, handling, and transport); extraction of the valued ingredient (e.g., edible oil from cottonseed); and finally, to the third stage of manufacturing food items for sale to the public. Each stage has its individual concerns that will be addressed by the government, by research institutions, and by the private sector. Primary value-added in the food processing chain is done by the farmer, who adds a variety of inputs to land. These inputs, e.g. seed, fertilizer, water, and labour are of major importance for the success of the value-addition process because the ultimate quality of a food product depends on the quality of the primary ingredients. All these inputs require improvement and the government will encourage public-private linkages between research institutions, extension agencies and agribusiness companies that will allow agricultural support enterprises to flourish. Table 6.3 illustrates Pakistan’s agricultural growth potential. To increase competitiveness, agricultural crops and livestock must pass into a value chain and be considered as part of an integrated manufacturing system.

Table 6.3:Pakistan’s growth potential in agriculture
ProduceAnnual Growth Production
* Milk production (34.06m tonnes)5.4%
Meat production (2.73m tonnes)4.2%
Fish & shrimps (0.604 tonnes)4.8%
Fish export (0.128m tonnes)US $159m to US $1000m
Fruit & vegetable production5.5%
Source: Board of Investment (BOI), Ministry of Food, Livestock & Agriculture (MINFAL), FY 2006-07 and Economic Adviser’s Wing, Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, FY 2007/08.

Human consumption.

Source: Board of Investment (BOI), Ministry of Food, Livestock & Agriculture (MINFAL), FY 2006-07 and Economic Adviser’s Wing, Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, FY 2007/08.

Human consumption.

6.9.2 Agricultural (farm) costs of production are an essential factor in determining the overall competitiveness of the final food product, and the government’s target is to reduce these costs compared with Pakistan’s competitors. A productive and quality conscious agricultural sector producing high quality raw materials will work with agencies that preserve this value through the processing chain. High productivity of desired agricultural raw materials will be determined by the systematic needs of the food industry (i.e. demand driven), not by the fact that certain conditions may make it possible to grow a particular crop. Post-harvest losses will be reduced by removal of distortions through crop insurance to small farmers (discussed later) and greater public and private investment in innovation and improved technology.

6.9.3 The Poverty Reduction Strategy aims at forging an alliance with civil society and private sector to reduce poverty and accelerate growth. The government will continue to support public-private initiatives that connect crop and animal production with final product markets both at home and overseas. Such interventions will include promotion of contract farming, large-scale, vertically integrated agribusiness, and the development of innovative technology solutions adapted to Pakistan’s conditions. New enterprises will be encouraged to locate near the source of raw materials. Close relationships between farmers, intermediate processors, and final manufacturers will be encouraged through industry associations and strategic working groups. At the tertiary i.e. final stage of the value chain, the government will emphasize the importance of presentation of food products on the supermarket shelf to consumers.

6.10 Food security and inflation

6.10.1 Hunger or discomfort caused by lack of food is a consequence of the current global food crisis, which has impacted Pakistan in the form of a price hike in food prices, including over 100 percent increase in the price of oil in the international market since April 2007, over 200 percent increase in the price of palm oil, and 150 percent increase in wheat prices. A review of price trends of essential items in Pakistan during FY 2007/08 indicates that the major portion of food inflation during this period stemmed from prices of wheat, flour, rice, edible oil, fruits, vegetables, pulses, poultry and milk, etc. However, prices of other important food items like sugar, potatoes and moong pulse have decreased owing to improved availability of these items in the market.44

6.10.2 In order to deal with this problem, the government has adopted a threefold strategy. First, it seeks to boost production by increasing the support price of key commodities. Thus, for example, the government increased the support price for wheat from Rs 425/40 kg to Rs 625/40 kg for the wheat season FY 2007/08 and Rs 925/40 kg in FY 2008/09; this should both encourage the farm to grow more wheat and also discourage hoarding of the commodity. Second, imports have been liberalized to improve the supply situation of essential commodities. Thus, the government has allowed duty-free imports of wheat and essential consumer items to augment their supplies and reduce their prices. Third, in order to ensure competition and fair play in the market, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP)45 has been empowered to prevent non-competitive behaviour in all markets.46 The prices of essential commodities will be regularly monitored by a Secretaries Committee chaired by the Minister of Finance.

6.10.3 Ensuring food security in the long-run can be met from the southern areas of Sindh and the province of Balochistan. Palm oil in Sindh and Balochistan planted in FY 1993/94 has now been very successfully cultivated and is ready for oil extraction. To the traditional edible oil crops can be added a number of other varieties to increase employment in the rural areas. Chagai in Balochistan has a great future as it has 4.5 million hectares of land ready for mono cropping of wheat right away. Lower down is Kharan district which again has substantial land available and water that can be harvested sensibly. With Mirani dam coming in near Gwadar the scene particularly looks promising for Balochistan. The Kacchi canal and the pat feeder as also the water from the drainage canal can be used.47

6.11 Crop Maximization Project

6.11.1 The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL) and the Rural Support Programme Network (RSPN) signed a Rs 428 million contract in March to maximize crop production in over 1,000 villages across the country as part of a national food security project. Under the contract, the ministry and the RSPN will implement the social mobilization component of the Special Programme for Food Security and Productivity Enhancement of Small Farmers in 1,012 villages under the Crop Maximization Project (CMP-II). The project is being implemented in 27 districts with the aim of ensuring adequate food supply through increased production of food and cash crops. The project is expected to generate employment and provide sustainable livelihood and income in the food-insecure areas. The project will be implemented by the RSPN over a period of four years (April 2007 and beyond) in partnership with its six rural support programmes—the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) and the four provincial Rural Support Programmes (RSPs). A pilot project, popularly known as the Sargodha Model, was implemented in three districts with results found to be quite encouraging.

6.12 Livestock and poultry sectors

6.12.1 While livestock accounts for 52.2 percent of agriculture and 11 percent of GDP, its importance can be gauged by the fact that the livelihoods of about 30-35 million people in the rural areas depend directly or indirectly on livestock and dairy sectors.48 The livestock sector is highly labour-intensive and hence, has enormous potential to generate income for small farmers as well as for the landless and for rural women. The following areas will be in focus on during the PRSP-II period:

  • ▪ Micro-credit programmes covering provision of goats, sheep and dairy animals on personal guarantee without any formal collateral. Support to livestock producers in the shape of input supply. Livestock producers would be provided with improved animal feed and artificial insemination facilities;
  • ▪ Improving feed and fodder resource base, which is under great stress and continuously depleting. Similarly, knowledge of fodder grasses and fodder will be disseminated;
  • ▪ The present animal marketing system is misleading since the market functionaries and middlemen exploit livestock producers. Therefore, a system of sale of live animals on meat weight basis will be introduced which will be backed with necessary legislation.

6.13 Meat sector

6.13.1 Pakistan has not been able to exploit its large livestock population to become a major player in the international meat trade. Major reasons for this include: non-development of specific indigenous meat breeds, absence of modern meat processing plants and the low priority which was accorded to this sector by policy makers in the past. Protein consumption is low by international standards. There are very few large-scale animal slaughterhouses and meat processing plants. During the PRSP-II period, the government will address these issues by strengthening programmes for health and nutrition awareness, removing distortions and improving hygiene in meat marketing, and by encouraging the production of halal meat and products for export to Muslim communities overseas. The government has recently announced a ‘Livestock Development Policy’, which is in the process of adopting a legal framework and suggests strategies and action plans for improving per animal productivity. Under this policy, the import of dairy and livestock machinery, not manufactured locally, is allowed duty free. The policy will also encourage the establishment of slaughterhouses in the private sector and allows access to credit to small farmers. Quality of the animal herd has considerably improved, thanks to better veterinary services. To further realize Pakistan’s added advantage of exporting halal food products, a Halal Certification Board will be set up under the Ministry of Science and Technology to devise and enforce halal standards and certification mechanism for export of halal food. In accordance with the Trade Policy for FY 2008/09, the available markup at 6 percent support on loans for setting up slaughterhouses is being increased to 8 percent or 50 percent of the markup, whichever is lower.49

6.13.2 If sensibly handled and projected in world markets, potential meat producing animals could improve the quality of life of the herders in Balochistan. For example, cows in Bajaur, by natural selection and by virtue of the surrounding harsh area are nutrient efficient and have the ability to produce more milk than cows in other regions. Similarly, sheep breeds are under investigation in Cholistan which have potential to provide good meat and wool; thus enabling greater income generation possibilities for the population in that area.50

6.13.3 A Livestock & Dairy Development Board (LDDB) has been established as a private sector-led government guaranteed not-for-profit company under the Ministry of Livestock and Dairy Development in Public Private Partnership. The company has undertaken two mega projects in meat production and milk collection respectively: The LDDB is implementing a project on “Livestock Production and Development for Meat Production” which is of 5 years duration (2005-10). The objectives include establishment of 2590 feedlot fattening farms by private farmers (1040 beef and 1550 mutton); eight slaughterhouses and 20 butcheries in the private sector along with capacity building of all stakeholders, awareness raising and legislation. The company has established its offices in all provinces mobilizing private sector investment in livestock and cattle farming; establishment of modern slaughter houses and butcheries; and increase in outreach of milk collection.51

6.13.4 Poultry meat contributes 19 percent of the total meat production in the country. Current investment in the poultry sector is about Rs 200 billion. The poultry sector has shown a growth of 8-10 percent annually. This sector has faced a tough challenge on account of Avian Influenza (AI) outbreak in the country. The government has provided additional incentives to increase livestock and poultry production in the country. Recent regulatory measures of the government include allowing import of high yielding animals, semen and embryos for crossbreeding, modernization of laboratory facilities to diagnose and treat livestock diseases, introduction of mobile animal health services at the doorsteps of farmers, and duty free import of veterinary dairy and livestock machinery/equipment. Construction of Animal Quarantine Facilities at various places including Northern Areas, Wahga Border, Lahore and Khokrapar, costing Rs 336 million, is a five year project (2006-2011). The project is aimed at improving quarantine facilities and establishing new entry/exit points to facilitate trade of animals and animal products.52 The government has allowed import of incubators, brooders, evaporation cooling pads, grain storage silos for poultry, and milk and meat processing machinery not manufactured locally at zero percent custom duty. The private sector imported milk and meat processing equipment worth Rs 285 million during July-March, 2007/08. Sales exemption has been allowed for uncooked poultry meat; processed milk, yogurt, cheese flavoured milk and butter cream. In addition, poultry vaccines and feed additives used in poultry feed manufacturing have been allowed at zero percent custom duty.

6.13.5 In terms of specific provincial initiatives, the following new livestock projects will be undertaken in Sindh during the PRSP-II period: (i) establishment of cattle colonies with district & private participation, Phase-I (Rs 3329 million); establishment of Centre of Excellence for Modern Technology in Animal Breeding, Sindh at Red Sindhi Cattle Breeding Farm in Tando Muhammad Khan (Rs 1466 million); construction of Taluka Veterinary Dispensaries, Phase-I (Rs 500 million); and public-private participation for developing livestock and dairy farming (Rs 500 million).53

6.14 Dairy sector

6.14.1 Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of milk in the world. Pakistan produced about 42.199 million tonnes of milk in FY 2007-08, with 55.1 percent of this production was contributed by the province of Punjab. The rural sector provides 71.1 percent of total annual milk production.

6.14.2 Only 3.5 percent of the total milk production is processed and marketed through formal channels. However, despite significant recent increases in total production, milk prices have still trended upwards (showing a 25 percent increase in the last 5 years). Although Pakistan is one of the world’s larger producers of milk, it currently imports over Rs 3 million worth of powder milk. Countrywide, per capita milk availability is about 215.5 litres per annum, higher than most of the developing countries.54 While milk output is relatively high, the channels by which milk reaches the consumer are rudimentary. Thus much of the productivity increase at the farm level is lost in post-farm handling and marketing. Dairy farming practices are very old and traditional and need overhauling. Furthermore, the production of processed and packaged milk (e.g. UHT milk) lags behind countries with equivalent milk supplies.

6.14.3 The government has attempted to tackle deficiencies in milk production by working with the processing industry to overcome bottlenecks (e.g., by establishing milk collection networks and promoting use of cooling tanks at the farm level). In this regards, the LDDB of Ministry of Livestock & Dairy Development is currently implementing a project entitled ‘Milk Collection Processing and Dairy Production & Development Programme (2005-10)’. The project is targeting to establish milk collection and marketing network for small and landless farmers in 500 villages through provision of 300 Milk cooling units in 500 villages; to provide support to 10,000 market-oriented rural dairy farmers for production of quality breeding animals and to strengthen/ initiate progeny testing programme in Punjab and Sindh for production of progeny tested bulls of indigenous buffalo and dairy cattle breeds.55

6.14.4 To finalize and improve the industry, a private sector led Pakistan Dairy Development Company has emerged with guarantee backup of the government. The government has launched the ‘White Revolution’ scheme/‘Dhoodh Darya’, which aims to modernize the dairy industry with a view to increasing milk supply and ultimately improving the living standard of the rural population. This scheme intends to generate 3 million additional jobs in the formal economy and to provide an estimated Rs 350 million per day in cash flow to farmers in the sector.

6.14.5 The government has initiated a project to improve reproductive efficiency of cattle and buffaloes in smallholders’ production system for the period 2007–2012 for Rs 495.15 million. The centre will produce 5000 embryos per year for farm use and supply to others.

6.15 Community based approaches: the case of Halla milk56

6.15.1 The struggle to remove poverty cannot be undertaken solely by the government. It will also require active participation by the community. One example of community participation effort is of women farmers who are part of a cooperative run by Idara-I-Kissan.57 This idara has 25000 female members of whom 44 percent are landless. It has been running for the last 38 years. Under the brand name Halla, this programme has now been replicated in district Leiah and over 500 villages are now providing milk to the idara. Programme activities explaining the difference and social responsibility that this initiative has shown are displayed below:

Table 6.4:Community participation in agriculture



Food &


Area selectionTarget group formation farm mgt.Disease prevention through vetsVillage milk collection set upFarm input supplyLivestock extension
Area orientation programmeMgt. Farm economicsThrough village vet assistanceQuality milk collection & paymentAnimal feed production and supplyMother & child care-free
Coordination programmeHealth breedingVeterinary assistanceMilk collectionAs aboveGoat given free
MembershipOrg. aspectsVet visitsTrain milk collectorsImproved fodder seedsEducation-health
Representative programmeTraining facility rural developmentVillage vets trainedRain field staff marketingNutrition programmeVocational schools/family planning
Source: Idara-I-kissan/Halla documents / Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, December, 2008.
Source: Idara-I-kissan/Halla documents / Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, December, 2008.

6.15.2 The impact of these interventions includes:

  • ▪ Job opportunities and economic activity at the village level;
  • ▪ Regular and automatic marketing system for the farmers;
  • ▪ Low rate of disease prevalence and higher price of animals then the surrounding areas;
  • ▪ Better price of milk for the farmers;
  • ▪ Improvement in health and education and income generation of the farmer’s family.
  • ▪ Rural development that is sustained;
  • ▪ Consumers get quality products cheaper than the other market players – Multinational Corporations (MNCs), surrogates, bakeries; and
  • ▪ Halla is cheaper for the consumer, milk paid to the farmer is the same as the MNCs and the cost of production and selling is less than the MNCs resulting in a win-win situation between the farmer, the consumer and the managers.

6.16 Fisheries sector

6.16.1 The fisheries sector accounts for 0.3 percent of GDP. It witnessed a growth of 11 percent in FY 2007/08 against 0.4 percent during FY 2006/07. Components of fisheries such as marine and inland fishing contributed to an overall increase in value addition in the fisheries sector. New projects to be undertaken in the fisheries sector in Sindh during the PRSP-II period include: strengthening and improvement of fish and shrimp hatcheries (Rs 784 million); model village for fisherman at Dabla Para in Badin (Rs 481 million); rehabilitation and renovation of Karachi Fish Harbour (Rs 290 million); establishment of meat, fish and vegetable market at Qasimabad, Hyderabad (Rs 1.9 billion); and construction of model Fish Harbour at Keti Bunder, Thatta (Rs 500 million).58 The following proposed programmes of the federal government aim to enhance value addition in the fisheries sector.

  • Support to coastal fishermen: Programmes will target the boatless fishermen working as labourers as well as small boat owners. The programme will focus on areas like upgrading existing boats through enhancing modification and refrigeration of fish hold capacities and equipping with modern gadgets to make them adjust to sea climate.
  • Support to coastal fisherwomen: Post-harvest handling of fish and fish products is carried out by women in coastal areas who lack necessary training and modern equipment, which results in enormous post harvest losses and deterioration of quality. Therefore, a programme would be launched to supply improved processing equipment backed up by training support to small-scale fishermen and women.
  • Support to inland fisheries: The fisheries sector lacks extension support in the country resulting in poor growth and depriving it of necessary competitiveness. To address this issue a programme of streamlining of existing extension service of fisheries would be undertaken. The available diagnostic services are rudimentary and very limited which results in substantial losses of fish. This would require strengthening/establishment of diagnostic laboratories at provincial levels.
  • Introduction and promotion of fish and shrimp culture: A project aimed at introduction and promotion of fish and shrimp culture in coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan will be started because of the enormous potential in these areas. This programme will particularly focus on poor coastal communities.

6.17 Horticulture sector

6.17.1 Horticulture sector, which comprises production of fruits, vegetables and other high value products, has the capacity to rapidly generate incomes and jobs. Further, Pakistan has a competitive advantage in production of fruits and vegetables given their export potential. Horticulture projects, therefore, will be launched during the period of the PRSP-II targeting small farmers and women.

6.17.2 While many developing countries have seen a fairly rapid expansion in agricultural exports over the past decade, with China, Malaysia, Thailand, and India among the strongest regional performers, Pakistan’s share in total world horticultural exports has actually declined. By contrast, India’s total exports rose more than three-fold. Pakistan’s exports have also remained heavily concentrated in low value added goods, while other regional producers such as India and Sri Lanka have improved product technology and value addition. Even in the low technology segment, such as in fresh fruits, Pakistan’s exports have declined or stagnated in recent years. This stagnation is largely because of the demand in world markets for better quality products and improved traceability, related to World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations and standards, and other increasingly stringent standards in developed markets.

6.17.3 The last comprehensive survey of the manufacturing sector estimated that there were 4,474 firms based across all sectors and that the food and beverages sector accounted for 984 firms. It is estimated that about 1.5 million people may be employed in small and medium horticultural enterprises. The enterprises engaged in hortibusiness are generally either micro-scale village based activities, or large-scale operations being undertaken by nationally recognized companies.59

6.18 Agriculture, globalization and international competitiveness

6.18.1 Increasing global inter-linking due to globalization has made it mandatory for Pakistan to introduce new regulatory rules and bring fundamental changes in its agricultural production regimes including: the adoption of Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures; Good Agricultural Practices (GAP); and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in agricultural production and processing. By meeting World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and requirements, agricultural export commodities from Pakistan can have a better opportunity to compete globally in meeting the demand of a dynamic market and shift in consumer preferences for high-value crops. With evolving of WTO Regime and Regional Trade Agreements, the country needs to know/monitor the development of tradable commodities both domestically and internationally and suggest steps to position the Pakistan Agriculture in the emerging environment. Investments in transport & preservation technologies are already underway in Pakistan through appropriate government interventions and triggers, which will improve the entire value chain in agro-industries.

6.18.2 Capacity building on WTO issues is an area of high priority, and for this purpose, an Agricultural Policy Institute (API) was established in 200660 to develop MinFAL’s capacity for improving its negotiation strategies on WTO issues and other trade-related analysis and intelligence for promoting export of agricultural commodities and value-added food-related products. The purpose of the API is to advise the government on formulating agriculture policy in order to make Pakistani agriculture profitable, competitive and sustainable in light of emerging global and domestic policy issues in the agriculture sector.

6.18.3 Taking the case of Balochistan, the rural population increased from 1.5 million in FY 1998/99 to 3.2 million in FY 2006/07. While poverty rose in rural areas, it declined slightly in the urban areas. Balochistan’s main drivers of economic recovery i.e. small scale trade; agriculture product markets; and government spending & services, have generated incomes in cities.61 The principle challenge is that rural households obtain a share of the overall national economic growth. The province is unfortunately a regular victim of drought and earthquakes62. More public resources need to be allocated to lower the incidence of poverty in the region. In this light, the Agricultural Planning Directorate (APD) was established in FY 1992/93 under the Directorate General of Agriculture Extension in Quetta. According to a study undertaken by the APD in Balochistan, agriculture is the largest sub-sector consuming 97.3 percent of total available water resources in the province. In addition, agriculture provides majority livelihood to rural communities in the region. Restructuring of APD to convert it into a ‘High Performance Planning Institution’ is being considered to be done in three phases spread over a period of three years to overcome its deficiencies.63

6.19 Establishment of agro-based industries

6.19.1 There is enormous potential for establishment of agro-processing and other related industries for which agriculture is the source of raw material. This arrangement would help in increasing job opportunities for the rural poor as well as help reduce the present trend of rural migration to urban centres.

6.19.2 Agribusiness sector has the potential to be a source of economic growth and income generation with small farmers as major beneficiaries. There is a need for implementation of a project that will help to enhance the quantum of export especially of horticulture and floriculture items and value addition. The government signed a loan agreement with Asian Development Bank, and approved Agribusiness Development and Diversification Project. This is a five year (2006–2010) project aimed at addressing constraints impeding development of the agribusiness sector, and exploiting domestic and export market opportunities in the sector, thereby contributing to increased economic growth and rural employment. 64

6.19.3 The project objectives are to support economic growth and job creation through competitive and sustainable agribusiness development. The project focuses on development of horticulture, hortibusiness, livestock and dairy sub-sectors. Project objectives are to support economic growth and employment generation through competitive and sustainable agribusiness development. The project interventions focus on increased productivity, product quality, and value addition by removing constraints facing agribusiness that occur throughout the product value chain from production and input supply to processing and exports. Interventions include: (i) improving the managerial; production, and processing skill levels of entrepreneurs and farmers to ensure the production of good quality raw material and uniform and high standard products; (ii) supporting identified banks in increasing agribusiness lending to allow stakeholders exploit market opportunities; (iii) reorienting government institutions to become facilitators of agribusiness development using Public Private Partnerships; (iv) improving the policy, regulatory, and financial environment to make it more responsive to private sector needs, and encourage producers and entrepreneurs to invest in agribusiness; and (v) establishing the framework and standards to comply with stringent international standards. The project components include the following:65 Agribusiness Support Service Provision: The project includes a component that aims to facilitate increased access to Business Development Services (BDS) through agribusiness enterprises by financing eligible services for capacity building, including technical, managerial, financial, and marketing skills. To achieve this objective the Project has established Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) as a not-for-profit company under Public Private Partnerships that is providing matching grants to eligible agribusiness enterprises, farmers, research and extension service providers, and BDS providers. Agribusiness Finance Development: The project will also support development of financial services, particularly credit, to agribusiness enterprises that do not have ready access to such services. The project has through State Bank of Pakistan identified 6 participating financial institutions (PFIs) to develop their understanding of the potential agribusiness finance market, and to enhance their capacity to undertake agribusiness lending. Agreement has been signed with an international consultancy firm for capacity building of participating financial institutions. These banks would be in a position to launch their financial products within 20 to 24 months. Agribusiness Capacity Building: The capacity building focus is on horticulture, hortibusiness, livestock and dairy sub sectors. The objective of this component is to increase private sector participation in provision of services currently provided by public sector institutions. To facilitate agribusiness development and international compliance, the Project will support the rationalization, restructuring, and coordination of relevant MINFAL agencies and offices concerned in alignment with WTO regulations and international product standards. Market Information Services: The objective is to improve availability of market information, identified as a significant constraint to agro-enterprise expansion. The Project will promote the development of information through outsourcing. This component is to be executed by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock Products Marketing and Grading (DALPMG) under which an appropriate private sector provider will be supported to develop a system that will initially focus on 11 major wholesale markets in the county and Pakistan’s major export markets for fruits and vegetables. Horticulture Project Unit: This Unit has been established within Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board (PHDEB) with the objective to develop more effective linkages between the public sector and private agribusiness. The unit has developed a comprehensive programme that will help implement project activities in the horticulture sub sector and facilitate interaction with agribusiness enterprises. In accordance with its mandate, the Unit is assisting by: (i) contributing to and supporting provincial and special area horticultural policy task forces in developing horticulture policies for each province and special area; (ii) in association with provincial and special area project implementation offices (PlOs), identification of potential recipients for ASF cost-sharing grants, and forwarding grant applications to the ASF; (iii) identification of enterprises, farmer group enterprises, and processors to determine training, extension, and research needs; and organize their training; (iv) identification of farmer groups, exporters, packers, and processors that wish to become internationally compliant, and help them obtain project support; and (v) work closely with the project horticulture and hortibusiness consultants to support their activities. The project also comprises components that deal with export quality certification, seed and planting material certification, and training and capacity building.

6.19.4 Development of Agribusiness Policy This component will assist the Government to develop an appropriate policy and enabling environment for private-sector-led agribusiness development. This includes national and provincial interventions to redefine roles and responsibilities in the sector; strengthen regulatory framework, in particular for alignment with international standards; and create effective public-private partnerships to promote sector development. The project will support the development of the regulatory framework, and establish quality and certification requirements for locally produced products to align with international standards. In particular, the project will assist the WTO cell in MinFAL to formulate amendments to the legal framework to align with commitments made in regard to sanitary and phytosanitary measures in Pakistan’s agreements with WTO. The project will also help MINFAL develop programmes to collate and disseminate information relating to international standards to relevant stakeholders in both private and public sectors. Agro Food Processing Facilities (APC), Multan: Small Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA), in collaboration with Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC), Mango Growers Association Multan (MGAM) and Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) is establishing Agro Food Processing Facilities. The Facility is expected to be operational by June 2008. Nature has blessed Pakistan with an ideal climate for growing a large variety of vegetables and fruits. Agricultural sector is directly or indirectly contributing 25 percent towards GDP. Pakistan has a total fruit and vegetable production of about 5,900,881 and 6,171,986 tonnes respectively. According to Agriculture Department, 30 percent of vegetables/fruits are wasted due to negligence and lack of processing facilities, which could convert them into non-perishable form, permitting its transportation and storage without wastage. With the spread of education, change in habits of populace, growth in working women force and increase in per capita income & urbanization, the demand for processed vegetable/fruit products is increasing progressively. The introduction of agro food-based Common Facility Centres enables minimal post harvest losses. The Centre will comprise of fruit processing (Mango and Guava Pulp) and vegetable processing (Fresh Fruit/Vegetable Grading and Packing) facilities and also provide training and consultancy services to SMEs. It is envisaged that the Project will minimize post harvest losses, increase income of growers and exports from the country. Punjab Agrimarketing Company (PAMCO): The Punjab Agrimarketing Company (PAMCO) has been formed by the Government of Punjab, Pakistan under the public-private initiative to energize the agriculture business in Punjab. Investments in agribusiness which PAMCO will initiate and will in turn, improve the lot of the common farmer through targeted interventions to accomplish the following objectives: providing easy market access, adding value to farm produce, making farm products competitive and reducing post harvest losses. PAMCO is a corporate entity backed by the Government of Punjab ad managed by highly qualified private sector professionals. PAMCO operations are overviewed by a Board of Directors to ensure autonomy of the Company. PAMCO’s mandate is to attract private sector investment in agribusiness with special focus on: facilitating investors, providing advisory services, investing in projects, supporting entrepreneurs and promoting trading activities. PAMCO’s immediate concern is increasing the marketability period of perishable commodities in Punjab which include fruits and vegetables, dairy, fisheries, livestock, floriculture and poultry. This will be accomplished by encouraging private investment in (i) cold chain infrastructure – cold storage facilities at airports, urban and production areas, refrigerated transport via road, rail and air and (ii) food processing units – mango pulping, kinnow66 processing/concentrate, onion processing/dehydration, tomato preservation and potato processing.

6.19.5 Other major agricultural initiatives being undertaken by the government are illustrated in the box below.

Box 6.1:Major federal agricultural initiatives

  • ▪ Special Programme for Food Security and Productivity Enhancement of Small Farmers in 1012 Villages (Rs 8013.5 million)
  • ▪ Establishment of Facilitation Unit for Participatory Vegetable Seed and Nursery Programme (Rs 497,5 million)
  • ▪ Agribusiness Development and Diversification Project (Rs 4066.0 million)
  • ▪ National Agricultural Research Programme (Rs 2963.0 million)
  • ▪ National Programme for Improvement of Watercourses (Rs 66373.5 million)
  • ▪ Water Conservation and Productivity Enhancement Through Efficiency Irrigation (Rs 18000 million)
  • ▪ Land and Water Resources Development Project for Poverty Reduction (Rs 3400 million)
  • ▪ Agriculture Sector Development Loan Project (Phase-II) (Rs 10029.5 million)
  • ▪ Monitoring of Crops Through Satellite Technology (Phase-II)
  • ▪ Managing Burewala Strain of Cotton Leaf Curl Virus and Up-gradation of Cotton Research Institutes (Rs149.1 million)
  • ▪ Restructuring and Strengthening of Agricultural Research System, Balochistan (Rs 723.9 million)
  • ▪ National Biosaline Agriculture Programme (Rs 859 million)
  • ▪ Production of Bioenergy from Plant Biomass (Rs 260.3 million)
  • ▪ National Pesticide Residues Monitoring System in Pakistan
  • ▪ Biological Control of Major Cotton Pests in Pakistan with emphasis on Mealy Bug
  • ▪ Strengthening of Livestock Services for Livestock Disease Control in Pakistan (Rs 714.8 million)
  • ▪ Prime Minster’s Special Initiative for Livestock (Rs 1696.4 million)
  • ▪ Livestock Production and Development of Meat Production (Rs 1500 million)
  • ▪ Milk Collection, Processing and Dairy Production (Rs 1600 million)
  • ▪ The White Revolution/‘Dhoodh Darya’ (Rs 2654.4 million as federal share)
  • ▪ Improving Reproductive Efficiency of Cattle and Buffaloes in Small Holders Production System (Rs 489.9 million)
  • ▪ National Programme for the Control and Prevention of Avian Influenza (Rs 1184.1 million)
  • ▪ Aquaculture and Shrimp Farming (Rs 1997 million)
Source: Planning Commission, Annual Plan 2008/09, Government of Pakistan.

6.20 Special programmes for reducing rural poverty

6.20.1 In order to generate economic activities and facilitate rural communities the following programmes will be initiated. These jobs have the potential to generate job opportunities and promote growth of the agriculture sector if coupled with the necessary package of technologies and strong implementation arrangements.

6.20.2 Supporting destitute farmers: A comprehensive programme should be launched to support destitute farmers under which farmers may be provided agricultural inputs on delayed payment in kind with a package of technology. The implemented strategy will need to be based on cost sharing and a completely participatory approach. This intervention would also cover capacity building and training of the resource-poor farmers and organizing them into associations.

6.20.3 Support to landless and other disadvantaged groups: Rural landless comprise the poorest of the poor segment of Pakistan. They lack awareness and access to development programmes since traditional development has generally failed to focus on them. Therefore, a programme to include these groups in mainstream development would be initiated at grassroots level. This programme will include launching of income generation activities, and schemes for training disadvantaged groups to be more vocal for their rights and wages, etc.

6.20.4 Support to rural women: Rural women are key players of crop production activities with no or little institutional support. As a case study, the role of cotton picking women would be focused and programmes may be initiated to improve their situation. They will be provided with necessary knowledge support in efficient picking; informed of measures to protect them from environmental hazards caused by increased chemical spraying of the cotton crop; and providing training and information on income-generating activities.

6.20.5 Facilitating access to inputs: Measures have been taken in the Budget FY 2008/09 to help increase farmer productivity including supply of fertilizers at subsidized rates. An amount of Rs 35 billion has been allocated to subsidize the cost of urea and to enhance subsidy on DAP from Rs 470 to Rs 1000 per bag; availability of agricultural credit will be ensured; fertilizers and pesticides have been exempted from sales tax; and numerous schemes to improve water availability and conserve water wastage have been initiated (described below). Special focus is being given to small irrigation projects in Balochistan. The government has negotiated projects for US $38 million to improve management of water resources in the Indus River basin and for US $25 million for Balochistan Small-Scale Irrigation Project.

6.20.6 Facilitating means of irrigation for farmers:67 The binding constraint on agriculture in Pakistan is water. While water shortages affect almost all the provinces, Balochistan is the most arid and is particularly hard hit. A special effort, therefore, will be made to increase the supply of irrigation water in that province. The irrigation system in the province of Sindh has also deteriorated, and measures to restore it will continue during the PRSP-II period. The government has approved Rs 12.963 billion for rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage systems in Sindh and Rs 2.15 billion for construction of 20 delay action dams in Balochistan. A meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), presided by the Prime Minister also approved Rs 2.637 billion for construction of Shadi Kaur Dam and related projects in Balochistan. The Shadi Kaur Dam will be built 50km north of Pasni (Balochistan) and will contain storage capacity of 37,000 acre feet of water. It will irrigate 7,600 acres of agricultural land and provide drinking water to 15,000 people. The dams falling on fan areas will store water during the rainy season and let it percolate in order to create artificial recharge for a sustained flow during dry months. The dams will be built in districts Awaran, Kalat, Bolan, Chaghi, Gwadar, Khuzdar, Qila Abdullah, Qila Saifullah, Kech, Lesbela, Loralai, Mastrung, Musakhel, Panjgur, Dishin, Quetta, Washuk, Ziarat and Zhob. The project on completion will store 55,000 acre feet of additional water and benefit 35,000 acres of agricultural land. It will also recharge groundwater and more than 13,000 households will benefit from it. The dams will be completed in three years and over 5,000 skilled and non-skilled people from Balochistan will be engaged in the construction work. The project will help raise the value of agricultural crops from Rs 17.42 million a year to Rs 389.53 million. Income per acre is expected to rise from Rs 12,778 to Rs 25,650. A Rs 12.963 billion worth project for Sindh includes strengthening of canal and drain banks (8,082 km), silt clearance of branches (3,635 km), stone pitching of canal bank (380 km), repairing and remodeling of 241 regulators, rehabilitation of 201 bridges, repair and extension of 11,725 modules, revamping and rehabilitation of the salinity control and reclamation project for tube wells and re-sectioning of 568 km surface drain. This will ensure safety of the canal system and provide water to tail-end farmers. All projects will be financed by the federal government with financial assistance from international lenders.

Box 6.2:Pro-poor agricultural development of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) (Rs million)

Ongoing projects and approved costsNew projects
Crops & horticulture
Cultivation of vegetables around townships in AJK (Rs 14.015)Supply of agricultural inputs through public-private partnership (Rs 200.0)
Promotion of mechanized farming for agriculture productivity enhancement (Rs 115.726)
Promotion of red beans cultivation in Northern parts of AJK -Neelum, Leepa and Haveli (Rs 7.173)
Agriculture development in AJK (Rs 33.765)
Establishment of floriculture nurseries & introduction of cut flowers in AJK (Rs 29.321)
Integrated pest management services for farmers (Rs 39.14)
Poverty reduction in earthquake affected areas through restocking of small ruminants & poultry birds in AJK (Rs 13.255)
Establishment of growth points for milk and meat at Plandari, District Sudhnoti (Rs 39.705)
Promotion of commercial poultry farms and hatcheries for the production of eggs and integrated land management project, District Poonch (Phase-IV) (Rs 42.966)
Establishment, conservation and management of new protected areas in AJK (PC-II) (Rs 3.60)Community based wildlife conservation through introduction of trophy hunting in AJK (Rs 40.0)
Protected areas management project (Machiara National Park) (Rs 18.285)Support to mountain areas conservancy fund (Rs 8.0)
Feasibility study for fisheries development in Mangla & surrounding areas (PC-II) (Rs 1.60)Conservation of Mahsheer in AJK (Rs 50.0)
Establishment of modern trout fish hatcheries, District Neelum (Rs 37.206)
Source: Planning & Development Department, Azad Government of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan, October, 2008.
Source: Planning & Development Department, Azad Government of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan, October, 2008.
Source: Planning & Development Department, Azad Government of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan, October, 2008.

6.21 Sustainable Development Plan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas68

6.21.1 The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan are located along the country’s border with Afghanistan. The last three decades have seen turmoil and instability across the border spillover into FATA. Increasingly impoverished and marginalized, its people have also become vulnerable to exploitation at the hands of criminal and extremist elements. Today the region is once again in the spotlight, not simply for reasons of internal security but also because of its status as a staging post for geopolitical developments with global repercussions. The economy in FATA is based on agriculture and the subsistence-level use of natural resources. However, agricultural production is low and natural resources are severely depleted. Commerce and industry provide jobs to many FATA residents but these sectors operate on a small scale and cannot absorb more than a limited share of the working population. The workforce is largely unskilled, further hindering commercial and industrial expansion. Infrastructure is thin, depriving the population of access to sufficient education facilities and healthcare. Development initiatives undertaken so far show a marked absence of cohesive planning and have instead been carried out in a compartmentalized fashion, concentrating narrowly around specific sectoral activities At this critical juncture, a long-term strategy is needed to steer development planning so that flux and uncertainty may give way to positive change that will create stability, security and hope for the future. The FATA Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) aims to steer development planning in a new direction, focusing on the people at the grassroots level. It identifies the people as its main focus of development and its instigators. The key objective is to foster social and economic development based on the principles of equity and participation. The SDP outlines measures to improve services, upgrade infrastructure, promote sustainable use of natural resources, and generate activity in the industrial, trade and commerce sectors. It also provides an independent monitoring and evaluation framework to support, assess and strengthen development initiatives. Rather than replicating the narrow focus of the past, the SDP takes an integrated approach to development planning, combining economic and social development with environmental integrity and poverty alleviation. While the core components of the plan are structured around specific sectors, the vision is holistic taking into account major cross-cutting themes ranging from broad structural concerns such as governance and institutional capacity to the more normative considerations of social cohesion and cultural identity. The Plan is flexible and adaptable, comprising of a two-phased implementation schedule. Priority interventions are planned for the first phase, spanning a period of five years, followed by a second four-year assessment and consolidation period. Primary responsibility of preparing the FATA SDP lies with the Civil Secretariat in FATA, in partnership with the World Conservation Union (IUCN), Pakistan. The total cost for implementation of the long-term SDP is Rs 124.108 billion, which will be met through the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and assistance from development partners.69

6.23.2 Agriculture in FATA: Agriculture is the lifeline of the people of FATA. Small landholders, who make up the majority of farmers, practice agriculture mainly at the subsistence level characterized by the underutilization of land and the prevalence of risk-averse behaviour patterns such as the cultivation of low input crops. The soil and climatic conditions favour the cultivation of cereals, fruits and vegetables but agricultural productivity has remained low. The irrigated midland agricultural system is based on wheat, oilseed and pulses, with some fodder and vegetables, mainly onion in the winter (October-March), while maize, sugarcane, rice, potato and tomato are grown in the summer (April-September). Household income is supplemented by the cultivation of high-value produce such as apple, apricot, date, fig, grape, peach, persimmon, plum, pomegranate and walnut. Significant scope exists to increase off-season vegetable cultivation. Wheat production falls far short of needs and the deficit is obtained from other parts of the country or abroad. Women play a major role in agricultural activities. They work in orchards while men are primarily responsible for land leveling, sowing and irrigation. In areas where women are relatively mobile, both men and women share responsibility for weeding, harvesting, threshing and seed storage.

6.23.3 Main issues: There is poor coordination between various actors involved in land and agriculture management, and procedural problems arise particularly when it comes to purchasing dry land agriculture machinery. Farmers lack access to improved seed varieties and do not have the relevant skills to produce high-yield seeds. Other inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers are also in short supply. Where inputs are available, quality is suspect, and no legislation exists in the tribal areas for the purpose of regulating the standard of reliability of farm inputs. Credit is not available through mainstream financial institutions. As a result, farmers turn to private lenders that offer highly unfavourable terms. Marketing problems persist in the absence of adequate infrastructure such as grading plants, cold storage facilities and farm-to-market roads. This creates waste and lowers the sale price of agricultural produce. Forests are an integral part of the rural economy, playing a significant role in the local livelihoods particularly in the mountainous regions. Forests meet the fuel, fodder and timber requirements of the rural population, besides providing critical ecological services. Forests create jobs, particularly in operations such as felling, transportation, saw mills and sale depots. Commercial undertakings including charcoal kilns and furniture factories also rely on forest resources. At the subsistence level, the collection and sale of medicinal plants, work generally done by women, helps provide much-needed income support for poorer households. However, forest area in FATA is declining rapidly as a result of timber extraction (legally for local use and sale and for export to areas outside FATA), prolonged periods of drought, uncontrolled grazing, and pressure from fuel wood and fodder collection. The gap between production and use is widening, and the current levels of extraction are unsustainable. Over-exploitation has affected the natural regenerative capacity of forests. With forest resources rapidly disappearing, environmental services provided by natural ecosystems have also diminished. Land erosion has led to denuded hills unable to retain soil or water. Erosion increases the incidence of flash floods which wipe away crops, farmland and valuable infrastructure, while lower water retention has led to a drawing down of the water table, creating scarcity where none existed a few generations ago.

6.23.3 Objective and strategies: The SDP aims to increase the contribution of agriculture to the local economy, making it a key source for sustainable livelihoods in the area. A people-centered approach is critical so that inputs and support can be provided where they are needed most and where they will provide the most benefit. This plan will be implanted by means of the following strategies:

  • ▪ Support the shift from subsistence agriculture towards market-oriented production;
  • ▪ Adopt a ‘pocket area’ approach to designate zones where one specific crop with a comparative advantage will be promoted, providing necessary facilities, inputs and extension services. This effort will involve collaboration between the government, local farmers and the relevant industries. Industries will play a major role in agriculture extension services including phytosanitary measures, storage pre-processing and marketing, as well as the provision of appropriate seeds;
  • ▪ Reclaim cultivable wasteland for the benefit of poor households;
  • ▪ Expand the availability of water and improve the efficiency of supply systems in collaboration with the irrigation and water management sector;
  • ▪ Increase the income of farmers by providing loans, access to makers and quality agricultural inputs;
  • ▪ Maximize soil efficiency, minimize farm inputs, improve the quality of farm products and reduce post harvest losses by introducing environmentally friendly and area specific research-based technological packages;
  • ▪ Improve agriculture data collection, compilation and analysis for effective planning and monitoring;
  • ▪ Develop institutional and human resources of government and non-government service providers; and improve the working of existing farm service centres. Introduce performance-based budgeting;
  • ▪ Improve water management practices in collaboration with the relevant management authorities by introducing efficient water use technologies, and constructing small dams, ponds and reservoirs. Carry out a technical assessment of groundwater;
  • ▪ Introduce the use of bio-pesticides;
  • ▪ Involve women in service delivery;
  • ▪ Ensure availability of micro-credit;
  • ▪ Carry out adaptive research to support the shift to market-oriented production; and
  • ▪ Promote agro-forestry, off-season vegetable production and olive cultivation. Key objectives and strategies under the SDP related to improved livestock and poultry production include:

  • ▪ Improve access to animal health services;
  • ▪ Increase the number of female livestock extension workers;
  • ▪ Improve the condition and productivity of rangeland in collaboration with tribes, farmers, herders, research institutions and forest directorates;
  • ▪ Introduce new species of fodder in collaboration with research institutions, farmers, tribes and herders;
  • ▪ Enhance livestock production through breed improvement; and
  • ▪ Declare ‘pocket areas’ for dairy production, with linkages to agroindustry for marketing service delivery

6.23.4 The proposed budget for SDP interventions in the agriculture sector is shown in the table below:

Table 6.5:Agriculture(FATA SDP budget 2006-15)
ActivityBudget (Rs million)
Years 1-15Years 6-9Total
Development of ‘pocket areas’700.0300.01,000.0
On-farm water management500.0200.0700.0
Land reclamation3,160.02,940.06,100.0

extension and institutional support
Women’s extension services250.0150.0400.0
Agricultural research600.0400.01,000.0
Database, management information system5.010.015.0
Source: FATA Sustainable Development Plan (2006–2015), Civil Secretariat (FATA), Government of Pakistan, 2006.
Source: FATA Sustainable Development Plan (2006–2015), Civil Secretariat (FATA), Government of Pakistan, 2006.

6.24 Agricultural Credit: Ensuring Farmer Security

6.24.1 Availability of credit to meet financial requirements of the farming sector is one of the key factors that play a pivotal role in the development of the agriculture sector. The SBP has, since its inception, been endeavouring to make the much needed credit available.70 The SBP has taken various initiatives to create an enabling environment and facilitate banks in increasing the outreach of agricultural credit since the last several years. Initiatives include induction of 14 domestic private banks in agricultural credit scheme in FY 2003/04, besides five big banks and two specialized banks. List of eligible items for agri-financing was enlarged by including more than 150 items in addition to allowing banks to provide financing for complete value chain of activities of agriculture by farmers. Wholesale financing to farmers through microfinance institutions, NGOs, etc. has also been allowed under agri-financing by banks.

6.24.2 In order to facilitate banks in diversification of their portfolios of non-crop sector and the development of specialized products, guidelines for livestock, fisheries, poultry and horticulture financing were issued. Local Credit Advisory Committees were established at 16 offices of SBP to help banks and local farming community in resolving agri. credit related issues at the grassroots level. Similarly, to ensure sustainability in flow of agricultural credit and effective implementation of SBP’s initiatives, a separate Development Finance Support Department (DFSD) and its subsequent units were established at SBP BSC Offices. These units are focusing on developing a network in collaboration with local banks and farming community. The forum will provide a platform for the awareness of banks and farming community about SBP’s schemes and policies on agri-finance. There has always been a great demand from agricultural customers for Islamic financing products for agriculture sector. Islamic banks and Islamic Banking Branches (IBBs) of conventional banks have also shown their great interest in adopting Shariah71 compliant agriculture finance as a viable business line. Therefore, draft. Guidelines on Islamic Financing for Agriculture have been developed aimed at facilitating banks in this process.

6.24.3 Separate Prudential Regulations (PRs) for agriculture financing, prepared in consultation with banks and other stakeholders, were issued to banks to provide broader regulatory framework to banks. Banks are also allowed unsecured financing up to Rs 500,000. With the consensus of all banks, SBP has simplified/standardized agricultural loan documents for the benefit and convenience of the farming community. For production loans, number of documents have been reduced from 14 to 5, and for development loans, from 21 to 6. These documents/forms have also been translated/printed into Urdu and other regional languages for the benefit of farming community. Around 85 percent of the farming communities having land holdings up to 12.5 acres (as per Agriculture Census 2000) and majority of them have no collateral to offer. Therefore, a small farmers’ scheme based on group lending methodology was introduced to address the issues of these small farmers. Under this scheme members of the group may borrow up to Rs 200,000 without any collateral from financial institutions.

6.24.4 After privatization of banks, many non-profitable rural branches had either been closed down or had been shifted to urban areas. In order to increase the rural branch network, SBP has made it mandatory for banks to open at least 20 percent rural branches while opening new ones. Moreover, to reduce operational/administrative costs of agri/rural financing and increasing the outreach of financial services to rural community, SBP has allowed banks to adopt concepts of branchless banking and open sub-branches, special booths and service centres in remote areas.

6.24.5 A Revolving Credit Scheme for a period of 3 years for production loans with one time documentation was introduced to meet the seasonal requirements of the farming/rural community and to avoid unnecessary delays in the documentation procedures. The limit automatically renews on the cleaning of the account (principle and mark-up), with date convenient to borrower, once a year. The scheme is a huge success and most of the agricultural financing products are being covered under this structure.

6.24.6 In order to facilitate farmer borrowers in meeting their credit requirement due to increase in prices for inputs like seed, fertilizer, pesticides, fuel, etc. per acre credit limit for crops, horticulture and social forestry has been enhanced by an average of 70 percent from Rabi crop FY 2008/09. These credit initiatives have paid dividend in the form of increase in agricultural credit to Rs 212 billon in FY 2007/08 from Rs 39 billion in FY 1999/00. The target for FY 2008/09 has been fixed at Rs 250 billion. SBP is looking forward to establishing a farmer-friendly market based financial sector in the country to meet the increasing credit requirements of the agriculture sector and also to meet the financing needs of rural community. The financial inclusion of rural community will ultimately facilitate meeting of national goals of agricultural growth and poverty alleviation in the rural areas.

6.24.7 The SBP is also working on a strategy to double agricultural credit disbursement and the number of agri borrowers in next 3-4 years under the Financial Inclusion Programme financed by DFID.

6.24.8 The SBP initiated training & awareness programmes at the district level wherein representatives of local banks were invited to provide farming communities details of available agri-financing facilities and to discuss issues being faced by them in this regard. Around 50 such programmes have been conducted successfully so far. For the capacity building of agricultural credit officers of banks, one week crash training programmes are being arranged at offices of SBP-BSC. In the first phase, 500 officers would be trained in 15 programs and till now around 350 agricultural credit officers of banks have successfully completed their training in 12 such programmes.

6.25 Benazir Zarai72 Credit Card

6.25.1 To improve farmers’ access to institutional credit, the government has decided to introduce ‘Benazir Zarai Credit Card’ for farmers/growers to enable them to avail credit facility with convenience and dignity in their respective areas. The objective of the Credit Card is to improve farmers’ access, especially small farmers, to agricultural credit and enable to purchase quality farm inputs such as seed, fertilizer, pesticide, etc. without visiting bank branches. Under the scheme, participating banks will issue Benazir Zarai Card to farmers against their three years’ revolving credit limits parallel to the existing chequing facility. The Card can only be used for the purchase of inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and other inputs from any of the vendors as per prescribed list. No fixed investment including purchase of tractors, farm implements etc. will be allowed through Benazir Zarai Card. The Credit limit will be determined based on annual inputs requirements of the farmer as per SBP per acre indicative credit limits or as prescribed by the bank. The Card holder may execute any number of transactions within the limit approved by the bank. To ensure the smooth implementation of the scheme, the government will develop a vendor network and Information Technology structure.

6.26 Crop Insurance Plan

6.26.1 Agriculture is susceptible to natural calamities. Since banks have been reluctant to adopt agricultural credit as a viable business line mainly due to non-availability of crop loan insurance in the country, the SBP formed a task force on Crop Loan Insurance Framework comprising of all stakeholders for the development of a commercially viable and sustainable Crop Loan Insurance Scheme. A framework has been finalized and largely agreed upon by banks, representatives of farming community and insurance companies.73 The SBP Task Force will introduce mandatory CLIS for five major crops viz. wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane and maize from Rabi 2008-09. It was also decided that the government will bear the cost of premium on account of subsistence farmers up to a maximum of 2 percent per crop.

6.26.2 Under the scheme, all agri. lending banks are required to insure the agri. production loans through any of the insurance companies offering crop loan insurance products. The risks covered include losses against natural calamities like excessive rain, hail-storm, frost, flood, drought, etc. Crop related diseases like viral and bacterial attacks, or any other damage caused to the crop like locust attack will also be covered. This scheme has been launched from Rabi season FY 2008-09. In case of natural calamity, it will help the farming community in the settlement of their outstanding loans and they will also be eligible to draw fresh loans for future crops. This scheme will not only safeguard the interests of banks and farmers, but will also save huge funds spent by the government in the shape of frequent write-offs/waivers of agricultural loans of ZTBL’s borrowers.

6.27 Agriculture and Environmental Sustainability

6.27.1 The country’s population is predominantly rural and dependent on agricultural lands, rangelands and forests. Natural resources and their sustainable management are, therefore, central to economic growth and people’s livelihoods. The PRSP-II provides an opportunity for mainstreaming environment in all sectors and themes that target poverty reduction, thus maximizing the benefits of interventions and eliminating or minimizing the adverse impacts of the initiatives and interventions. Environment is a cross-cutting issue; the solution to the environmental problems lies beyond the restricted jurisdiction of environmental agencies. Environmental governance, therefore, needs to be integrated into economic decision-making at all levels. However, strategic policy making is obstructed by lack of awareness, information on several critical issues and limited data coverage. Enhancing information and data base in key environmental sectors and dissemination of environmental information should, therefore, be a high policy priority. The poor live in places which are ecologically more vulnerable and are forced to earn their living from low-productivity natural resources. In rural areas, indoor air pollution poses a health hazard to villagers, due to which respiratory diseases are commonly found. The rural poor often live in low-lying, flood-prone areas, on steep mountain slopes or on dry land and possess low-productivity marginal land devoid of any irrigation facilities. The urban poor are found in shanty towns of big cities, which are often built on flood prone, low-lying areas or around city drains; many of the poor earn their livelihood from environmentally hazardous scavenging. Environmental deterioration in the form of land degradation, frequent flood, increased pollution and other hazards reduces the income of both the rural and urban poor making them more vulnerable to environmental shocks than the rich in both rural and urban areas. Against the background of the observation that the poor, especially in rural areas, derive a large part of their livelihood income from environmental resources, especially land resources used for agriculture, some of the practices they follow can be damaging to the environment. Clearing forest areas to create land for agricultural use, including slash-and-burn practices, is an example showing that the poor are responsible for environmental degradation. Certain consumption practices of the poor, such as damaging the forest to acquire firewood to be used for cooking and heating could also be detrimental to the environment. The urban poor, most of whom live in shanty towns, slums/katchi abadis often create unhygienic sanitary conditions because of their lack of access to formal toilet facilities. The rate of deforestation in Pakistan is high. Although forests cover a relatively small proportion of land area in Pakistan, they remain a vital source of direct benefits including fuel-wood, livelihood and government revenue. Forests also provide several indirect services such as watershed protection, soil conservation, carbon sequestration and biodiversity habitat. A major immediate cause of forest loss is over exploitation for subsistence and commercial purpose. Much of the rural population relies on forest resources, while the high timber value gives perverse incentives to harvest in an unsustainable manner. The opportunity cost associated with forests loss can be large considering a wide range of benefits and services they provide.

6.27.2 National Capacity Self Assessment (NCSA) The Ministry of Environment initiated the National Capacity Self Assessment (NCSA) in June 2007 with assistance from UNDP. The total cost of the project is US $1999,000 with expenditure incurred during June-December, 2007 amounting to US $27,298. The NCSA is an assessment and planning exercise to identify country level priorities and needs for capacity building to address global environmental issues, focusing on capacity requirements to implement the three ‘Rio Conventions’ – biodiversity, land degradation and climate change. The NCSA will come out with an Action Plan and a Final Report, which will recommend goals, objectives and strategies for national capacity development including identified priority actions, timeframe, possible funding, responsibilities and means of monitoring and evaluation of outcomes and impacts.

6.27.3 National Land Use Plan Project While the original version of the project was approved in April, 2001 for a period of three years, the Rs 39.21 million worth project has been extended twice since then, and is planned to end by June, 2009. The project aims to compile and integrate isolated information about land and prepare a digital database on land resources inventory in Geographical Information System (GIS) to interpret the state of the country’s environment relating to forestry, climate change, biodiversity, desertification, land degradation, soil erosion, hydrology, hydrogeology, geology and soil types, etc; and also to facilitate adoption of appropriate policy measures to address environmental threats and vulnerabilities. The action plan includes: generation of digital base maps on 1:500,000 scale; generating thematic information; and compiling data relating to depth and quality of ground water, water logging and canal commands provided through IWASRI74 (WAPDA), etc. The National Agriculture Research Council (NARC)75 is engaged in generating field data on agro-climate, aridity index, crop growth index, rainfall, cropping pattern, vegetation classes, population density and agro-based industries.

6.28 Going forward

6.28.1 In brief, the strategy for agriculture during the period of the PRSP-II will focus on increasing productivity, economizing on water, and starting to change the composition of production towards higher value-added items.

6.28.2 Crop productivity will be enhanced through development of high yielding varieties, use of improved and hybrid seed, balanced use of fertilizers and micro-nutrients, integrated pest management, and judicious application of other plant protection measures. The production of high value crops, fruits, vegetables and flowers will be increased and their export will be promoted by improving their quality. The private sector will be encouraged to establish processing, grading, packaging and cold storage facilities through provision of liberal credit and other facilities to promote exports. Additional water storage capacity will be created to bring additional area under cultivation and increase cropping intensity and productivity. Water use efficiency will be improved through precision land leveling, lining of water courses and promoting drip, sprinkler and trickle irrigation system. Timely availability of institutional credit will be ensured and the focus shifted towards disadvantaged groups. Steps will be taken for provision of cheap agricultural inputs to farmers. Sunflower cultivation will be promoted to meet cooking oil needs. The government’s decision to increase wheat procurement price is an attempt to ensure frequent supply of wheat at normal prices and maintenance of an adequate stock. The support price for wheat will be further revised before the next sowing season.

6.28.3 Initiatives/programmes planned for the future: (a) Short and medium term:

  • ▪ Improving services through transfer of technology to growers;
  • ▪ Water resource management;
  • ▪ Income diversification at farm and village levels;
  • ▪ Improving the agricultural marketing system;
  • ▪ Introduction of high value crops in horticulture and medicinal herbs;
  • ▪ Promoting productivity in the livestock and poultry sectors;
  • ▪ Improving the farm input-output relationship;
  • ▪ Improving access to rural credit ;
  • ▪ Value addition and inculcating quality improvement/technologies at farm level in the production system; and
  • ▪ Replacing subsistence farming agriculture with agricultural entrepreneurship. (b) Long term

  • ▪ Improvement in water distribution systems, building water reservoirs, improving water resources and propagating water conservation technologies;
  • ▪ Minimizing post harvest losses at the farm level including crops, livestock, fisheries and allied pursuits;
  • ▪ Establishing cold chains/warehouses in the private sector to minimize post harvest losses;
  • ▪ Establishing a market information system to display prices of agricultural commodities on the pattern of stock exchange; and
  • ▪ Building cool chain infrastructure at ports and airports to facilitate exports of agricultural commodities.

6.28.4 In short, poverty reduction in Pakistan requires rapid growth in agriculture, which has strong potential to create jobs and associated self-employment opportunities. This situation therefore, calls for planned efforts to improve the performance of agriculture to achieve pro-poor growth; help reduce the rising trend of rural poverty in addition to enabling food security by keeping supplies intact, on the one hand, and prices in check, on the other.

Chapter 7 – Pillar IV: Integrated Energy Development Programme

7.1 Over the last 30 years, Asia’s energy consumption has grown by 230 percent. Vehicle fleets are doubling every 5 to 7 years and this reinforces the urgency of producing cost-effective greenhouse gas (GhG) reduction solutions for transport. Pakistan’s development, too, will demand enormous amounts of energy. Alongside other Asian countries, Pakistan must put its energy consumption on a more sustainable path. Rapid urbanization in Pakistan has brought tremendous challenges as cities work to absorb higher populations. Promoting energy efficiency, fuel diversity as well as climate change-friendly actions transcend the boundaries of energy policy and have a direct impact on the poor masses. Policies concerning the development and sustenance of transportation, technology, environment, finance, competition, and investment all have an important role to play.76 The links between sustainable development and energy will require even greater efforts for long term energy security. Ensuring availability of usable affordable energy is therefore the bedrock of Pakistan’s current and future development.

7.2 The private sector ranks problems with electricity among the top three or four most important impediments to investment (Chapter 11). The Poverty Reduction Strategy, which relies on the private sector as the main propellant of growth in Pakistan, must, therefore, pay considerable attention to developing the country’s power resources. Indeed, the remit of the Strategy must be wider and must cover all forms of energy as different sources of energy are required for different purposes, including for transportation, household cooking and power generation. One of the major challenges facing Pakistan is the energy crisis that is intense, costly and multidimensional. Recent power and gas shortages underscore urgent attention to prevent serious derailment of the economy. Tackling the current energy crisis to avoid stifling of growth by rapidly adding more power while simultaneously conserving energy will be a top priority of PRSP-II.

7.3 The demand for energy increases as the growth of a country’s GDP accelerates. Pakistan’s Poverty Reduction Strategy is founded on regaining growth of the GDP; hence one expects the demand for energy to escalate rapidly. Based on historical trends and drawing on the experience of other fast-growing economies, Pakistan projects annual growth in energy of 7.2 percent up to 2010 and 8.8 percent thereafter.77 According to the updated demand forecast prepared by National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC), the power demand is expected to increase by 8.5 percent for the period 2008-10 and 7.7 percent for the period 2010-15.78 Pakistan’s total energy requirements by 2030 will be 361 MTOE (Million Tons Oil Equivalent) compared with 60.4 MTOE in FY 2006/07.79

7.4 Energy Consumption

7.4.1 A structural shift has taken place in energy consumption since FY 1997/98 onwards. While the consumption of petroleum products is exhibiting a declining trend, the consumption of gas, coal and electricity is rising.

Table 7.1:Annual energy consumption

Petroleum ProductsGasElectricityCoal






2007-08 (e)18,0807.31,275,2124.473,4000.910,110.828.1
Note: e - estimated for coal

Million Tonnes

Source: Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan & Finance Division, EA Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.
Note: e - estimated for coal

Million Tonnes

Source: Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan & Finance Division, EA Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.

7.4.2 It is essential to provide adequate energy to industry to drive economic growth and create employment opportunities; to the domestic sector for cooking and heating; and to prevent the continuing environmental degradation and deforestation by massive use of wood for domestic fuel. Per capita energy consumption in FY 2004/05 was only 14 million BTU80 in Pakistan, compared with 92 million BTU for Malaysia and 34 million BTU for China. This figure increased to 16 BTU during FY 2006/07.81

7.4.3 Access to electricity in the country is quite high, but the proportion of consumers using less than 60 units per month per household is equally high. Per capita electricity consumption (402 kwh) is less than one-sixth the world average of 2,516 kwh. Consumption of electricity during FY 1997/98 to FY 2006/07 increased by an average rate of 5.5 percent per annum; and 0.9 percent during FY 2007/08.82 Targets are to raise energy per capita consumption of electricity to 504.89/kwh in FY 2010/11 from 477.66/kwh during FY 2005/0683. Electricity consumption grew in all economic sectors during the last five years. The sectoral consumption of electricity by economic groups identifies the domestic sector as the largest consumer of electricity for the past many years. During FY 2007/08, the share of domestic consumption was at 45.9 percent, industrial at 28.2 percent and agricultural at 11.5 percent84.

Table 7.2:Electricity consumption by economic groups(percentage share)




Source: Water and Power Development Authority & Finance Division, EA Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.
Source: Water and Power Development Authority & Finance Division, EA Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.

7.4.4 Given the rising share of energy in the total cost of production, due to high costs of primary energy, Pakistan’s economy will become non competitive if it does not address energy efficiency. At the same time it must be recognized that inefficiency increases the delivered cost of energy making it less affordable unless subsidies are increased. Energy efficiency needs to be given at least as much attention as building new capacity. It is worth noting, as per the MTDF, Pakistan’s steel industry uses double the amount of energy per tonNE compared to the world average. In terms of energy intensity Pakistan uses more energy per US $ of GDP compared with India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

7.5 Structure of Pakistan’s Energy Sector

7.5.1 Although Pakistan’s energy resources are diverse (comprising power, oil, gas, coal, nuclear and renewable sources), the country is in energy deficit due to sub-optimal development, exploitation and management of energy resources. The sector remains institutionally fragmented (Figure 7.1), and lacks integrated energy planning to analyze/develop a consolidated action plan in order to address the country’s energy needs during the short, medium and long term. The energy sector policy remains with the government, while the power sector is regulated by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).

Figure 7.1:Organizational structure of the energy sector in Pakistan

Note: All entities at one level/hierarchy share information on a need to know basis

Source: Asian Development Bank (ADB), Islamabad Office, November, 2008.

7.6 An Integrated Approach to Energy

7.6.1 Energy security is becoming a major concern globally, arguably being ranked second to food security. Management of the energy sector is fragmented spread over a number of Ministries, agencies and regulators at the federal and provincial levels. No single ministry or regulatory body has over-arching responsibility for managing energy affairs. With Pakistan being a net energy importer and with energy needs being supplied from multiple sources there is scope for optimization through integrated planning and oversight of implementation. An empowered and effective link between the planners and those who implement plans will ensure improved information for decision making, realistic planning and faster implementation of projects. It should lead to faster and timely response to changes in domestic and geopolitical realities. The country needs to start thinking in terms of energy rather than gas, oil, coal and electricity. Energy is scarce and an integrated look at energy is needed to allocate scarce resource on the basis of maximum economic benefit. Such an integrated look will help develop a least cost approach to energy policy and pricing and minimize the cost of subsidies. Once true economic costs and benefits are established, issues such as pricing of peak power or using captive power can be effectively addressed.

7.7 Power sector

7.7.1 Key challenges specific to the power sector include:

  • ▪ To improve supply-demand balance through additional least-cost power generation, de-bottleneck transmission and distribution systems;
  • ▪ reduce subsidies and allowing cost recovery tariffs by distribution companies;
  • ▪ inject cash into the sector to stem asset deterioration;
  • ▪ strengthen corporate governance by discharging ownership responsibilities; and
  • ▪ toughen sector policies and regulations.

Figure 7.2:Power sector market in Pakistan

Source: Asian Development Bank (ADB), Islamabad Office, November, 2008.

7.7.2 In order to mobilize private sector investment for the power sector, an independent power projects (IPP) policy was launched in 1994 and reviewed in 1998 and 2002. A Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) was set up to provide one window support to the private sector. The government also set up the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in 1997. In 1998 the government embarked upon a programme of unbundling Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) through corporatization and commercialization. Pakistan’s power sector has historically been dominated by public sector utility oligopolies, WAPDA and KESC. Over the years, these institutions emerged as large, monolithic, vertically integrated utilities with overstaffing, financial and technical inefficiencies, and a lack of competitive spirit. WAPDA owns about 59.6 percent of the country’s total power generation capacity and serves about 88 percent of all the electricity customers in the country.85

7.7.3 The government privatized KESC and reorganized WAPDA into nine distribution companies called DISCOs, one National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) and four thermal generation companies called GENCOs. Hydroelectric power development and operation functions remain with WAPDA. In order to carry out this restructuring and re-organization, a facilitation/management company owned by the government called the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) was incorporated in 1998. In order to take the reform process to the next level, the government has separated the chairmanship of WAPDA and PEPCO. The nine DISCOs, NTDC and GENCOs work independently incorporated with the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) as public limited corporate companies under their own Board of Directors with equal representation of members from the private sector including the Chairman. The DISCOs’ loss reduction projects coupled with the introduction of competition in power and in natural gas supply are all efforts towards reducing energy costs.

7.7.4 During the last five years especially, the government has made strenuous efforts to expand the production of electricity and to increase access to this resource. Total electricity generation increased from 67,500 Gwh in FY 2000/01 to 87,992 Gwh in FY 2004/05 and 1.7 million new consumers were added in the WAPDA and KESC systems. In financial terms, an amount of Rs 73.4 billion was utilized for the power sector during FY 2001-05. The total installed capacity of WAPDA stood at 11,363 MW during FY 2007/08 (Table 7.3). Of this, hydel power accounts for 55.6 percent and thermal for 44.4 percent. The total installed capacity of IPPs is 5,760 MW (29.4 percent) followed by KESC’s (1,690 MW) and nuclear power (462 MW). The share of public sector in total installed capacity is 70.6 percent while private sector accounts for 29.4 percent.

Figure 7.3:WAPDA – Overview of performance86

Table 7.3:Total installed generation capacity (MW)

Installed Capacity


Installed Capacity FY


Note: * Share in WAPDA systemSource: Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan & Finance Division, EA Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.
Note: * Share in WAPDA systemSource: Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan & Finance Division, EA Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.

7.7.5 Several public sector power projects including Allai Khwar (121MW), Khan Khwar (72MW), Dubair Khwar (130MW), Golan Gol (106MW), Malakand-III (81MW), Keyal Khwar (130MW) and Jinnah low head (96MW) are at different stages of implementation87. In addition, hydel projects, namely Malakand-III (81MW) in NWFP, Battar (4.8MW) in AJK and Naltar (18MW) in Northern Areas under the provincial programme have been approved for implementation.

7.7.6 Immediate future investment plans of DISCOs include the Power Distribution Enhancement Project funded by ADB for eight DISCOs (LESCO, GEPCO, FESCO, IESCO, MEPCO, PESCO, HESCO and QESCO). Twenty percent of the project cost will be borne by the DISCOs’ own resources. The total project cost is worth Rs. 20.4 billion. The World Bank funded Electricity Distribution and Transmission Improvement Project for four DISCOs (LESCO, IESCO, MEPCO and HESCO) and NTDC will cost US $256 million (US $1 = Rs. 60.9). The investment plan for GENCOs is as follows:

Table 7.4:Investment Plans of GENCOs for the PRSP-II Period(2008-11)
Sr. No.ProjectFuelCapacity (MW)Expected Commercial Operation DateProject Cost (Rs. billion)Exchange Rate (US $1 = Rs. 1)Entity
1.Nandipur Power ProjectOil425Dec 201022.3661GENCO-III
2.Chichoki Mallian Power ProjectGas525Mar 201131.2262GENCO-III
3.Guddu Power ProjectGas750Apr 201143.0061GENCO-II
Source: Ministry of Water and Power, Power Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.
Source: Ministry of Water and Power, Power Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.

7.8 Energy Crisis

7.8.1 The link between sustainable development and energy will require even greater efforts for long term energy security. Crisis management including installation of rental power plants in the private sector and reduction of peak demand through energy conservation and load management measures, since one MW reduced is in fact one MW generated. Short term measures include installation of new power plants in the public sector and fast-track power generation capacity enhancement through addition of 2000 MW in GENCOs and additional rental plants of 1300 ME before the end of FY 2008-09. Energy Management and Conservation (EMC), PEPCO has set up a special EMC Cell, while the Ministry of Water and Power has set up a Power System Operation Committee and Power Planning Committee to resolve related matters and undertake comprehensive planning on power issues on a consultative basis with relevant stakeholders. Medium term measures include a combination of supply side as well as demand side actions further supplemented by a continuing Energy Conservation Plan (discussed later in the chapter). With these efforts, decrease in the energy gap is aimed to be reduced by 500-1000 MW by 2008-09 while the goal of complete elimination of the gap will occur during the PRSP-II period.88

7.8.2 Over a longer period, large coal based plants with a total capacity of 3000 MW by FY 2011/12, followed by large hydel power plants (5000) MW by FY 2013-15 are essential for ensuring lower cost generation in lieu of the current high cost of fuel oil and rental based power plants89. The following table illustrates details of NTDC’s Power Distribution Enhancement Project, 20 percent of which will be funded by NTDC’s own resources whereas 80 percent of the cost will be borne out of lending from ADB.

Table 7.5:Costing Details of Power Distribution Enhancement Project of NTDC(2008–11)
Power Distribution Enhancement Project Tranche-1 PC-1 costRs 15.6 billion
ADBUS $226 million
Power Distribution Enhancement Project Tranche-2 PC-1 costRs 25 billion
ADBUS $220 million
Source: Ministry of Water and Power, Power Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.
Source: Ministry of Water and Power, Power Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.

7.8.3 In light of the government’s role to ensure adequate supplies of energy to meet the growth needs of the economy, the government has several dams lined up for completion as described in Table 7.6.

Table 7.6:Power projects planned for the PRSP-II period
Key InterventionsTargetsOutcomes
Power projects/Dams90:

Thermal power projects to generate 2000–2500 MW energy under various stages of implementation at: Chichoki Mallian, Nandipur, Guddu, Dadu and Faisalabad

Hydel power projects:

Large dams under construction to be completed during 2013–2018: Kurram Tangi (83 MW); Akhori (600 MW); Munda (740 MW); Diamer Bhasha (4500 MW)

Public sector hydropower projects under construction: Neelum Jhelum, Golan Gol--106 MW (detailed engineering and tender documents completed), Keyal Khwar--130 MW (feasibility study completed), Malakand-III--81 MW (partly commissioned)
Medium sized hydropower dams to be completedMirani;



(15.8 MW);

Mangla Dam Raising Project

(120 MW addl.


Khwar (72 MW);

Jinnah (96


Gomal Zam (17.4 MW)

Khwar (21 MW);


Khwar (130 MW)
Additional hydopower power

generation, as well as, live storage for agriculture, development of fisheries
Source: Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources and Ministry of Water & Power, Government of Pakistan, October, 2008.
Source: Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources and Ministry of Water & Power, Government of Pakistan, October, 2008.

7.9 Efficient Procurement of New Energy Generation

7.9.1 Pakistan has one of the most advanced Public Private Partnership programmes in the power sector with about 30 percent of its generation capacity being in the private sector. It has also gradually expanded the scope of this programme from thermal to hydro and wind power. The response of the private sector continues to be positive.

7.9.2 However a lack of proper planning for additional capacity and timely action may be resulting in suboptimal pricing. The power policy envisages procurement of private generation capacity through competitive as well as negotiated basis. However, due to delayed and reactive rather than proactive action to capacity demand, the government continues to find itself in a situation where it does not have time for competitive bids and has to contract new capacity on a cost plus model. The current practice results in a higher level of investment over a shorter period which pushes up price due to higher country risk perceptions and available funds for the country. A more level investment demand would reduce these risk perceptions.

7.10 Village Electrification

7.10.1 The government is determined to spread electricity to all parts of the country especially the rural areas. The village electrification programme is an integral part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy and seeks to increase the productive capacity and to raise the social economic standards of the population living in far-flung. The target is to electrify all the villages in the country by 2010.

Table 7.7:PRSP rural electrification allocations up to FY 2006-08 (Rs million)
Provisional Expenditure

Source: Finance Division, Government of Pakistan, 2008.
Source: Finance Division, Government of Pakistan, 2008.
Table 7.8:Village Electrification

(number of villages)91

YearAddition During the Year

7.10.2 In the eight years prior to FY 2003/4, the number of villages electrified increased at an annual rate of only 3.3 percent; during that period 16,637 villages received electricity. In the three subsequent years, the rate of village electrification accelerated sharply to 11.6 percent per annum and provided electricity to 25,788 villages. The number of electrified villages has increased from 117,456 on 30th June 2007 to 129,686 by FY 2007/08. Moreover, local stakeholders have been invited to review the programme; future village electrification progress will be verified by district governments and they will be engaged in implementing the programme. Rs 2,499 million of PRSP expenditure was spent on this purpose during FY 2006/07, while Rs 2,748 million was spent during FY 2007/08.

7.11 Oil and Gas

7.11.1 The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has been set up to regulate the petroleum, oil and gas activities and look after the interests of consumers. Government Holdings (Pvt.) Limited has also became operational which handles government’s participation in petroleum exploration joint ventures.

7.11.2 The Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project, currently under approval by the government, is an arrangement under which Iran would provide 2.1 billion cubic feet of gas per day in the first phase, and 3.2 billion cubic feet during the second phase, to Pakistan. The construction work of the pipeline, worth approximately US $3 billion, will begin next year, while the first gas delivery is expected in 2012. Regional linkages will be established and possibilities explored for importing power from Central Asian Countries. Current linkages with Iran will be expanded for importing power particularly in remote areas of Balochistan.

7.11.3 In order to augment the transmission system of gas utilities, the Gas Infrastructure Development Project has been completed. About 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day was injected into the system for supply to both the power sector and industry. Moreover work on the 817 km cross-country White Oil Pipeline has also been completed. Utilization of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) was encouraged in the transport sector to improve urban air quality and reduce carbon emissions. About 650,000 vehicles would be converted on CNG. The Government issued directives to promote CNG in the transport sector as an alternate fuel. About 700 CNG stations are aimed to be established in different parts of the country. The use of CNG would be expanded as about 100,000 cars and 10,000 buses would be added every year to the existing stock of the country. A programme of dedicated CNG city buses would be undertaken, initially in federal and provincial capitals, and subsequently, the programme will be extended to other urban centres.

7.11.4 The main objectives of the CNG Policy, initiated by the government in 2007 are: to encourage CNG as a substitute of liquid fuel to reduce import bill; to provide cheaper and environmental friendly fuel; to discourage mushrooming growth of CNG outlets, with the announcement that there should be at least one km distance between two CNG stations; enforcing better industry discipline & safety culture in the CNG sector; introducing CNG technology for import of natural gas; using CNG for town gasification where supply of pipeline gas is not viable. Other gas initiatives include the Underground Gas Storages (UGS) Project. The ultimate goal of these efforts is: to increase exploration and production of crude oil, coal and gas; enhance the number of wells drilled; increase the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) supply (tonnes/day) to overcome energy shortage; and to promote the use of CNG in the transport sector as an alternate fuel.

7.12 Petroleum Exploration and Production (E&P) Policy 2008

7.12.1 The Government of Pakistan (GoP) is committed to accelerate an exploration and development programme in order to reverse the decline in crude oil production, to increase the domestic gas production and supply and to reduce the burden of imported energy which otherwise will have adverse effect on the balance of payments & trade. The Petroleum Exploration and Production (E&P) Policy, initially approved by the government in November, 2007, unfortunately could not take off due to the following reasons; seismic and E&P work could not be undertaken in new areas to assess potential due to the law and order situation in the prospective areas particularly Balochistan and NWFP provinces, and the non-availability of rigs in the country. However, the Ministry of Petroleum has prepared a new Petroleum (E&P) Policy, 2008, which has been circulated to the relevant stakeholders and will be resubmitted for approval by the government shortly.92 The E&P Policy will establish related policies, and a tax and pricing regime for the E&P sector. The offshore Petroleum Policy was revised and production-sharing formula introduced to attract private investment in high risk offshore petroleum exploration. To make the refinery operations competitive and to provide a level playing field for the public and private sectors, government permission will not be required for setting up new refineries or expanding the existing ones. Principal objectives of this Policy include:

  • To accelerate E&P activities in Pakistan with a view to achieve maximum self sufficiency in energy by increasing oil and gas production and, therefore, to reduce the current onerous burden on the balance of payments and trade;
  • To promote direct foreign investment in Pakistan by increasing the competitiveness of its terms of investment in the upstream sector without reducing tax revenues;
  • To promote the involvement of Pakistani oil and gas companies in the country’s upstream investment opportunities;
  • To train Pakistani professionals in E&P sector to international standards and create favourable conditions for their retention within the country;
  • To enable a more proactive management of resources through establishment of a strengthened DGPC and providing the necessary control and procedures to enhance the effective management of Pakistan’s petroleum reserves; and
  • To undertake exploitation of oil and gas resources in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and responsible manner. Estimates for drilling in the E&P sector under the Policy are illustrated in Table 7.9 below:
Table 7.9:Estimates for drilling in the E&P sector during the PRSP-II period
Drilling of oil and gas wells606570
Enhancing indigenous gas production (MMCFD)410042004300
Enhancing indigenous oil production (BOPD)710007300075000
Source: Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Government of Pakistan, October, 2008.
Source: Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Government of Pakistan, October, 2008.

7.13 Enhancing Coal Based Generation

7.13.1 With rapidly declining domestic natural gas resources, there is a need to reassess the economics of alternatives particularly the use of domestic and imported coal. The development of domestic coal has unfortunately suffered partly due to multiple and overlapping responsibilities and to a certain extent owing to efforts to integrate mining and power production. At the same time, imported coal was seen as a replacement for domestic coal and thus not encouraged when in reality imported coal is a substitute for imported oil and both domestic and imported coal are needed if Pakistan’s cost of power generation is to be competitive. Countries like China and India have also entered the international coal market to ensure long term supplies as part of their energy security plan. It may be noted that the world’s coal reserves to production ratio are 5 times that of oil and three times that of natural gas.93 Pakistan’s initiative of starting work on 2000 MW based on imported coal is in the right direction and it needs to build further on this initiative. Development of domestic coal should be addressed in a more systematic manner including the option of segregating mining from power generation where initial cost of mining development may be high as in the case of Thar. Enhanced use of coal would not only diversify Pakistan’s fuel base but will also reduce the cost of power generation and improve the country’s competitiveness.

7.14 Energy Conservation Programme

7.14.1 An energy conservation programme will be undertaken including enactment of necessary laws by Ministry of Science and Technology and ENERCON (National Energy Conservation Centre, Ministry of Environment), for energy efficient building designs, use and manufacturing of energy efficient appliances. Co-generation technologies to conserve energy would be promoted. ENERCON would develop a mechanism to monitor strict compliance of energy conservation laws. The power sector is one of the major contributors of emission of greenhouse gases accounting for over 80 percent of total carbondioxide (CO2) emission. The main source of these emissions is due to heavy use of fuel oil in power generation. During the MTDF period (2005-10), conversion of existing thermal power stations from fuel oil to natural gas would substantially reduce the CO2 and particulate emission.94 It is estimated by National Energy Conservation Centre (ENERCON) that energy conversion and implementation of low cost and medium cost measures at the national scale can bring about a saving of around 250,000 tonnes of oil equivalent i.e. an estimated saving of about Rs. 4 billion per annum. The cost of retrofit measures would only be a fraction of the cost of these savings. The Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) has also designed five types of efficient cooking stoves suitable for rural areas. These cooking stoves, which provide fuel saving against traditional stoves in the range of 25 to 45 percent, would also be marketed.

7.14.2 Pakistan is responding to its energy development challenge by pursuing a wide range of domestic and imported energy options. These include import of gas as LNG and through pipeline and import of power from Central Asia & Iran. At the same time, development of significant but challenging Thar coal is being pursued. In addition, two 1000 MW private sector power generation projects based on imported coal, are also at advanced feasibility stages. A number of Independent Power Projects (IPPs) projects have been contracted and are in different stages of development. The Government has also come out with a new policy to encourage investment in hydrocarbon exploration. Renewable Energy (RE) projects are being promoted with a target of 10 percent of energy mix to be met from renewable sources by 2015. A number of energy efficiency projects are at an early stage of development. A strategy is being developed to finance large hydropower projects.

7.14.3 Major issues include the slow development rate of indigenous resources, including hydel, coal, oil, gas and renewable, which has aggravated the overall supply position. The lingering deadlock over major reservoir dam/power projects has virtually held hostage the development of huge hydro resources. The non-availability of feasibility studies of potential sites has further added to the delays in utilization of hydel resources. In addition, relatively limited infrastructure has hindered the development of oil and gas in the country. Recognizing the importance of exploitation of renewable energy, projects totaling 800 MW are also envisaged for implementation during 2005-10. The local production of oil and gas would start declining due to depletion of resources from the year 2010. There would also be a deficit of gas unless considerable contribution is made from new discoveries. In case the gap is not met through indigenous supply, there will be need to import gas, and the requisite infrastructure would have to be placed in a timely manner. There will be a gas and petroleum products deficit throughout the PRSP-II period which will be met through imports. The current coal deficit of about 3 million tonnes per annum (including 1 million tonnes for Pakistan Steel Mills) will remain to be met as local coal cannot be used due to its quality constraints. The planned import of natural gas as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and also through pipelines is aimed at bridging the gap between demand and supply. Here, the trade/transport/energy/industry corridor being designed from the new port of Gwadar to the north of the country and beyond to China and Central Asia will play an important role.

7.14.4 The strategy for the power sector comprises four main elements. The first is a much higher rate of investment in order to generate and distribute more power. Several power generating stations have been improved (see previous sections in this chapter), while others are in various stages of preparation. Table 7.10 shows the future power generation plan of Pakistan.

Table 7.10:Power generation plan(2005-30)
Sources: Planning Commission of Pakistan & Economic Survey, Government of Pakistan, 2008.
Sources: Planning Commission of Pakistan & Economic Survey, Government of Pakistan, 2008.

7.14.5 To overcome the growing shortage of electricity; gas, oil and coal-based power generation can help Pakistan to meet its requirements in the short-to-medium-term. Due to escalating oil prices and shortage of gas supply, coal-based electricity generation is the best option as Pakistan possesses 185 billion tonnes of coal reserves. The government has planned for transmission of an additional 2,200 MW within a period of 12 months by April 2009. These projects comprise 81 MW of hydel and 1,007 MW of thermal power in the public sector and 1,020 MW in the private sector.95 The government has also launched effective conservation measures which include distribution of 10 million energy saver bulbs to consumers. These measures are expected to save about 1,000 MW at peak hours. In the medium term, small hydro dam projects can make significant contribution to the national energy supply, while in the long run hydel power generation and alternative renewable energy can solve these problems.

7.14.6 The second element in the Strategy relates to finance. The total investment for the power sector during the MTDF is estimated at Rs 1102 billion, and of which the government expects to mobilize Rs 445 billion from the private sector. The overall investment level will be kept under constant review, and in case the private sector falls short of mobilizing expected resources, the government is preparing a contingency strategy that includes, inter alia, offering enhanced sovereign guarantees.96

7.14.7 Certain strategic actions need to be taken in parallel and on a priority basis to arrest energy shortages and to support related initiatives since the energy sector requires huge financial resources. There are limits to raising funds against the government’s contingent liability and steps are required to strengthen the revenue and cash flows of the sector entities and improve their credit ratings. This financial weakness has placed an unsustainable burden on the government’s budgetary position, impacting the entire economy. The government’s initiative in encouraging Public Private Partnerships is the right step in this direction. The success in attracting private investment to a certain extent is dependent on the financial strength of the contracting public sector given its tendency to cause delays and attempt partial implementation of necessary and agreed reforms. In the power sector distribution companies have not been able to charge cost recovery rates, whereas generation companies and IPPs have had real cost adjustments for their tariffs. The deficit amount is covered by the government as a subsidy to electricity customers. However, the total cost of this subsidy, along with the subsidy in tariffs is not sustainable.97 Alongside, the government is encumbered with liabilities to oil companies for differential between the regulator approved prices and consumer prices on petroleum products. The absorption of the increase in oil prices by the government is straining its budgetary position and negatively impacting the ability of the public sector to carry out necessary capital and attract private investments. The recent adjustment to petroleum prices and electricity tariffs is a step in the right direction, while the accumulated debt of the sector needs to be restructured. The investment plans of IPPs, which amount to approximately US $4 billion are illustrated below:

Table 7.11:Expected Investment in IPPs in next 3 years(2008-11)

Name of IPPInstalled Capacity (MW)Fuel


Life Span
Capital Cost (US $ million)Commercial Operation DateLocation
1.Sapphire Electric Company Ltd209Gas & RFO30203.020.06.2009Sheikhupura
2.Saif Power Generation209Gas & RFO30199.70Aug 2009Sahiwal
3.Halmore Power Generation Co.209Gas & RFO30110E + $79.44Dec 2010Bhikki
4.Star Power Generation Ltd.133Gas & RFO25196.39Mar 2010Jarwal Sindh

Foundation Power Co.
179Gas & RFO25216.81Jul 2009Dharki
6.Orient Power Company Ltd.212.7Gas & RFO30182.07Mar 2010Baloki

Generation Ltd.
150RFO25148.6Jan 2009Rawalpindi
8.Engro Power Project117Flared25228.97JulyGhotki Sindh
9.Atlus Power Project225RFO25228.26Feb 2009Sheikhupura
10.Nishat Power150RFO25203.84Dec 2009Pattoki
11.Nishat Chunian117RFO25203.84Jun 2010Pattoki
12.Liberty Power225RFO25239.81Dec 2010M-3 Industrial State Faisalabad
13.HUBCO Narrowal200RFO25274.25Mar 2010Narrowal
14.Rental Power Sumandri Road200RFO3135.0Mar 2009Faisalabad
15.Rental Power Guddu200Gas372.0Mar 2009Guddu
16.Rental Power Multan225RFO/Gas4208.0Apr 2009Multan
17.Sahuwala Sialkot150RFO/Gas4165.0Apr 2009Sialkot
18.6 Wind Power Projects300-25720.02010Sindh Province
Total: US $4026 million
Source: Ministry of Water and Power, Power Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.
Source: Ministry of Water and Power, Power Wing, Government of Pakistan, December, 2008.

7.14.8 Another source of finance as well as of policy and technical advice is the international development community. In order to meet the additional power generation requirement of 143,310 MW during 2005–2030, an investment of about US $150 billion will be required. The average government investment per year is planned at US $2 billion, with the balance of US $4 billion per year met through international development agencies and the private sector (including through BOT projects and Public Private Partnerships).

Box 7.1:Private Sector Investments—Potential Pipeline

The Asian Development Bank is Pakistan’s single largest development partner in the energy sector followed by the World Bank and JBIC and has strong presence (through investment projects and analytical and project preparatory assistance) across the power supply chain in the country.

(i)Axor/Dawood Wind Power Project: The project will be a 50-MW wind power IPP in Southern Sindh. Tariff for the project has been notified and the project’s CCP stands approved.

(ii)Rajdhani Power Project: Hydro IPP following ADB’s participation in the New Bong Escape Hydro IPP. No major environmental risks.

(iii)LNG Project: Integrated LNG project for supplying gas to Sui Southern Gas Company distribution network.

(iv)Landhi Cattle Colony Biofuel Project: Involves converting (currently polluting) dung from 400,000 cows to 25MW of electric power, 2,000tpd of fertilizer, and 1.1 mtpa of carbon emission credits. The cost of the project is US $100 million. The project is currently in pilot stages.

Source: Asian Development Bank (ADB), Islamabad Office, November, 2008.

7.14.9 The third prong in the strategy is strengthening of institutions. Public Sector companies such as Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL), Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGCL) and other energy sector entities will be privatized during FY 2009/10.98

7.14.10 In 1998 the government unbundled WAPDA, splitting it into companies that are expected to be leaner and more agile in responding to changing circumstances. However, the successor companies have not yet been given financial autonomy, and WAPDA continues to tightly manage the affairs of the power sector. The main efforts during the PRSP, therefore, will be directed towards deepening sector structural reforms by enhancing the corporate autonomy of WAPDA’s successor companies (especially in distribution). In particular, the government will transfer all responsibilities for financial management of sector revenues from consumers and the government budget (in the form of subsidies) to the distribution companies. Other objectives of the strategy are to strengthen the management and operation of the wholesale market, and to improve sector governance and regulation in order to increase the efficiency of the sector. One way of doing this could be to reduce peak loads by shifting usages from peak to of-peak times and thereby deferring construction of new facilities. This shift could be achieved through the use of time-of-day or seasonal tariffs.

7.14.11The fourth critical element in the government’s strategy is to diversify the energy mix. Pakistan’s energy sources include hydropower, coal, oil and gas, uranium, and alternate energy sources such as the sun and the wind. The projected composition and utilization of energy sources from 2005 to 2030 are detailed in Table 7.12 and Figure 7.4.

Table 7.12:Energy mix and demand projections, 2005–2030(MTOE and percent)
CurrentShort TermMedium TermLong Term
Total MTOE50.879.39120.18177.35255.37361.31
Oil15.2030%20.6926%32.5 127%45.4725.7%57.9322.7%66.8418.5%
Natural Gas25.4550%38.9949%52.9844%77.8544%114.8445 %162.5845%
Coal3.306.5%7.169%14.451 2%24.7714.0%38.2815%68.6519%
Hydro6.4312.7%11.0313.9%16.4013.6%2 14412.1%30.5012%38.9310.8%
Source: Planning Commission, MTDF 2005–2010.
Source: Planning Commission, MTDF 2005–2010.

Figure 7.4:Projected composition and utilization of energy sources, 2005’2030 (MTOE)

Source: Planning Commission, MTDF 2005–2010.

7.14.12 The current energy mix includes 50 percent natural gas, 30 percent oil, 12.7 percent hydroelectricity, 6.5 percent coal, and 0.8 percent nuclear. The natural gas reserves are expected to start declining after 2010. Pakistan will, therefore, have to focus on energy conservation and shift the balance of energy production from oil to nuclear, wind, solar and other alternative energy sources. The strategy seeks to diversify the energy mix by expanding the share of coal, nuclear and renewable energy from the present combined share of 20 to 36 percent by 2030, even as the amount of energy grows from 55 MTOE to 361 MTOE in 2030.

7.15 Subsidies

7.15.1 In order to ease the burden on public finances the government will reconsider the question of power sector subsidies, which currently amount to about 1 percent of GDP. The government is managing Rs 121 billion tariff differential shortfall for FY 2008/09. Out of this, the government is providing Rs 65 billion while the remaining will be passed onto consumers.99 Average annual subsidy given to lifeline consumers is Rs 10.35 billion out of which Rs 3.04 billion have been built in the tariff. The government has a firm commitment to remove all subsidies on oil and electricity by end 2008 and June 2009 in pursuance of which, 31 percent increase in electricity tariff was already made in September, 2008, while the petroleum subsidy was brought down to less than Rs 7/litre from a high of Rs 50/litre.100

7.16 Renewable Energy Sources

7.16.1 The objectives of policy for the Development of Renewable Energy for Power Generation, 2006 include increasing the deployment of renewable energy technologies in Pakistan so as to provide a higher targeted proportion of the national energy supply mix and also help ensure universal access to electricity in all regions of the country. As a first step, Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has been established to facilitate development of renewable energy i.e. solar energy, wind energy, and bio-fuels. The authorities will accelerate programmes for the use of alternate energy (especially wind), which have the potential to provide more than 5 percent of the electricity supply needed in 2030.

7.16.2 Wind Energy: Since 2001, global wind capacity has nearly doubled to 47,760 MW101 and is cheaper than natural gas. Pakistan has some excellent sites to exploit wind energy. A section of the coastal area of Sindh has been identified as having wind power potential of 50,000 MW. With improved site studies, better project planning, R&D and learning, cost of wind energy projects can be reduced to acceptable levels of around US 6.0 cents/kwh and even below. The government is preparing a contingency strategy that includes, inter alia, offering enhanced sovereign guarantees. Moreover, managing power projects up to 50 MW have already been delegated to the provinces.

7.16.3 Solar Energy: Pakistan has not so far used its solar potential to save on conventional energy, although its central and southern parts can be used for solar thermal power plants. Despite the high generation cost of solar power at present, the mid-term prospects are promising due to the expected technological improvements and economies of mass production. AEDB will also undertake a comprehensive plan for the development of solar products like solar lights, solar fans, solar cookers and solar geysers through the participation of private sector.102

7.16.4 Bio-fuels: Pakistan has started work on bio-fuels (ethanol and bio diesel) for provision of efficient and sustainable energy. Under AEDB a pilot project of using Ethanol as an alternative fuel for vehicles has been launched in cooperation with HDIP and PSO. Furthermore, a pilot project for production of bio-diesel has been successfully implemented and using local agriculture bio-diesel for village electrification. The government has introduced ‘The National Policy for Power Co-Generation’ by sugar industries (the Co-Gen Policy). Co-Generation is a highly-efficiency energy system that produces both electricity (mechanical Power) and valuable heat from a single fuel source. Pakistan has a potential of generating more than 3,000 MW of electricity through co-generation from its existing sugar industry.

7.17 Energy Security Plan (ESP)

7.17.1 Considering the critical importance of maintaining energy efficiency and security for ensuring sustainable growth, a Task Force was set up by the government to prepare a comprehensive report, based on which the government approved the Energy Security Plan (ESP), 2005-15 on 15th February 2005. Salient features of the ESP include:

  • ▪ Increasing exploratory efforts to significantly enhance the annual production levels of gas and oil. Offshore exploration will also be intensified;
  • ▪ Improving and expanding oil-gas distribution networks, both within the country and internationally;
  • ▪ Facilitating Oil and Gas Development Corporation and other local oil and gas exploration companies in entering into joint ventures for overseas projects for securing oil and gas reserves;
  • ▪ Diversifying the energy mix, by expanding the share of coal, nuclear and renewable energy from its current combined share of 20 percent to 36 percent by 2030, even as the amount of energy grows from 55 MTOE to 361 MTOE in 2030;
  • ▪ Accelerating current programmes in alternate energy (especially wind), which have the potential to provide more than 5 percent of the electricity supply needed in 2030 as incorporated in the ESP;
  • ▪ Promoting extensive use of coal-fired plants based on indigenous and imported coal, with strong policies for making its use eco-friendly. Carbon capture and sequestration will be aggressively promoted;
  • ▪ Increasing storage capacity, so that strategic reserves which currently stand at 29 days of demand or less are brought closer to the United States’ 60-day supply by 2015 and Europe’s 90 days by 2030;
  • ▪ Developing hydropower resources being cheap and eco-friendly;
  • ▪ Reducing vehicle emissions through accelerating the use of mass transit systems in major cities to meet the mobility needs of the public as well as hybrid vehicles;
  • ▪ Promoting efficient use of energy through energy conservation and demand management measures;
  • ▪ Building up the local power engineering industry with power plant equipment, steam turbines, and generators; and
  • ▪ Initiating research in emerging thrust areas such as fusion, fuel cells, and hydrogen for energy generation and storage.

7.17.2 During the last four years 48 oil/gas discoveries were made in the country. Out of these production from 19 discoveries have started whereas the other discoveries are at appraisal/development stage. It is expected that oil/gas extraction from 16 fields will start in 2009. These discoveries have so far resulted in 2.949 TCF of gas and 948 million US barrels of oil. Another component of the Energy Security Plan is to expedite development of Tal (district Kohat), which has the potential to meet the entire energy demand of North Pakistan. In this regard, Manzalai well is producing gas since February, 2005. Current production is 21.5 MMCFD gas and 224 barrels of condensate; the second phase of the development plan is expected to be completed in the first half of 2009. Makori field of Tal block is also currently producing 30 MMCFD of gas and 2256 barrels of condensate; development will be completed in 2011. Exploration of Manikhel field is expected to start in July 2009 and will be tentatively completed within a period of two years.103

7.17.3 With reference to the country’s present power shortage, new power plants will be installed on emergency basis, which would start generating 220MW by the end of 2008. An austerity campaign will be launched to save power, through which 500MW electricity is aimed to be saved. Water course lining and urgent construction of small water dams will further overcome the problem of water and power shortage. The government will initiate ‘Electricity Distribution and Transmission Project’ (mentioned above) and ‘Power Transmission Enhancement Investment Programmes’ jointly with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). PEPCO has been directed to ensure provision of 10 million energy saving bulbs at a reasonable price. Capacity of Thar-Coal Power Project will be enhanced to produce electricity from 5,000 MW to 20,000 MW.

7.17.4 Through electricity market development, the government aims to promote the efficiency of electricity generation, transmission, distribution, export import and consumption by developing reliable, fair and stable relationships among licensees. The market rules from the framework which define the rights and obligations between electricity participants include: criteria for participation; rights and obligations of participants; roles and responsibilities of the CPPA and the system operator; commercial arrangements and dispute management. Such a development will help to gradually develop competition in the power sector by creating the necessary environment for attracting investment.104

7.17.5 With assistance from the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Japan and GTZ Germany, the National Productivity Organization (NPO) team (see chapter 8 on competitiveness) has conducted energy audits in 11 textile units, which have been termed highly successful by entrepreneurs and the business community. Recognizing the importance of the project in light of the prevailing energy crisis in the country, the government has played a very positive role and sanctioned Rs 39.68 million for NPO to continue with the implementation of best practices of the energy efficiency programme in the textile sector and enlarge its scope to expand the operation in more industries based on its institutional strength, experienced team and overall mission.105

7.18 The overall current status in the energy sector is as follows:

  • ▪ Government road map to eliminate the current circular debt in the sector, as well as timeline to address power subsidies. Petroleum subsidies have already been removed;
  • ▪ Energy efficiency and conservations strategy; renewable energy policy and roadmap;
  • ▪ Power sector reforms – creation of CPPA, unbundling and corporatization of power providers;
  • ▪ Regional energy trade – imports of power and gas from Central Asia, Iran and SAARC countries;
  • ▪ Integrated energy modeling;
  • ▪ Private Sector – LNG options, imported coal power generation;
  • ▪ Investment programme in power generation, power transmission and power distribution sectors;
  • ▪ Privatization road map;
  • ▪ Carbon credits regime;
  • ▪ Hydel development programme – linking Northern Areas with national grid to promote private sector hydel generation and electricity trade within the country;
  • ▪ Transmission infrastructure for power imports from Iran (which has been recently agreed at Presidential level); and
  • ▪ Expedite development of Renewable Energy; mini-small run of river hydros to meet local demand are already being developed with the assistance of ADB.

7.19 Poverty Reduction and Environmental Sustainability: The Nexus

7.19.1 Development based on utilization of natural resources, pressures of population growth and a subsequent increase in demand and poverty can all take a heavy toll on environmental assets. Conversely, the degradation of natural resources can have a devastating impact on the poor given that they tend to be strongly dependent on the exploitation of such resources. Environment is a cross-cutting issue which runs across all PRSP-II pillars. While linkages between environmental sustainability and agricultural development (chapter 6), industrial competitiveness (chapter 8) and infrastructure planning (chapter 10) have been catered to in various chapters, details of new initiatives that aim to promote environmental sustainability are discussed in this section.

7.19.2 Environment degradation is a major cause of poverty in Pakistan which costs the country around 6 percent of GDP, or about Rs 365 billion per year. These costs fall disproportionately upon the poor. The most significant causes of environmental damage in Pakistan include illness and premature mortality caused by indoor and outdoor air pollution and lead exposure, which represent almost 50 percent of the total damage cost. Diarrheal diseases and typhoid due to inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene are another significant cause of environmental damage amounting to about 30 percent of the cost of environmental damages. The remaining 20 percent of the total cost results from reduced agricultural productivity due to soil degradation, particularly salinization, erosion, and water logging, which has a drastic effect on the livelihoods of the rural poor.

7.19.3 Environmental degradation has a far-reaching impact on the health of the population, which inturn has a direct effect on the productivity of the country’s labour force, its competitiveness and the overall potential for economic growth. Environmentally related factors cause roughly one third of all child mortality in Pakistan, which is the highest in South Asia. High children mortality and morbidity rates, and the impacts of environmental quality on cognitive development of children reduce their opportunities to attend school and become skilled workers, hence limited their ability to escape the poverty cycle they have been trapped in from generations.

7.19.4 National Environmental Policy, 2005 Pakistan’s institutional environmental framework has evolved since the adoption of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Ordinance in 1983. Currently, the National Environmental Policy (NEP) of 2005 constitutes the Government’s overarching strategy for achieving the goals of sustainable development. However, NEP implementation and enforcement of environmental regulations has been slow, as evidenced by dismal environmental conditions, which are worse in Pakistan than in other similar or lower income countries, particularly when measured in terms of environmental health indicators. Key constraints that hinder the environmental sector’s capacity include weaknesses in the institutional and regulatory framework, limited human, technical, and financial resources, and gaps in incentives and accountability. The National Environment Policy covers not only the standalone environmental focus of PRSP but extends it to other relevant sectors and themes linking them with mainstreaming environment. The Policy is a valuable and timely contribution and a prelude to poverty-environment focus of PRSP-II. For example, the policy mainstreams environment in the energy sector by: (i) formulating energy conservation guidelines and audit standards, (ii) strengthening financial mechanisms, institutions, and associated policies and regulations to provide innovative lending specially in the demand side efficiency improvement, (iii) developing and implementing a plan for conversion of public transport to CNG, (iv) promoting renewable forms of energy (wind, solar, biomass, biogas, and others) at a wider scale. The Pakistan Environment Protection Act of 1997 transferred environmental management powers to provincial governments. While major environmental policies and guidelines are dictated at the national level by the MoE and Pakistan EPA, it is the role of the provinces to implement and enforce them. However, there is currently little coordination between federal and provincial agencies, and limited coordination between provincial authorities and district as well as sub-district-level authorities. Institutional mechanism need to be strengthened to involve environmental management agencies in a consultative process for priority-setting, development of long term action plans, and assessment of performance/impacts of specific initiatives. Inter-sectoral coordination for the oversight of cross-cutting issues, as those outlined in the NEP, is limited to the establishment of Focal Points within other non-environment ministries. The development of large hydropower resources will involve resettlement of the displaced people and give rise to other environmental and social issues. Similarly, the development of coal mining and coal use in power generation will have local, regional and global environmental impacts. Pakistan needs to strengthen its policy and institutional framework and capacity to mitigate these negative impacts in line with the best international practices. Integrating these practices into the project process from planning to implementation will improve the long term sustainability of these projects. In order to address linkages between environmental protection, sustained economic growth and poverty reduction, efforts will be undertaken to strengthen the institutional capacity for environmental management, consistent with the provisions of the NEP, both at the federal and the provincial levels. This will include providing federal and provincial governments with the tools and resources needed to identify and develop priority setting and coordination mechanisms, increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the national environmental management system, and engage a broad range of stakeholders to continuously improve environmental policies. Making an efficient use of the country’s scarce resources, priority will be given to address the causes of environmental degradation that affect primarily the poor and the environmental risks that have been identified as the leading causes of children mortality such as air pollution and inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene. Actions undertaken to arrest environmental degradation will be consistent with the MDGs. Considering the potential of climate change to reverse progress in achieving the MDGs, a climate change strategy will be developed to identify priorities for action to increase private and public sectors’ abilities to mitigate and adapt to the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of climate change while simultaneously contributing to address the national environmental challenges identified by NEP. These efforts will aim to take advantage of opportunities to access carbon financing in various sectors, including carbon sequestration through afforestation and reforestation. Taking into account the importance of developing a solid infrastructure base, another priority will be to develop the institutional capacity to manage the environmental effects of the development of infrastructure and key economic sectors. This will include the strengthening of the Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) system and the adoption of environmental management systems that contribute to enhance competitiveness. In response to the cross-cutting nature of environment, coordination mechanisms will be strengthened to foster collaboration among governmental agencies to incorporate environmental considerations in the sectors that can have a more important impact in poverty reduction. Areas that will be targeted include the development of policies aiming to enhance industrial competitiveness while simultaneously yielding environmental benefits, through the adoption of practices that foster energy efficiency, quality control, Corporate Social Responsibility and compliance with the environmental standards of export markets.

7.19.5 PRSP Alignment with UN MDG 7 The PRSP has aligned itself with Millennium Development Goal 7, which is specific to environmental sustainability. Its targets include integration of the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reversing the loss of environmental resources including: biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, phasing out ozone depletion substances; sustainable access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene; controlling outdoor and indoor air pollution, reduction of vulnerability to natural disasters, and significant improvement in the lives of slum dwellers e.g. by providing access to secure tenure.

7.19.6 The government has declared 2009 the ‘National Year of Environment.’ The Fourth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)106 suggested that South Asia is one of the world’s regions more at risk from climate change in terms of adverse impacts to the poor. The socio-economic costs of climate change-related impacts can be significant for Pakistan, and also have the potential to severely reverse the progress made by the country on development and poverty alleviation. Potential consequences of changes in climate patterns may include: flooding followed by reduced availability of fresh water as a result of glacier melting in the Himalayan-Hindu Kush mountain ranges, lower rates of rainfall in arid and semi-arid zones, declining agricultural yields, and growing incidence of diseases linked to rising temperatures and rainfall variability such as diarrheal diseases. The power sector is one of the major contributors of emission of greenhouse gases accounting for a large percentage of total CO2 emission. The main source of these emissions is due to heavy use of fuel oil in the power generation. During the period 2005-10, conversion of existing thermal power stations from fuel oil to natural gas would substantially reduce the CO2 and particulate emission.107 In October, 2008, the Planning Commission of Pakistan constituted a ‘Task Force on Climate Change’, which includes representatives from the Commission, WAPDA, Ministry of Environment, Pakistan Meteorological Department, Global Change Impact Studies Centre, LEAD Pakistan and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Terms of References (TORs) of the Task Force are as follows:

  • ▪ To contribute to the formulation of a climate change policy that would assist the government in pursuing the goal of economic growth by appropriately addressing environmental challenges including: measures for ensuring water security of the country through planning; coordinating in-depth studies of the impact of climate change and the melting of Himalayan glaciers on the Indus River inflows; and policy guidelines to ensure food and energy security security of the country in the wake of overall warming, the changing temporal and seasonal water situation in the Indus River System, and the rise of sea level caused by global warming;
  • ▪ To assess existing institutional capacities of various organizations and recommend measures for their strengthening; and
  • ▪ To recommend measures for enhancing understanding and awareness of issues pertaining to climate change among all stakeholders including the general public.

7.19.7 While significant investment in infrastructure development is needed to enhance Pakistan’s competitiveness, it is equally crucial to improve environmental quality and achieve progress in terms of environmental health. In the long-term, the sustainability of infrastructure investments and their influence on development and economic growth will be a function of the extent to which their associated environmental impacts are evaluated and, if necessary, mitigated. A process of thorough assessment of the risks, potential alternatives and long-term monitoring actions for new infrastructure must be an integral part of the overall national planning process, and the institutional framework must be set up to guarantee coordination between agencies to: (i) develop and put in place such process given the specific context of the country; and (ii) ensure that the process is consistently carried out.

7.19.8 Environmental Fiscal Reforms (EFR) Environmental fiscal reform (EFR) is an important policy instrument that can address environmental hazards by making greater use of tax sources, cost recovery and removing environmentally harmful subsidies. Some key factors of degradation of the environment are market failure (under pricing, under-valuation), institutional failure (e.g. property rights) and policy failure (perverse incentives, deliberate under-pricing or bias). The EFR refers to the introduction, application and a range of taxation and pricing measures including: (i) tax on natural resources extraction; (ii) removal of environmentally damaging subsidies; (iii) Introduction of specific product taxes, levies and user charges; (iv) pollution charges; and (v) reforming other taxes in favour of the environment. More specific uses of EFR in Pakistan include:

  • ▪ User charges to consumption of water, energy and other resources;
  • ▪ Minimization of subsidies to reduce inefficient energy and water use e.g. tubewells and electricity;
  • ▪ Subsidy on energy and water efficient technologies for poor households e.g. efficient stoves; energy efficient insulation, siding and windowing; clean fuels substituting fuelwood, efficient water and energy appliances; and
  • ▪ Payment for environmental services (e.g. compensating the farmers for water shed management practices to reduce silting of mega dams). The Global Environmental Facility (GEF), UNDP, UNICEF, European Union, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank are amongst the multilateral development partners and CIDA, RNE, SDC, NORAD and DFID are the major bilateral development partners that have made substantial financial contribution to support the country’s environmental projects. Major achievements related to environmental sustainability in Pakistan include:

  • ▪ CNG stations and conversion of vehicles to CNG;
  • ▪ Environmental awareness;
  • ▪ The ever increasing use of information technology and government disseminating Information through websites;
  • ▪ Creation of enabling environment for the private sector and civil society for enhancing their contribution to environmental sustainability; Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), etc.;
  • ▪ Large-scale poverty reduction demonstration projects in rural areas focusing on community participation and sustainable use of natural resources, e.g. Mountain Areas Conservancy Project-MACP, Environmental Rehabilitation in NWFP and Punjab Project-ERNP, Protected Areas Management Project-PAMP and Pakistan Wetlands Conservation and Management Project-PWP);
  • ▪ Supportive role of civil society environmental/rural development organizations;
  • ▪ Gradually increasing use of environmental impact assessment for investment programmes; and
  • ▪ Integrating environment in disaster management.

7.19.9 National Environmental Information Management System (NEIMS) In Pakistan, environmental data is collected, compiled and published by a host of organizations, which includes federal agencies, provincial agencies, research institutes and NGOs. The Ministry of Environment has a vision which includes focusing on establishing a reliable database of country’s environmental resources, monitoring of environmental information to ascertain trends and provision of timely and accurate environmental data to users. The overall objective of the project worth US $2.1 million108 running over a duration of 4 years, is to contribute to promotion of sustainable development through building national capacity in developing, managing and utilizing environmental information for informed decision-making. Major objectives include reviewing and analyzing the current state of environmental data/information management, establishing institutional and technical frameworks for NEIMS, developing an agency specific and inter-agency database, and integrating application of the database with existing projects.

7.20 Energy is the lifeline of economic development. Pakistan’s integrated energy development programme and its related policy/institutions and regulatory framework are thus, an essential part of the government’s overall infrastructure development plans and will be a major initiative targeting improvement in the competitiveness of the private sector, removing infrastructural bottlenecks to sustain and strengthen private sector led growth.

Chapter 8 – Pillar V: Making Industry Internationally Competitive

8.1 Improving the competitiveness of an economy requires action on many fronts. The country must ensure a stable macroeconomic environment, improve its infrastructure, strengthen its human resources, make its institutions responsive to changing requirements, and take other steps to reduce the cost of doing business. These topics are discussed in different chapters of this document. This chapter outlines the broad strategy that will be followed regarding the key elements that bear on the competitiveness of the country.

8.2 A strategy for improving competitiveness involves several different actors and must be sustained over the long run. A competitiveness strategy is not a once-for-all exercise, but rather is a continuous process that requires an institutionalized way of involving the different players.

8.3 The government plans to institutionalize the process and to ensure that a continuous and long-term look is taken of competitiveness by establishing a Trade Competitiveness Forum. This body would incorporate representatives from the public sector, the private sector, as well as from civil society and academia. The Forum would ensure a strong public-private dialogue and sustained interaction among governmental and other public agencies. It could also help with two crucial interfaces: (i) between the private and the public sector to ensure that key constraints encountered by the private sector are addressed by the government. In a sense, this would replicate some of the procedures undertaken by countries—especially France, the Netherlands, Korea, and Japan (for industrial planning)—that practice some form of ‘indicative’ planning; (ii) between different elements of the government, where there is a need for an entity to advocate and support reforms by a range of line administrations. The government will look into the issues (such as the identity of the key stakeholders, the checks and balances on such an institution to function effectively, how to provide expertise and economic intelligence to this group, etc.) connected with the establishment and functioning of such a Forum.

8.4 The competitiveness of an economy is closely related to productivity, especially firm-level productivity compared with costs. The immediate source of Pakistan’s competitiveness weakness is that its wages are broadly similar to those in China or India, but it has much lower factor productivity. Moreover, it has about the same factor productivity as Bangladesh but its wages are nearly 50 percent higher. As a result, it has trouble competing with any of these neighbours.

8.5 The smaller contribution of productivity to the growth process in Pakistan than in several of its neighbours is also well documented. Studies of Pakistan’s growth performance over the period 1960-2005 show that while capital accumulation and labour force expansion explained about 80 percent of the GDP growth rate, growth in total factor productivity (TFP) provided a significant contribution of 20 percent. However, the contribution of TFP growth fluctuated a good deal. In the 1980s, TFP growth explained nearly 38 percent of the GDP growth rate, but this fell to only 18 percent in the following decade. Between 2001-2005, TFP growth recovered somewhat and contributed 22 percent.

Figure 8.1:Problem tree illustrating main competitiveness issues faced by Pakistan

Source: Competitiveness Support Fund, “The State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report 2008”, Government of Pakistan, 2008.

8.6 Micro-level investigations reiterate the importance of improvements in the investment environment for firm-level productivity growth. A study by the World Bank on growth and export competitiveness in Pakistan pointed out that improvements in some aspects of the investment climate (such as reduction in power outages, days required to clear imports and exports through customs, better access to financing, reduction in management time dealing with regulations, etc.) could sharply increase the productivity of firms.

8.7 Some of the results could be quite spectacular. The report estimated that if the quality of the investment environment in Pakistan were to match that of Shanghai, then the productivity of Pakistan’s textile firms operating in Karachi would on average improve by 81 percent; the rate of return to capital by 36 percent; and wages would rise by 23 percent. The report went on to point out that the increased profitability would in turn encourage more investment, leading to faster capital accumulation and output growth. And, of course, since technology generally comes embodied in physical capital, a higher rate of capital accumulation would provide the country with greater access to technology.

8.8 Even without going to the level of China, much could be accomplished simply by bringing the rest of Pakistan to the level of its best performing areas. There are regions of Pakistan in which the investment climate is much better than in the country as a whole. If the country as a whole adopted the practice of its best-performing regions, the business environment would improve very substantially. The World Bank estimates that if each Pakistani region adopted Lahore’s regulations on starting a business; Peshawar’s regulations on dealing with licenses, employing workers, and enforcing contracts; and Karachi’s regulations on bankruptcy, taxes, and property, Pakistan’s ranking would jump from 74th to 52nd on the World Bank’s index of the ease of doing business. Such an improvement would play a major role in encouraging business investment and absorbing technology, and thus increasing productivity and competitiveness.

8.9 The strategy for increasing productivity and thereby building a more competitive economy that will be followed during the period of PRSP-II rests on action in five broad areas: (i) infrastructure and services; (ii) product and factor markets; (iii) market governance; (iv) selective direct interventions; and (v) attention to specific problems encountered by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Actions to address all these areas, however, must take place within the framework of stable macroeconomic conditions.

8.10 Macroeconomic stability provides an environment in which businesses can be reasonably assured of the continuity of policies, the functioning of institutions, and the durability of key economic variables such as the exchange rate and the interest rate. A balance in the fiscal accounts also provides reassurance that the requirements of public sector borrowing will not crowd out the private sector from the financial markets. These factors help to minimize risks to businesses. A reduction in risks gives businesses the confidence to create capital assets for the long term and to feel it is worthwhile to invest in training labour. The outlook for the macroeconomy and the policies to be pursued during PRSP-II are elaborated in Chapter 4. To the extent that these policies aim at expanding exports in order to narrow the current-account deficit, the issues examined in the present chapter feedback into the macroeconomic discussion.

8.11 Brief details on the strategy for increasing productivity are as follows:

8.11.1 Infrastructure and services Pakistan must substantially improve its infrastructure and basic services so as to reduce the cost of doing business. The parts of the infrastructure that would have the greatest impact on increasing productivity are power, transport, and telecommunications. Issues related to the development of a world-class infrastructure are discussed in chapter 10; the present chapter touches only upon the highlights of the strategy. Power: Surveys of the private sector consistently put power shortages among the top three or four most serious problems. Indeed, as the GDP growth rate accelerates, the demand for energy can be expected to increase rapidly. Pakistan’s total energy requirements by 2030 will be 361 MTOE. In brief, the strategy comprises a much higher rate of investment, a strengthening of the main institutions (such as WAPDA’s successor companies), and a diversification of the energy mix to increase the share of coal, nuclear, and renewable energy. Transportation: Value-added in transport in all its forms contributes about 10 percent to the GDP and accounts for over 6 percent of employment. Improved competitiveness of the economy demands increased productivity in all the elements of the transport sector—roads, railways, ports and aviation. Road transport: Road transport accounts for 90 percent of the country’s passenger traffic and 96 percent of its freight. Despite its crucial importance, the public transport system has received insufficient investment and suffers from neglect of essential maintenance. It is clear that without a carefully thought out strategy, the sector in its existing shape will not be able to support a sustained growth of GDP. The strategy for the development of the sector during the PRSP-II period comprises four main elements: (a) a comprehensive investment programme, projected at US $6 billion; (b) a complete overhaul of the logistics system that will include reforms to procedures, services, and infrastructure; (c) a prioritization of investment and institutional reform, with the main emphasis on improvements along the National Trade Corridor (the north-south axis that links Pakistan’s major ports with its main industrial centers and neighboring countries); and (d) a significant expansion and upgrading of the rural roads network. Ports: It is obvious that if Pakistan is to become more competitive in international trade, then it will have to improve the working of its ports. The strategy for accomplishing this is being developed in the form of a master plan that will include projects to reduce costs; improve logistics; outsource several port activities such as dredging, piloting, and the operation of tugboats to the private sector; and improve cost recovery so as to strengthen port finances. Railways: The strategy envisages a railway system that is increasingly commercially-oriented. The main focus will be on increasing the efficiency of the railways and reducing government subsidies. Increases in efficiency are expected to come through strategic investments in physical facilities; making finances, especially of loss-making services, more transparent; and opening the track to private operators by implementing a track access policy that is currently being developed by Pakistan Railways. Aviation: It is recognized that roads, railways, and ports are the most important elements in Pakistan’s transportation system. However, there are expanding areas in which high value-added items can best be transported by air; these include fresh fruits, flowers, electronic parts, surgical instruments, and so on. A number of these items are already being exported to the Middle East and to Europe by air, and Pakistan’s share in these markets can be significantly increased if transport costs are reduced. The strategy for the aviation sector includes construction of new airports and upgrading of some of the existing facilities. The policy will also open skies to private sector airlines for operating on international routes.

8.11.2 Product and Factor Markets The second broad area that the strategy to improve competitiveness must address is to make product and factor markets more competitive and flexible. Product markets: The most effective way to make product markets more competitive is to adopt a trade policy that levels the playing field between domestic and foreign producers. Pakistan has been moving quite vigorously towards liberalizing its trade regime with the government fully recognizing the benefits that accrue to a more open economy. In general, most non-tariff barriers have been removed with the exception of some that have been retained for moral and religious reasons. Import and export procedures have been liberalized while a legal framework has been put in place that protects domestic industry from internationally-recognized unfair trade practices, such as dumping. As a result, maximum tariffs have been scaled down from as high as 225 to 25 percent. Due to Pakistan’s dependence on agriculture and agricultural-based manufacturers (such as cotton textiles), considerable attention will be paid to restructuring trade in agricultural products. The Poverty Reduction Strategy envisages special efforts to increase access of Pakistan’s agricultural exports to international markets. Towards this end, the government is entering into negotiations with Pakistan’s trading partners to persuade them to reduce their import tariffs on items that are of particular interest to Pakistan; these include fruits and vegetables, meat products, cereals, dairy products, and processed hides and leather. More specifically, the trade strategy during the PRSP-II period will:

▪ Maintain open markets. The country recognizes that it has gained in knowledge and efficiency by opening its markets to international trade, and this openness will be steadily increased during the period of the PRSP-II;

▪ Emphasize quality improvement. The government will work with Pakistani industries and the global community to ensure that domestic producers are able to achieve the standards imposed internationally relating to quality, responsiveness, labour, the environment, product origin and security in transport;

▪ Expand and modernize the framework for special economic zones, export processing zones, industrial parks, and IT-enabled service exports; and

▪ Encourage export industries to identify unnecessary policy, regulatory, institutional or other bottlenecks that stand in the way of efficient production and export. The government will then reduce these constraints especially where multiple industries have identified similar bottlenecks. Competition in the domestic market will not be neglected either. The poverty reduction strategy aims to increase this competition in two principal ways. First, the government will continue its privatization programme with particular vigour. This has already picked up speed—from the programme’s inception since 1991, the government has completed 175 transactions (total value Rs 287 billion), half of which were done between 2002–2007. The second measure will be to diminish the major impediments to domestic competition, whether they are due to physical shortages (such as deficiencies in infrastructure) or to more intangible reasons (such as legal constraints on the exit and entry of firms, or the inadequate functioning of institutions, such as the commercial legal system or the financial sector). Business indicators in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) place Pakistan’s private sector behind its international rivals in business activities such as corporate governance, staff training, quality control, process innovation and maintenance, and ability to respond to consumers’ requirements. Pakistan’s ranking dropped from 91st place in 2007 to 92nd place in 2008 amongst 131 countries. This is not to say that all enterprises fail in these respects—there are world class Pakistani companies that export globally (for example, a state-of-the-art sugar refinery was recently shipped to Europe) but the majority of firms are unable to meet the standards needed to compete globally. During the period of PRSP-II, the government will devote particular attention to the ‘software’ side of the equation, offering fiscal incentives and support for more training, quality control, and innovation by private firms. Factor Markets Labour: A competitive economy requires a well-functioning market for labour. Creating and maintaining such a market calls for a judicious balance. Workers must be protected from arbitrary or discriminatory actions by employers; they must be provided adequate measures of health, safety, and environmental standards; and they should be provided wages commensurate with their productivity. On the other hand, excessive labour regulation raises the costs of hiring and using labour, and can thereby stifle job creation. Labour regulation in Pakistan is more pervasive than those of its neighbours. Pakistan’s overall indicators for restrictiveness of employment laws are the highest in the South Asian region and much higher than those for the fast-growing East Asian countries. As a consequence, employers tend to evade labour laws on the books by relying more on temporary workers than those in neighbouring countries, for example, the share of temporary workers in Pakistani businesses in 2006 was nearly 36 percent, compared with 15 percent in India and 3 percent in Bangladesh. Another unfortunate consequence of raising the cost of labour is that fewer jobs are created than the increase in the labour force and, indeed, than the increase in the GDP. Thus, from FY 1993/94 – FY 2005/06 employment increased at an average rate of 2.4 percent a year, compared with a growth in the labour force of 2.7 percent and a GDP growth of 3.6 percent. A World Bank study found that the slow rate of job creation was not compensated for by improvements in the quality of jobs—wages in existing jobs remained low and stagnated in real terms during this period. This is a matter of concern from the point of view of poverty reduction as incomes in a modern economy are principally derived from jobs. It is also a matter of societal disquiet, because the burden of unemployment falls disproportionately on youth—particularly the urban educated youth—and on women. The strategy for making labour markets more flexible during the period of the PRSP-II follows a multidimensional approach. The strategy will look into the following areas and make appropriate recommendations:

  • ▪ Hiring and firing costs: The labour strategy will examine measures to reduce the time required to resolve industrial grievances and to set a fair level of severance pay. At present, severance pay as a proportion of base wages for a given period of continuous employment in Pakistan is twice the rate in India or Bangladesh;
  • ▪ Redundancy as fair grounds for dismissal: Employers have repeatedly stressed that if they cannot fire excess workers (subject, of course, to the legal requirements of giving notice and providing financial compensation) in times of slack demand, they will be less likely to hire in times of high demand. This hurts both the worker and the employers by restricting job growth and decreasing the ability of the firm to expand. In Pakistan’s neighbourhood, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are some economies that permit redundancy as grounds for reducing employment;
  • ▪ Time limits on term contracts: Pakistan permits term contracts for a maximum of only nine months for temporary jobs. This inflexibility limits the creation of jobs, thereby reducing incomes and making it more difficult for workers to break out of poverty;
  • ▪ Compliance costs associated with labor regulation: Surveys of firms in all the provinces of Pakistan have shown that employers considered existing practices of labour inspection, compliance with safety regulations, working condition norms, and so on are conducted in an uncoordinated, apparently haphazard and intrusive manner. These increase the costs of using labour and thereby act as a brake on the growth of employment; and
  • ▪ Vocational and technical training: A strategy is being developed to reform and strengthen the system of vocational and technical training, both for youth of school age and for the substantial numbers, who have dropped out of school but are seeking entry to productive jobs. A number of steps—principally the Labour Protection Policy, the National Labour Inspectorate, and the Employment and Service Conditions Act—have been taken to address the foregoing issues. The Labour Protection Policy, 2006 covers four main areas:

  • ▪ Basic rights, such as the right to join a trade union and bargain collectively, equal treatment and non-discrimination, the absence of forced labour, and the absence of child labour;
  • ▪ Working conditions, including minimum wages and above minimum wage issues, allowances and benefits, hours of work, overtime work, rest breaks and leave arrangements, including annual leave, sick leave and special leave issues, and job security provisions;
  • ▪ Working environment, including protection against the effect of hazards in the work place involving issues of work safety as well as protection from work-related diseases and illness; and
  • ▪ Social security, including protection against the effects of economic and social hardship resulting from a reduction in earnings because of work accidents, work illness, unemployment or retirement. National Labour Inspectorate, in conformity with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 81, is to place inspection under the supervision and control of a central authority. This is an extension of the Labour Inspection Policy approved in 2006 which: (i) introduced a range of approaches to labour inspection that were flexible, transparent, fair, and impartial; (ii) supported the extension of labour protection services to persons engaged in informal economic activities; and (iii) encouraged the private sector to participate in providing a range of inspection services. However, the capacity of the labour inspection machinery remains constrained. The authorities will convert inspection policy to model regulation and will undertake other reforms that will serve the purposes intended by inspection but without the disruption caused by the present practice. The government will pass and implement the Employment and Service Conditions Act (ESCA) 2008. This Act aims at consolidating a number of related laws and at the same time increasing flexibility in the labour market. It spells out (i) conditions of employment; (ii) regulations relating to wages and bonuses, and minimum wage determination; (iii) priority of wages over other debts; (iv) liability of principal employer and contractor; and (v) punishment and termination of employment. Every worker is to be provided with an order in writing specifying the terms and conditions of service and the manner in which contracts are to be terminated by either party. The Act prohibits the employment of:

  • ▪ a child for any reason whatsoever;
  • ▪ a young person in any occupation identified as hazardous;
  • ▪ a woman in any part of a mine that is below ground; and
  • ▪ a woman in a mine above ground between 7 pm to 6 am, except those who do not perform manual work. Land: The high price of land is frequently cited as an important deterrent to establishing new manufacturing facilities. This is particularly the case in the traditional industrial centres, such as Karachi and Lahore. The government has begun to address this issue along two paths. The first path concerns zoning land and reserving it for industry, and by setting up industrial estates that will provide land for manufacturing enterprises at reasonable rates. Such estates have already been established in Korangi and Port Qasim for Karachi and in the neighbourhood of Lahore, while that in Multan is being doubled in size. Similar measures are underway in Faisalabad, Sialkot, Peshawar, Hub, Rahim Yar Khan, and Gwadar. The government is acquiring land for industrial estates near other cities in all the provinces; over 30 such estates are planned for the period covered by the PRSP-II. Some of these estates have already become operational, for example, all 667 plots in the Sundar Industrial Estate have been sold; 40 factories have started production; 105 are under construction; and another 125 are being processed for permission to start construction. Special Economic Zones (SEZs): The second route consists of setting up Special Economic Zones (SEZs).109 These Zones are intended to generate employment, attract foreign investment, increase exports, build clusters, and transfer technology and skills. In setting up such Zones and associated industrial parks and clusters, the government will ensure that land is available to the participating enterprises at reasonable rates. The Poverty Reduction Strategy envisages that SEZs and associated industrial parks and clusters will play an important role in increasing the competitiveness of Pakistan.110 The planning of SEZs will take into consideration the unique geographical, social and political characteristics of each location. There are already some excellent examples of industrial parks, such as the ‘Marble City’ and the Lasbela Industrial Estate in Balochistan. The government has also declared that the area around Gwadar Port city will be an SEZ. Cluster development in the Punjab—e.g. in Sialkot, around Sargodha, and in the ‘Textile City’ of Faisalabad—has been extremely successful. Furthermore, the National Industrial Parks Development and Management Company (NIPDMC) has been established as a Public Private Partnership to foster the approach. Initial activities include Korangi Industrial Park and Bin Qasim Industrial Park in Karachi in addition to others being developed in Peshawar and Bahawalpur. Industrial parks are planned during the PRSP-II period for Jhang, Rahim Yar Khan, Sialkot, Gujrat, and other cities. The hallmarks of successful SEZs include high-quality infrastructure; a well thought out plan for attracting industry; carefully crafted incentive policies; access to a productive labour pool; a critical mass of support industries; streamlined bureaucratic processes; and a suitable regulatory framework. For SEZs to succeed, they also require support for factors that lie beyond their designated borders and authorities. These factors are regional and societal and can only be provided by the government at the national level. There is considerable movement towards having zones bring in labour by integrating residential, retail, and recreational components to the SEZ. By providing a decent living environment, workers can be attracted to a zone on the outskirts of a city or another region entirely through the prospect of a better quality of life. These types of development require larger investments and higher risk, thus the government must provide the necessary support to ensure that they are designed and executed using best practices exhibited by successful mixed-use zones. government has evolved a model of Private Public Partnership for effective development of SEZs. In order to work together for the development of different sectors, a model has been adopted for their promotion, giving the lead role to the private sector allowing space for free market mechanism to take its due course while the government assumes its role of a facilitator. Through joint efforts of SMEDA and USAID, the following Sector Development Companies have been set up with the aim that the government will provide resources for the implementation of sector strategies through these companies.

Box 8.1:Industrial Growth through Public-Private Partnerships

The Government of Pakistan has established independent companies as subsidiaries of the Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation, which are based on the principle of public-private partnership and has kick started the much needed industrialization process in provincial headquarters and prominent urban industrial clusters. Progress is as follows:

  • National Industrial Parks (NIPs) Development and Management Company: The NIPs was established in March, 2005. The main objective of the company is to develop new industrial parks and upgrade older ones, and to manage infrastructure within the industrial parks through the respective Board of Management. Current projects under the development phase include: Korangi Creek Industrial Park (Karachi), Bin Qasim Industrial Park (Karachi), Auto Cluster Industrial Park (Sheikhupura) and Marble Cities (Risalpur and FATA).
  • Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company (PGJDC): The PGJDC will work across regions to establish Pakistan as an internationally competitive, world-class hub for precious stone-cutting, jewellery designing and manufacturing. It aims to enhance the value chain from mine to market through facilitation, technology up-grading, skill development and marketing/branding. In order to achieve its objectives, the Company has come up with a Sector Development Project, which includes establishment of Gems Exchanges, Development of Cutting and Polishing Centers, Quality Control Hallmarking for Gold Jewellery and Gem Testing Laboratories for Certification, undertaking Marketing and Branding Initiatives and conducting Geological Surveys for scientific quantification of deposits and identification of new ones. The total cost of the project is Rs 1400 million. ECNEC approved the project in September, 2007 and an amount of Rs 250 million was allocated through PSDP during the FY 2007/08. The Company has now started work on the project components and is in the process of establishing Common Facility and Training Centers at Karachi, Lahore and Gilgit and Gems labs at Peshawar and Quetta.
  • Technology Up-gradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC): The TUSDEC was incorporated in January, 2005 by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). Since inception, TUSDEC has been developing technology database and support for technology acquisition. Projects being implemented by TUSDEC under sponsorship of Ministry of Industries & Production include:
  • 2 Tools, Dies and Mould (TDM) Centers at Karachi and Gujranwala aim to provide local state-of-the-art design, training, consultancy and manufacturing facilities, as well as, practical demonstration of modern technology applied to TDM in Pakistan. The TDM Centre at Karachi, at Rs 450 million initiative, is operational and has started providing services.
  • ▪ TUSDEC has also initiated a 3-year project to establish Computer Assisted Design (CAD) / Computer Assisted Manufacturing (CAM) Centers throughout the country at different strategic locations with a total cost of Rs 321.12 million. This project is being implemented by National Institute of Design and Analysis (NIDA) at Lahore, while TUSDEC is monitoring progress. CAD / CAM Centers at Lahore, Quetta, Sialkot, Peshawar and Karachi are already operational.
  • ▪ Following the earthquake in October 8, 2005, a Rs 200 million worth project is underway to establish eight Skill Development Centers (SDCs) at Batgram, Khaki, Bagh and Muzaffarabad with two SDCs in each of the approved areas. The objective is to expdite rehabilitation in the earthquake stricken area on a ‘Teaching Factory’ concept with free of cost courses in 14 different disciplines. Two SDCs at Batagram and Khaki are operational with free of cost training being provided to students in construction, hospitality and tourism.
  • Technical Up-gradation of the Garment Industry, a Rs 286.74 million project, under TUSDEC is providing consultancy services and technical guidance. Seventeen foreign experts have been engaged with various areas of expertise such as dyeing and finishing, knitting, sewing, industrial engineering, printing, design and mechanical maintenance, etc.
  • Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC): The PASDEC, established as a public Ltd. Company in June, 2006, is a subsidiary of the Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation. Achievements include model quarries and upgrading machinery pools at Risalpur (Punjab) and Khuzdar (Balochistan), Common Facility and Training Center in Marble City in Gaddani and establishment of Marble Cities in FATA (300 acres of land), Risalpur (180 acres of land) and Karachi (300 acres of land at Northern Bypass). A Marble Mosaic Display Center has been proposed, which will also be a selling point.
  • Pakistan Hunting and Sporting Arms Development Company (PHSADC): Formed in September, 2006, main objectives include; (i) upgrading existing traditional “Cottage Level” skill available in the hunting and sporting arms industry of Pakistan. There will be special focus in Dera Adam Khel (DAK) to develop it into an organized industrial cluster. It aims to help Pakistan acquire significant share in the World Hunting, Sporting Arms and Accessories trade market; (ii) maintaining warehouse, display centre and weapons archives and library; (iii) development and export of copies and replicas of vintage weapons, spares and equipment and arranging and facilitating seamless exports; (iv) undertaking capacity and quality building initiatives at DAK by developing Common Facility and Training Centre and Industrial Estate and Gunsmith School in Peshawar; and (v) overall supervision and monitoring of hunting sporting arms and accessories industries.
Source: Ministry of Industries and Production, Government of Pakistan, 2008. Apart from availability, another major weakness bedevils the land market. Perhaps the most formidable constraint to the efficient functioning of land markets is the failure of the land management system to establish ownership in urban properties. The system of maintaining land records contains much ambiguity and multiplicity of authorities, each with its own systems and procedures for determining title or regulating property transactions. Pakistan the records of rights in land are essentially of the fiscal variety. The person mentioned in the records is liable for land revenue or property tax. Pakistani law does not view registration or any other record of rights in land as a guarantee from the government or its agencies that the person mentioned in the records of any agency is the rightful owner. In transactions involving property transfers, the documents of ‘title’ provided by the seller to the buyer do not certify title. These are private documents that confirm one of the transactions in the entire chain of transactions. By entering the transaction in respect of any property in the official records, the Registrar only confirms that the transaction has been recorded and does not provide any guarantee for either the validity or the accuracy of the document. Moreover, many of the transactions relating to an immovable property do not require to be registered; for example, under Islamic law, immovable property can be transferred to someone verbally. deep-seated problem has existed for a very long time. The government proposes to examine solutions to this issue in some detail (including those tried out in other countries), and will take significant steps during the PRSP-II period. Elements of the solution include the creation of a centralised registry system, staffed by trained manpower, and provided with adequate finance, hardware and software. The government will continue to modernize the banking sector and adopt measures to improve the working of the financial system; these issues are discussed in detail in Chapter 8. The government will monitor movements in credit provided to the private sector as a percentage of GDP as one important gauge of the efficiency of the financial system. Foreign direct investment has been used to great effect to increase jobs and introduced new technology in many countries. The government will consult with foreign investors already in Pakistan to identify ways to encourage more investment by these firms, as half the incremental foreign investment tends to come from those already here.

8.11.3 Market Governance The experience of rapidly growing countries demonstrates that the surest path to developing a more competitive economy is to use a market-responsive private sector as the main engine of growth. The economic history of Pakistan reiterates this conclusion. The government, therefore, intends to push vigorously to enable this sector to play its due role in driving the economy. This does not mean that the role of the government is abridged rather the role becomes more nuanced. In the economic sphere, the government will act as a referee, ensuring that the rules of a responsible competitive market are observed and that the drive for private profit does not come at the expense of the country’s fundamental social objectives. The challenge for the government is to provide the space for the private sector to develop, to provide public services and administrative frameworks that underpin private sector development, to police markets to limit anti-competitive and unethical behaviour, and to provide support that allows the private sector to build its own capabilities and stand on its own feet. These issues are generally considered to fall under ‘governance’a term which itself is very wide, and has been used to cover anything from the country’s law and order situation to considerations of national ideology and identity. This chapter touches rather more narrowly on topics that have a direct bearing on business competitiveness. These comprise the judicial system, the bureaucracy, tax administration, and measures that have been taken to ensure a healthy, contested economy. Moreover, this chapter touches only upon some of the highlights connected with the foregoing subjects; issues relating to the commercial judicial system, the bureaucracy, and tax administration are discussed in more detail in chapter 12 on governance. The Judicial System: Pakistan’s judicial process works slowly and, as a consequence, the costs of accessing justice mount up. The case backlog—around half of which concerns disputes of a commercial nature—in the High Courts of Sindh and the Punjab numbers over one hundred thousand, and for the lower courts in millions. The costs comprise not only the financial expense of hiring lawyers and ancillary staff for extended periods, repeatedly traveling to the courts, and so on, but also the opportunity costs occasioned by the owners and senior managers of businesses having to neglect their duties at frequent intervals in order to prepare for and to appear in courts. Moreover, the implementation of court decisions can be very slow, and add substantially to the costs of even successful litigation. The World Bank estimates that it takes, on average, almost one-third of the contract value to enforce a contract. The uncertainty and the long delays in repossessing collateral impacts with particular severity on transactions in the financial sector. Financial institutions and leasing companies are therefore reluctant to deal with parties whom they do not know well, or they require excessive amounts of collateral, guarantees, and security. Many firms, especially the smaller enterprises, are not able to provide these and hence must forego access to the financial sector or can only do so to a very limited extent. The judicial delays, higher costs, and the inability to readily obtain adequate funds from the financial system can greatly restrict the capacity of enterprises to expand or to obtain improved technology, and this can severely constrain their potential to increase their productivity and competitiveness. The government, in conjunction with international agencies, has started programmes to reduce these delays and to improve access to justice. These programs not only add to the hardware of the judicial system—in the shape of more and better court buildings, computers, etc—but also to its software in the form of more and better trained and better paid judges and support staff, and revisions to procedures to speed up the legal process. This process will be vigorously pursued during the period of the PRSP-II, but one must recognize that completion of the entire undertaking will take several years. Competition: In addition to the strategies and policies identified throughout this chapter, competitiveness will also be enhanced through a new competition law passed in 2007 and by the creation of the Competition Commission of Paksitan. The law provides equal opportunities for all entities to participate in economic activities and mandates much stiffer penalties for monopolistic behaviour than were previously prescribed under the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Ordinance, 1971. The Competition Commission will monitor the state of competition, weed out practices that interfere with contestability, and generally ensure that the economy continues to develop rapidly in the direction of market responsiveness. Key principles embedded in the new competition law and in the institutional framework for its application include the following:

  • Nondiscrimination: The law’s nondiscriminatory approach makes its interpretations predictable and transparent, which should increase confidence in its application;
  • Protection of competition, not competitors: The assessment of competition in the law tolerates single firm growth on the principle that competition law should not punish those who have gained dominance by innovating and using resources efficiently and have not resorted to exclusionary and anticompetitive tactics; and
  • Integrity in the application of law: This includes (i) a collegiate body of commissioners possessing integrity, stature, ability, substantial experience and (collectively) a range of relevant expertise; (ii) transparency and speed in the investigation of serious infractions without undue burdens on individuals and businesses; (iii) public proceedings with safeguards for proprietary information; (iv) published decisions subject to review on appeal; and (v) annual reporting based on third party audits. Enhancing Pakistan’s global competitiveness requires not only establishing an environment to spur the productivity of firms but, just as importantly, ensuring that new entrepreneurial, productive firms can easily enter the market while unproductive, loss-making enterprises exit in an expedient and orderly way. On the entry side, Pakistan has made some improvements in procedures for a business to register as a limited liability company. According to the Doing Business indicators, the time and cost to register a business has fallen from 53 to 26 days. While this was a major improvement at the time, since then there has been little movement in shortening the time and lowering the cost. It still remains a cumbersome process as compared with many countries globally. Moreover, the other aspects of starting a business—obtaining a construction license, acquiring land, getting utility connections—is fraught with long delays and can be subject to “speed payments.” The Government of Pakistan has commissioned two studies to examine some of the aspects associated with entry: an Investment Climate Assessment which takes the perspective of the firm, and a National Doing Business Study which examines localized differences in the practice of starting and operating a new business. At the same time, the Competition Commission of Pakistan is conducting competition impact assessments to examine public and private sources of barriers to entry into key sectors. Based on this analytical work, the government will have a comprehensive understanding of the barriers to entry and will be better able to ensure that new entrepreneurs can enter the market as easily as possible. the economic structure to remain flexible and competitive, it is also important to reduce the barriers that impede the exit of unsuccessful firms. The principal barriers to exit have been identified as the regulations relating to employment and labour compensation. weakness in the legislation relating to the exit of enterprises is that, for all practical purposes, the relevant Ordinance regards the solution for a company under financial distress not as rehabilitation but as liquidation. Moreover, the process of liquidation provided under the Ordinance is cumbersome and time-consuming. of these shortcomings will be rectified during the PRSP-II period. The World Bank will provide assistance in developing a code dealing with insolvency and credit rights. It is expected that the Ministry of Finance will receive detailed recommendations on these matters by mid 2009. The liquidation/winding up of banks, including special provisions for more quickly completing disposal proceedings, has been included in the draft Banking Act, 2006, which is expected to attain the force of law during the period of the PRSP-II. However, the government recognizes that these enterprises remained uncovered, and for that reason it will act expeditiously. government will target for reform other badly designed or outdated regulations that restrict the competitive advantage of Pakistani commercial enterprises. The reform process will avoid procedures that impose unnecessary transaction or compliance costs for firms, will not become an obstacle to beneficial mergers and acquisitions, and will not stand in the way of gaining efficiencies from linkages between companies. Under the Poverty Reduction Strategy, the government will increasingly play the role of a referee who will establish a level playing field for all enterprises, who will enforce the rules, and who will ensure that the thrust for private profit does not come at the expense of society’s most cherished goals.

8.11.4 Selective Direct Intervention In addition to the economy-wide policies to enhance productivity and growth that has been described earlier, Pakistan will consider a range of more focused enterprise and worker interventions to support product diversification and global competitiveness in specific product niches. These interventions will be carefully previewed in order to ensure that they do not work against efficiency or distort market signals. Pre-requisites to maximize the effectiveness of interventions and be able to spot and correct inevitable failures include:

▪ an institutionalized and inclusive process of consultation with the private sector in the design, monitoring and evaluation of interventions;

▪ transparency in the subsidies involved in the interventions, including regarding the beneficiaries;

▪ clear, measurable, and transparent indicators of success of each intervention;

▪ arms-length relations between the government and the private sector; and

▪ a public governance set-up that ensures that the government is bound by sufficient accountability to be able to prevent capture and to interrupt failing interventions. Interventions could include: Improved quality systems and standards for a competitive edge, including environment management and social development standards: The government will improve the diffusion and absorption of metrology, standards, testing and quality services to enterprises. Promotion of global knowledge flows and technology for development: Given the important role that public goods play in helping to create and commercialize knowledge for development, and in helping to improve the capabilities of enterprises to better absorb existing knowledge, Pakistan will consider:

  • ▪ risk-sharing competitive matching grant funding of early-stage enterprise-driven R&D;
  • ▪ matching grant support to enterprises with advisory, strategic, and legal inputs for the appropriate use of domestic/global IPR protection;
  • ▪ an appropriate build-up of capabilities of diaspora networks; and
  • ▪ the use of government procurement as an instrument to stimulate productivity upgrading by raising the bar on ‘sophisticated demand’ requirements. Other direct export promotion activities: Other specific policies to support exporters that Pakistan will examine include:

  • ▪ a single and strong Export Promotion Agency focused on non-traditional export promotion, with a special attention to large firms that are not yet exporters, and with a large share of the executive board in the hands of the private sector;
  • ▪ a strengthened Export Processing/Economic Zone programme to test and showcase additional facilitating policies;
  • ▪ a strengthened linkage programme, helping build up the capacities of smaller upstream and downstream firms to meet the requirements of larger (as well as FDI) exporters and global buyers; and
  • ▪ a programme of cooperation with strategic working groups from export-oriented industries. Under these initiatives, the industries will be challenged to come up with strategies for boosting their competitiveness in a manner that does not rely on subsidies and protection in order to compete in world markets. The strategies could include labour training; research and development; design improvement; branding; technology acquisition; supply chain management; and other initiatives. Ensuring ‘opportunities for all’ through improved safety nets and worker training: In addition to enterprise support programmes, Pakistan will also consider complementary worker support to help displaced workers, the unemployed, and existing workers requiring skills upgrading meet the challenges of globalization, such as:

  • ▪ strengthened social safety nets to support workers in transition between jobs and those suffering prolonged unemployment and dislocation from trade, including a means-tested cash transfer programme targeted to the poor (for more details, see chapter 5 on social protection); and
  • ▪ matching grant support for enterprise-based training programmes (only 15 percent of the 2,300 manufacturing enterprises from the World Bank’s latest Enterprise Survey provide in-service training in India, but those that do are roughly 25 percent more productive).

8.11.5 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Inadequacies of the infrastructure, inflexibility of product and factor markets, and the unsatisfactory working of some key elements of governance, impact on the productivity and competitiveness of all enterprises in Pakistan. However, larger enterprises, because of their more plentiful resources and greater ability to lobby the government for special treatment, are much better able to deal with these shortcomings. The deficiencies, therefore, impact disproportionately on the smaller enterprises. Increasing the overall productivity of the economy will require attention to the major issues that impact disproportionately on the SMEs. Two important structural facts of Pakistan’s economy are that SMEs account for about 95 percent of all enterprises, and that in general larger firms are more efficient than smaller. The government will, therefore, seek to remove the main constraints that restrict the growth of the SMEs so that these enterprises can expand and reap the benefits of economies of scale. The enlargement of these firms will not only increase their competitiveness, but by expanding the numbers of productive jobs it will contribute directly to reducing poverty. What gives urgency to devoting special attention to the SMEs is that they account for nearly 95 percent of the 3.2 million business enterprises in Pakistan. They contribute over 30 percent to the GDP, account for around one-fourth of export earnings, and provide about 80 percent of the nation’s jobs. Constraints on the growth of SMEs: Studies show that in Pakistan, as in most other countries, larger firms are more profitable than smaller. This, therefore, raises the question: why do SMEs not grow to a size at which they can reap the economies of scale? A complete answer could encompass a rather large number of reasons, such as an inclination on the part of some SME owners to restrict their enterprise to a size that remains comfortably within their (or their family’s) span of control, or the desire to ‘remain below the government radar’ so as to more easily evade regulations relating to minimum wages, safety, location, and so on. However, the three most frequently cited constraints are finance, market environment, and access to technology. The evidence is especially clear where finance is concerned—according to studies conducted by international organizations, banks provide only 7–8 percent of the total funding requirement of SMEs. Access to finance as the single most important impediment to growth was also highlighted by the Lahore University for Management Sciences (LUMS) in a 2006 study on ‘Barriers to SME Growth in Pakistan: An Analysis of Constraints.’ The recommendations by a government task force on the three fore-mentioned issues are described below. However, since the availability of finance is cited in studies on Pakistan and most other countries as the single most important constraint on the growth of SMEs, it is worth exploring the reasons for that difficulty in a little more detail. The key problem regarding finance for SMEs is structural, and arises from what is known as ‘asymmetric information’. This means that the borrower (i.e. the SME) knows more about the financial condition of his enterprise than does the lender. The latter must expend resources in order to ascertain the exact position and, given the relatively small size of the individual loans required by SMEs, in many cases the amount of money that has to be spent in conducting the enquiry is large in relation to the size of the loan. Because overhead costs per loan are relatively fixed, the smaller size of loan can render it unprofitable for the lender to make the investigation, and the loan is, therefore. not made. When loans are extended, smaller firms are regarded as riskier borrowers and charged higher interest rates. The perceived risk of lending to SMEs is accentuated by the slow working of Pakistan’s legal system, which makes it time-consuming and expensive for a lender to repossess collateral in the event of a default. It is, therefore, not surprising that a survey found that 57 percent of new investment by SMEs and 67 percent of working capital came from internal finance or retained earnings, while only about 7 percent of funds for new investment or working capital came from banks and other financial institutions. The State Bank of Pakistan has issued separate prudential regulations for SMEs that permit banks and other financial institutions the option of extending credit to SMEs on the basis of cash-flow evaluations, in addition to the normal assets/collateral-based lending. The latter, which explicitly links loans to the liquidation value of assets, works against SMEs because they tend to be asset and collateral poor. government will intensify its efforts to provide SMEs suitable locations to work in and opportunities to benefit from economies of scale, both external and internal. Industrial estates (discussed above) have been encouraged as has the development of clusters to overcome problems of scale. Organizations such as the Small Business Support Fund (SBSF), the Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF), and the Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) will all contribute to supplying SMEs with capital and technical expertise. number of significant measures have already been taken to support SME development. The SME Policy of Pakistan was approved by the Federal Cabinet in January 2007 after a two-year round of consultations in which over a thousand stakeholders participated. The SME Policy outlines priorities and provides recommendations in the following areas: Business environment: The aim is to create a more favourable business climate for SMEs by simplifying the process of complying with regulations. The fiscal, labour, and enterprise regulations of the Federal and Provincial Governments do not provide for a focus on SMEs that is in line with their specific needs. The support and grievance redressal regime of the government does not differentiate between enterprises on the basis of their size, thus making it difficult for SMEs to access public support programs and the attention of public authorities when competing for them with the large firms. Some policy recommendations specific to SMEs that were made by a government task force are listed below:

  • An SME Act be promulgated that (among other issues related to SMEs) identifies fiscal, registration, labour, and inspection laws that may be simplified for Small and/or Medium Enterprises;
  • A periodic review of labour legislation be undertaken with a view to relaxing the applicability of certain laws for SMEs for a specified period of time; An SME Desk be established at the Federal, Provincial, Banking and Tax Ombudsman Offices for addressing SME grievances;
  • A minimum quota be established for allocation of land in the Industrial Estates and Export Processing Zones (EPZs) for SMEs at a concessional rate (on a now profit no loss basis) as compared with the cost offered to large scale enterprises; and A regulatory regime for specialized sectors (such as mining) in provinces be developed with the specific requirements of SMEs in mind. (b) Marketing

  • Encourage establishment of SME sector-specific export marketing companies by providing matching grants for international marketing research, preparing marketing strategies, packaging, branding, participating in and conducting trade fairs, and undertaking promotional and marketing activities;
  • Offer matching grants for developing ‘world-class’ trade and product directories for major SME clusters;
  • Compile and disseminate data on local markets using manufacturers, distributors and retailers data;
  • Support SME associations in exploiting local market opportunities by holding domestic product exhibitions; and
  • Provide annual SME Awards for outstanding performance in domestic and international markets, technology innovation, HRD practices, etc.

Box 8.2:Dignified employment for the poor

Aik Hunar Aik Nagar (AHAN):

‘Aik Hunar Aik Nagar’ (AHAN) aimed at enhancing non-farm rural based income has been launched to serve as a vehicle for the development of rural areas. It enhances and encourages local people’s creativeness and entrepreneurial initiations in production and development of competitive products and marketing from the community. The project specifically targets poverty alleviation and encourages income generation activity in rural areas, increasing employment opportunities, reducing gender discrimination, narrowing the gap between urban and rural population while mitigating migration trends in rural areas. The main objective of the project is to develop sustainable market driven interventions in rural areas aiming to enhance employment opportunities and increasing income in the informal rural markets thus leading to rural poverty alleviation. AHAN has initiated pilot projects in various non-farm/rural segments across Pakistan e.g. Textiles-Handicrafts, Ceramics & blue pottery, and Silverware & silver jewelry products. The AHAN Project has now been registered as a not-for-profit organization under section 42 of Companies Ordinance, 1984 to pursue the intended objectives at a broader level. Project updates till date are as follows:

Table 8.1:Project details of ‘Aik Hunar Aik Nagar’(AHAN)
Sr. No.leftNo. of ProjectsNo. of direct BeneficiariesEstimated


Generated upto 31-03-08
Source: Ministry of Industry, Productiona and Special Initiatives, Government of Pakistan, 2008.
Source: Ministry of Industry, Productiona and Special Initiatives, Government of Pakistan, 2008.

Women Business Incubation Centre (WBIC):

According to the Economic Census of Pakistan 2005, there are 70,658 women owned businesses operating across the country. This represents 3% of total enterprises in Pakistan. Most women owned businesses are small in size. Women Business Incubation Centre (WBIC) Lahore, an initiative of SMEDA, being funded through Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), Government of Pakistan, provides ‘hands-on support’ to Women Entrepreneurs (WEs). It offers a conducive business environment with in-house business support services exclusively for women entrepreneurs. The Centre has been operational since February 2007. WBIC provides offices, exhibition/display facility and business development services including training to WEs under one roof. WBIC is expected to serve over 1,000 women managed small businesses dealing in manufacturing, services and non-traditional products in three years.

Source: Ministry of Industry, Productiona and Special Initiatives, Government of Pakistan, 2008. (c) Technology upgrading

  • ▪ Research projects supporting R&D in areas of special interest to SMEs be instituted by Ministry of Science & Technology, Higher Education Commission, Pakistan Software Export Board, Ministry of Information Technology, and others;
  • ▪ Technology Innovation Centers be established that offer technology upgrading, R&D and design-related services to SMEs; and
  • ▪ Pilot projects for upgrading technology for major SME clusters be launched on a cost-sharing basis.

8.12 Trade Policy FY 2008/09:

8.12.1 Pakistan’s heavy reliance on imported fuel and food commodities like wheat and sugar placed huge pressure on its balance of payment reserves as the import bill soared. With the aim to mitigate the negative effects of this situation by pursuing the ongoing export led growth strategy more vigorously the new Trade Policy intends on bridging the trade gap by focusing on reducing the cost of doing business, enhancing productivity and competitiveness of our manufacturing sector. The Federal Export Promotion Board (FEPB), chaired by the Prime Minister, is the highest export related decision-making body. The Board will be reconstituted to make it more proactive. The Trade Dispute Settlement Organisation, under the administrative control of Ministry of Commerce, will be set up to deal with trade disputes arising from export activities. Legal cover, in consultation with the Law Division will be worked out. The newly constituted Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has so far not been able to come up to expectations. A summary will shortly be submitted to the Cabinet with a draft bill for approval of the National Assembly proposing amendments in the current TDAP law. The new export strategy has been designed in a manner so that:

  • ▪ Instead of providing cash incentives or subsidies to exporters, emphasis would be to support their capacity building in areas like productivity enhancement, and in providing training facilities to upgrade human resource skills;
  • ▪ Diversification will be encouraged via proposals drawn up specifically to promote higher trade in agricultural products. In the manufacturing sector this diversification policy will also facilitate SMEs. The advantage of this approach is that SMEs create more employment with less investment and they can trigger the production of higher value added, innovative and knowledge based products; and
  • ▪ Enhancing competitiveness of exports will be a major objective of the export policy. Various measures have been announced to simplify procedural requirements including reducing costs through comprehensive zero-rating of various export sectors.

8.12.2 Zero-rating of exports To reduce the cost of doing business the government has decided to completely zero-rate exports by refunding the whole amount paid as indirect taxes on inputs used for manufacturing for exports. To encourage value added products, particularly those being produced by SMEs, the drawback rate has been increased by 1 percent of FOB value on this account for 14 products: (i) tents, canvas and tarpaulin, (ii) electric machinery, (iii) carpets, rugs and mats, (iv) sports goods, (v) footwear, (vi) surgical goods/medical instruments, (vii) cutlery, (viii) onyx manufactured, (ix) electric fans, (x) furniture, (xi) auto parts, (xii) handicraft, (xiii) jewellery, and (xiv) pharmaceuticals. In addition to existing ones, TDAP will establish the flowing new export clusters: surgical instruments in Sialkot; gloves and personal protective equipment in Sialkot; sports wear in Sialkot; leather and leather products in Sialkot and Charsadda; sports goods in Sialkot; weaving and textile processing sector in Faisalabad; light engineering sector in Gujranwala; auto parts in Lahore; ceramics in Multan and Halla; Ajrak and bangles in Hyderabad/Halla; and embroidery in Balochistan. UNIDO will provide training to Cluster Development Agents and Coordinators who will work in these clusters.

8.12.3 Leather industry In accordance with the Trade Policy FY 2008/09, currently available 6 percent markup support on loans for setting up in-house effluent treatment plants has been increased to 8 percent or 50 percent of the markup, whichever is lower. Only three years ago, leather and leather products joined the billion dollars export club. These fetched US $1.2 billion export in FY 2007/08 up almost 20 percent over US $1 billion in FY 2006/07. Leather exports appear to be coming under dark clouds of global recession. However, the footwear segment offers some light in the tunnel. Footwear export has managed to make some inroads in European markets but without any presence in the US where annual demand for shoes is more than US $10 billion. China controls over 50 percent of the US market followed by Brazil which shares around 7 percent. Supply orders from the US are very big and at much competitive rates. While the shoe industry is gradually coming of age, it still does not have the capacity to service such huge orders.

8.12.4 Industry and Environmental Issues Industrial development has been associated with some of Pakistan’s most significant environmental challenges, which are expected to intensify in the future. In addition to industry’s contribution to air pollution, it is estimated that industrial wastewater accounts for as high as 30 percent of total wastewater generated. Currently, there is little investment in environmentally sound technologies despite strong evidence pointing at the significant health and economic benefits that would result from the employment of cleaner production methods. The industrial sector however, offers opportunities to develop strategic actions that can reduce the costs of environmental degradation while simultaneously contributing to enhance the country’s competitiveness, such as the adoption of practices to foster energy efficiency, quality control, Corporate Social Responsibility, and compliance of environmental and social standards of export markets. As a consequent step, the Trade Policy FY 2008-09 has, in compliance with the Montreal Protocol, banned import of CFC gas based refrigerator and freezing equipments. In order to avoid any possibility of misuse, import of CFC based compressors has also been banned. Details of government efforts to promote environmental sustainability were given in chapter 7.

Chapter 9 - Pillar VI: Human Development for the 21st Century

9.1 Along with meeting basic needs, sustainable human development is a fundamental right of all citizens of Pakistan, as guaranteed in the Constitution. Human development is also an essential prerequisite and a major engine for reducing encompassing an improvement in all aspects of the quality of life of citizens, and is, therefore, an important pillar of the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. The PRSP-II envisages that the ongoing demographic transition in Pakistan has created a window of opportunity in the form of changing age structure and declining child dependency to invest more in human development, focusing on education, skill development, health, family planning, nutrition, safe water and sanitation and redressing gender inequalities. As in East Asia, this investment should lead to sustained high economic growth and poverty reduction.

9.2 Pakistan has made progress in areas of human development in recent years. However, these improvements have been particularly slow in reducing both child, infant and maternal mortality, in enhancing the provision of reproductive health services, increasing primary and secondary school enrollment and retention rates. The government is aware that these indicators are not improving rapidly enough, while gender and urban/rural disparities remain important issues of concern. With the current rate of progress, it may be difficult to achieve many MDG targets set for education, health and population sectors. It has, therefore, adopted human resource development as a priority area and the country’s development strategy envisages massive investment in strengthening its human resource base to produce a skilled and competent workforce that can respond to the increasing demands of a steadily growing economy.

9.3 Population size presents a big challenge as it becomes the denominator for all investments and is the deflating factor for all efforts to improve socio-economic indicators. Currently there is an opportunity of significant changes in the age composition due to fertility decline and resultant fall in the dependency ratio which will influence the development framework and the achievement of numerical targets in education, skill investment, employment, health and population welfare. During the period of the PRSP-II, and beyond, there will be a rise in the proportion of the working age population in relative terms to the school age population. There is an urgent need to capitalize on this potential opportunity which also coincides with the goal of achieving the MDGs, and of catching up with South and West Asian neighbouring countries in terms of human development indicators.

9.4 The extent of gender inequality that cuts across all the human development indicators is a serious issue requiring immediate redress through strongly stated political commitment before the policy or planning stages. Gender equality is a basic human right, and it also has serious social and economic implications for the entire society. Empowering women through provision of primary and reproductive health care; and through eliminating the gap in enrollments and retention rates; and redressing the even larger gap in labour force participation, are key affirmative action measures for a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy. They will also allow the harnessing of the potential of that half of the population which hitherto has not been adequately recognized and involved in the development of the country. The PRSP-II endorses this mainstreaming approach by aiming to create an environment that is more welcoming to women, by focusing on policies and legislative reforms that result in improvements in women’s human development indices.

9.5 Major levers required are to ensure: (i) catching up to increase enrollments and to capture out-of-school children; (ii) ensuring that the fertility decline is rapid and continuous; (iii) ensuring a rapid decline in infant and child mortality with an improvement in their nutritional status; and (iv) enhancing employment opportunities for youth particularly for young women. Investments now rather than later in terms of financial outlay, innovative programmes, harnessing support in private and non-governmental sectors, and creating strong inter linkages between major sectors that fall under the broad umbrella of human development will pay off huge dividend economically and socially. The private sector and NGOs will be encouraged to continue to play a dominant role alongside the government to cover some of the gaps in health, education and population sectors without the latter abdicating its fundamental obligations.

9.6 (1) Education

9.6.1 Sustainable development begins with the development of a nation’s human resources. The experience of all countries that developed rapidly shows that the acquisition of knowledge and its effective utilization is a key driver of economic growth and poverty reduction. Indeed, after the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, the most important of the MDGs is the attainment of universal primary education. The government has, therefore, adopted human resource development as a priority area and the country’s development strategy envisages massive investment in strengthening its human resource base to produce a skilled and competent workforce that can respond to the increasing demands of a steadily growing economy.

9.6.2 Education forms the key to sustainable economic development. In Pakistan, the progress of the last sixty-one years has been below par and has become a matter of concern for all. Resultantly, the provincial and federal governments have in the last few years raised the political commitment to education and some changes have begun to manifest themselves.

9.6.3 The Constitution of Pakistan sets out a broad based egalitarian view of education, based on values, and responding to the requirements of economic growth. ‘Article 38 (d)’ speaks of instilling moral values and of providing education to all citizens irrespective of gender, caste, creed, or race. ‘Article 37(b)’ explicitly states that the state of Pakistan shall endeavour “to remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory secondary education within minimum possible period.”

9.6.4 The subject of education falls within the ‘Concurrent List’ of the Constitution where both the federal and the provincial levels have the right to legislate. Under the present arrangement, provinces have autonomy in planning and implementation in all areas of education except curriculum preparation and approval of textbooks. The last two functions are undertaken by the federal government. The National Education Policy (NEP) is also prepared at the federal level through provincial inputs.

9.6.5 The provinces play a key role in education service delivery. Therefore, to improve access to education and bring improvements in quality, the provinces are implementing their programs for education reforms. The main elements of the provincial efforts include targeted interventions with an initial focus on improving public sector schools. Many are targeted at girls or geographically vulnerable areas.

9.6.6 In addition to the provinces, there are three special areas the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA) and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). All these areas fall within the jurisdiction of the Federal government but they have autonomous directorates that run education in their respective areas. The only exception is the Federal Directorate of Education that runs education for ICT, which is an attached department of the Ministry of Education.

9.7 An Overview of the Sector

9.7.1 There has been a steady improvement in access to primary education during the past few years. Primary Net Enrolment Rates (NER) have risen from 42 percent in FY 2001/02 to 56 percent in FY 2006/07 while primary gross enrolment rates (GER)111 have risen from 72 to 91 percent during the same period. At the middle and secondary (Grade X) level, GER has risen from 46 percent to 51 percent and from 42 percent to 48 percent respectively. However NER at both middle and secondary levels have remained stagnant since 2005. Adult literacy has increased to 55 percent and female literacy, while very low at 42 percent in FY 2006/07 has shown an improvement of 31 percent from FY 2001/02. The share of the private sector in education service delivery has expanded considerably, with a significant presence of low cost schools in rural and urban areas. The private sector now accounts for over 36 percent of total enrolments, and 37 percent of all private sector enrolments (over 4.5 million children) are now in rural areas.112

9.7.2 There has also been progress in closing the gender gap in urban enrolments at primary, middle and secondary levels. However, overall net primary level female enrolment at 51 percent is still 9 percentage points less than male enrolment as female rural enrolment at 46 percent lags behind male enrolment of 57 percent. While enrolment trends are improving in all provinces, there are considerable inter-regional disparities. Primary net enrolment in Punjab is 62 percent compared to 41 percent in Balochistan. Balochistan also has wide gender and rural-urban disparities. Net primary female enrolment is 32 percent in Balochistan, which compares unfavorably to the national average of 51 percent. NWFP also falls 10 percent below the national average. Access to middle and secondary levels is restricted, and poses a major challenge in the forward looking agenda.

9.7.3 While enrolments are increasing, low quality remains a challenge for education managers. The Government has introduced certain initiatives to improve the quality of education. The National Education Assessment System (NEAS) tests students in key subjects in Grade IV and Grade VIII. These show low levels of learning across the country. Not only are the results below the mean, the average score for mathematics has declined from 421 to 404. Student performance in language is better than mathematics, particularly in Punjab where the score is above the mean. In addition to the difference in learning across rural/urban schools, there is considerable disparity among provinces, with Sindh and NWFP reporting the lowest achievement scores in language and mathematics.

9.7.4 Education sector funding has improved but remains below the level of expenditures in comparable countries. The share of expenditure on education is at 2.48 percent (public sector) of GDP in FY 2006/07, increased from 1.79 percent of GDP in FY 2001/02.

Table 9.1.Education financing(percent)
YearRecurringDevelopmentTotalPercent of


Percent of

Source: Demands for grants, Budget books of Government of Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, Balochistan & AJ&K, Federal Ministries/Divisions, District Governments.
Source: Demands for grants, Budget books of Government of Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, Balochistan & AJ&K, Federal Ministries/Divisions, District Governments.

9.7.5 The education budget as percentage of total government budget has also been increased from 11.2 percent in FY 2001/02 to 14.1 percent in FY 2006/07.

Table 9.2.Education budget as percentage of total government budget113

9.7.6 To respond to the challenges faced by the education sector, Ministry of Education has developed a new NEP for guiding education sector development in the country. This NEP articulates two overarching priorities: (i) improving access to education for all to help Pakistan come closer to the MDGs and to achieve Education For All (EFA) goals of universal primary enrolment, including removing urban-rural and gender imbalances; and (ii) enhancing the quality of education and student learning at all levels (including higher education). The Policy recognizes that improvements in governance and management underpin any improvements in the sector.

9.7.7 Issues in Education Education is a huge sector with many interlinked issues. For the purpose of this paper the issues have been divided into four broad areas:

  • ▪ Governance;
  • ▪ Access and Equity;
  • ▪ Literacy and Non-Formal Education; and
  • ▪ Quality. Governance: Pakistan has a very large population and hence a huge education sector. The education department is by far the largest, in terms of personnel, in every province. Given the huge numbers, governance becomes a critical but difficult process. Some of the key areas under governance and management that need redressal are:

  • ▪ Lack of clarity in inter-tier roles and responsibilities;
  • ▪ Fragmented governance and planning; and
  • ▪ Poor management capacity. At the federal level the draft NEP, and earlier the White Paper on Education, have called for clear demarcation of roles and responsibilities between the federal and provincial (and area governments) and then between the provincial and the district levels. The Inter-provincial Education Ministers’ Conference (IPEM) is the forum for inter-provincial and Federal coordination. While it has been functioning for some years now it suffers from absence of an institutionalized mechanism and its functionality depends on the goodwill of the incumbent set of ministers. To overcome this issue, a proposal for institutionalization was sent to all provincial and area governments by the Ministry of Education (MoE). All federating units have agreed with the fundamental principle although details need to be finalized before formal institutionalization is possible. Education works as an integrated system, but presently suffers from issues of fragmented governance. At the federal level it is being dealt with by at least four different organizations with no coordination mechanism: MoE, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Ministry of Special Education and National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (NAVTEC). Similarly with some variations the sector remains fragmented at the provincial level also again with little or no coordination. As already mentioned, education is a very large sector. This creates serious management issues. Over the years there has been a weakening of management capacity due to expansion on the one hand and the absence of trained specialized managers on the other. Teachers with some seniority are appointed as managers. Most of them do not have adequate training for the position. The problem permeates all levels starting from Executive District Officer (Education) right to the school level where most head teachers do not have relevant training or competence for the job. The effective mobilization of community to participate in school management also remains a challenge. An important area of governance is meritocratic recruitment and deployment of teachers. The problem appears as a collective legacy of many years. On the positive side there is increased recognition of the problem and some efforts are under way to reduce and eventually eliminate the problem. Given that development partners play a very important role in supporting education development in Pakistan, an area of focus for both the government as well as the development partners has been to improve aid effectiveness. Over the years there have been issues of overlap and non-coordination of support from development partners. Now efforts are underway in all provinces to rectify the situation. Sector planning is considered a pre-requisite for alignment of objectives, harmonization of procedures & approaches and coherent policy and financing arrangements in education sector development. The government recognizes the importance of shifting from a fragmented project mode development to sector-wide approaches for education sector development. In this context, the draft National Education Policy Implementation Framework provides guidelines for the development of sector plans for each sub-sector of education. The Government of Punjab has initiated strict measures for meritocratic recruitment of teachers and has also established a database that contains information on teachers’ deployment in the Punjab Education Management Information System (EMIS). The Project Management Implementation Unit (PMIU) manages a number of areas through an overall plan. An important component includes monitoring to check teacher absenteeism. A separate management cadre is also being developed. The Government of Sindh is working on an overall education sector plan to improve. The province also plans to introduce reforms to improve the functioning capacity and accountability of provincial and district education management. There is also focus on improving the effectiveness of school management committees and instituting meritocratic recruitment of teachers as well as improving their accountability. In 2007, new Recruitment Rules to ensure merit and transparency in recruitment were notified. The Government of NWFP is in the process of preparing a sector plan for education to improve donor harmonization and aid effectiveness. Partnership agreements have been made with five districts to implement some innovations to improve management. The Education Sector Reform Unit has been established to improve planning and monitoring of service delivery. Revised guidelines for utilization of budgets have been issued to the parents-teachers associations to improve their effectiveness. The government of NWFP has approved the preparation of a management cadre. A proposal will be sent to the Provincial Public Service Commission. The Government of Balochistan has also introduced a meritocratic system for teacher recruitment. It is also planning to prepare a sector-wide plan to improve management efficiency. Access and Equity: There has been a steady improvement in access to primary education during the past few years. Primary Net Enrolment Rates (NER) have risen from 42 percent in FY 2001/02 to 56 percent in FY 2006/07 while primary gross enrolment rates (GER) have risen from 72 percent to 91 percent during the same period. At the middle and secondary (Grade X) level, GER has risen from 41 percent to 51 percent and from 42 percent to 48 percent respectively. Taking PSLM FY 2004/05 indicators for education as the baseline, the Ministry of Education will aim at attaining the targets for educational enhancement given in Table 9.3. Both the Gross and the Net Enrolment Rates (GER and NER) will be enhanced during the next five years with further reduction in the gender gap in primary education. Dropout rates will be reduced for both boys and girls. The overall literacy rate will be increased to 62 percent by FY 2009/10.

Table 9.3.Final Outcome Targets of PRSP-II(percent)
IndicatorPSLM FY 2004/05Projection/Target FY 2009/10
Gross enrolment ratio-primary (percent)9477861009095
Ratio of girls to boys (GPI) enrolled in primary0.8190.90
Gross enrolment ratio-middle514046655660
Ratio of girls to boys (GPI) enrolled in middle0.7840.85
Net enrolment ratio primary584852696165
Literacy rate 1D+654053705462
Literacy rate 15+633650684858
Students dropout rate from primary43.9239.0742.09231720 To achieve these outcomes, the NEP emphasizes the need for: (i) system level reforms which set the priorities for the sector; and (ii) implementation level reforms that deal with the individual sub-sectors of education, ranging from early childhood to adult learning. The system level reforms address financing for the sector, which while increasing, falls short of the requirements. It remains far below the level of expenditures of countries with similar rates of economic growth and per capita incomes. The strategy emphasizes the need for sustaining the required levels of financing for the education expenditure program, both at the federal and provincial levels, with the target of increasing allocations to 7 percent of GDP by 2015. In Punjab, the government has addressed the issue of access through provision of free tuition up to matriculate level, free textbooks provision up to primary level and provision of missing facilities. In addition to these, girls stipend programmes (for middle school) have been successfully implemented in poorer districts to increase female enrolment and redress the gender inequality. The Government of Punjab has also used PPPs for increasing access. This has been done through the Punjab Education Foundation. The Foundation, among other initiatives, has introduced the concept of paying fees for poor students enrolled by private school. In Sindh also, tuition free education and provision of free textbooks have been important incentives to increase access. Additionally the province has also successfully conducts its girls’ stipend programme to encourage female education. Additionally the government is providing school rehabilitation fund for improving physical conditions. The provincial government also works in partnership with the private sector to increase access. Sindh Education Foundation has two programmes in this regard: the Adopt a School Programme; and Support to Private Education Institutes Programme (SPEIP). The NWFP also provides tuition free education. Additionally free textbooks are made available to all public school students from grades 1-12 and a girls stipend programme has also been implemented for grades 6-10. Terms of Partnerships have been signed with districts that include, among other initiatives, the issue of provision of missing facilities. The provincial government has also recruited more teachers to redress the issue of a teacher student ratio. In Balochistan, free textbooks are being provided up to class 10th in addition to tuition free education. The provincial government plans to expand this to grade 12. There is a paucity of teachers for which the government plans to recruit 2500 teachers, including 1500 for primary schools. It also plans to expand tertiary level institutions and provision of quality education institutions in the form of 11 cadet colleges, with the assistance of the Federal government. The Balochistan Education Foundation has also been working with community to open community schools to increase access through PPPs. Literacy and Non-Formal Education: Pakistan has a literacy rate of 54 percent which is an issue of serious concern as over the years the sector has either not been given adequate attention or has seen implementation failure of a number of initiatives. The sector has been receiving increased attention over the last few years. At present there are eleven major programmes with the total outlay Rs 3 billion FY 2005/06.114

Table 9.4.Ongoing programmes in literacy and non-formal education(Rs million)
Sr. No.ProgrammeAgencyAmount
1President Education Sector Reform Programme (PESR)Federal Government100
2Adult Literacy ProgrammeNational Commission for Human Development (NCHD)1,000
3100 percent Literacy in 4 Model Districts Mandi Bahauddin, Khushab, Khanewal and D.G.KhanPunjab Literacy and Non-Formal Education Department245
4Crash Literacy Programme for Women in 10 Districts of Southern Punjab Lodhran, R.Y.Khan, Rajanpur, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Layyah, Muzaffaragarh, Multan, Vehari and BhakkarPunjab Literacy and Non-Formal Education Department28
5Literate Punjab Programme 100 percent Literacy in 10 Union Councils of Each of 31 Districts of PunjabPunjab Literacy and Non-Formal Education Department331
6Establishment of Provincial Literacy Management information system (LITMIS) UnitPunjab Literacy and Non-Formal Education Department12
7Post Literacy and continuing Education Programme 5 Centres for Matriculation Pilot Project in FaisalabadPunjab Literacy and Non-Formal Education Department2
8Literacy for All (LFA) ProgrammeElementary Education Foundation (EEF) NWFP352
9Non-Formal Basic Education Schools ProjectFederal Ministry of Education500
10District Governments Programmes for Literacy and Non-Formal EducationDistrict Governments230
11NGOs and INGOs Programme (Estimated Budget) - LIFEFederal Government/UNESCO200
Total3,000 The outlay for the above projects remains below the requirement. There is a need for all governments (federal/provincial) to increase priority for literacy. This requires launching a Total Literacy Programme (TLP) which will take at least one union council from each district and adopt a model union council approach focusing on:

  • ▪ Establishment of adult literacy centers by adopting integrated approach i.e. basic literacy, functional literacy (post literacy) and income generating skills;
  • ▪ Establishment of non-formal basic education schools for out of school children and child labour;
  • ▪ Universalization of Primary Education (UPE) in respective union councils; and
  • ▪ PPPs. In addition to the above, Pakistan has, for the first time, developed a curriculum for literacy along with guides to assist implementation. Quality: Curriculum: As shown by results of NEAS and PEAS quality of educations remains a concern for the country. There has been an increase in attention to this area but much more needs to be done. The main components impacting quality are: curriculum; textbooks; teachers; assessments; and school environment. The Federal government prepares the curriculum and the provincial governments prepare the textbooks. However, the final approval of textbooks lies with the federal government. Starting with curriculum, the Federal government has revised curricula for 24 subjects and introduced standards based curricula in these. Revision process for other subjects continues. The USAID through its ED-LINKS programme has assisted the Ministry of Education (MoE) in developing National Teacher Pacing Guides for new curriculum. Additionally, in recognition of the changes in the modern world, the MoE plans to realign the curriculum to the knowledge era. Creations and sharing of knowledge will be key assets to this era. Designing education for the knowledge era will involve the followings:

  • ▪ To define a curriculum for the compulsory school years that is foundational for lifelong learning;
  • ▪ To design a curriculum that is free from the shackles imposed by the use of schools as a fitting and sorting devices for limited territory places;
  • ▪ To design and develop assessment practices which measure what we value rather than value what we can currently measures; and
  • ▪ To continue to develop educational practices for transformative learning. Textbooks & Learning Materials: To improve the quality of textbooks, the MoE has introduced National Textbook & Learning Materials Policy in 2007. It will provide a choice to learners and healthy competition among publishers. The schools will have the opportunity to choose from a set of textbooks as opposed to the current situation of a single prescribed textbook. With competition it is expected that the quality of textbooks will also improve. Under the new policy, MoE will introduce a well regulated system of competitive publishing of textbooks and learning materials while promoting PPPs. There is also a provision in the policy to transform Textbook Boards into competent facilitating, regulating and monitoring authorities which shall review and approve textbooks for use in schools in their respective areas of jurisdiction. Salient Provisions include:

  • ▪ Establishment of an “Inter-Provincial Standing Committee on Textbook Policy” to regulate operational and procedural issues, and monitor and coordinate further implementation process;
  • ▪ Formation of a Provincial Committee to select and prescribe textbooks for use in public schools in the respective province or areas of jurisdiction;
  • ▪ Federal and Provincial Governments will increase public investment in school libraries and school educational materials, teacher resource books and guides, and will provide adequate regular budgets to schools for that matter; and
  • ▪ Resource Centers will be established at Federal and Provincial levels with the support of Federal Government through development partners. Already the provincial governments have embarked on implementing the policy and private publishers are involved in preparation of textbooks. The Government of Punjab has also initiated a programme for improving capacity of the private publishers to develop textbooks. Government of Sindh has also initiated work on development of multiple textbooks. Teachers and Teachers Professional Development: Quality, status and conditions of teachers remain a challenge. There are weaknesses and gaps in the quality of teacher training, and in the system of teachers’ professional development. The majority of teacher educators and teacher training institutions are out of touch with the day-to-day realities of student needs and classroom experiences. In fact, teacher training programmes are supply-driven, lecture-oriented, and not in line with the much needed professional development of teachers. The programmes focus on addressing the symptoms of the problems rather than the root causes. However, a number of recommendations exist, made by line departments, donor agencies, head-trainers and teachers themselves. These have been collated to formulate a Strategic Framework for Teachers’ Professional Development. The MoE’s ‘Strengthening Teacher Education in Pakistan’ (STEP) programme is to completely overhaul the teacher education system in terms of policy, organization, jurisdictional and institutional roles and responsibilities, contents and delivery at the school level. To improve the quality of teacher’s training, the setting up of standards for teacher’s certification and accreditation at national level as well as the policy framework gets significant importance. The specific objectives of STEP are the followings:

  • ▪To support development of a national policy framework for teacher education;
  • ▪To support establishment of a national body for teacher certification and accreditation of teacher training institutions and programmes;
  • ▪To strengthen the networks of teacher’s professional development initiatives and institution and PPPs; and
  • ▪To identify, scale up and disseminate information on best practices in teacher training and education. The Government of the Punjab has developed a cluster based teacher professional development process with delivery system centered in the district. The modules and other software as well as planning is housed in the Department for Staff Development. The Government of Sindh is initiating work on teachers’ professional development to establish a competency based teacher education and continuous professional development. The Government of the NWFP has been working through a cascade model for teachers training for the last many years. Assessment: Assessments remain a very weak link in the education delivery chain. Over the years the assessment style has encouraged rote learning. The Federal Board was one of the first ones to change the assessment mechanism to move towards an examination system that tests concepts rather than simple information. A number of Boards in the country are now replicating this model. The Government of Punjab has established the Punjab Examination Commission to revamp the assessment system in the province. It is still in a nascent state and will require sometime before it can be evaluated. However, it expected to improve the quality of assessment in the province and provide a good example for others to follow. A number of reforms have been proposed in the draft NEP to improve the assessment systems. These include moving towards curriculum based assessment and also rationalizing the number of examination boards to reduce standardization issues. For overall system assessment and measurement of quality, the National Education Assessment System and the Provincial Education Assessment Systems for all provinces and area governments were initiated with the assistance of the World Bank in 2005. It was a pioneering effort in the country as previously the only measure of quality was the local examination systems which themselves suffered from issues of standardization. In any case these were specific to certain levels in the education system and their purpose was primarily to test the student for the next level. The government has taken over the recurrent budget while the World Bank and Department for International Development continue to fund the development components. Currently NEAS has not been able to develop linkages with system inputs to identify weaknesses and propose system changes. There are plans to institutionalize the results into a feedback mechanism for all qualitative inputs like curriculum, textbooks and teacher training. Inclusion of Marginalized Children The inclusion of marginalized children into mainstream education is placed on high priority. Rural girls with disabilities are doubly discriminated against—disability and gender. Education Sector in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are some of the most underdeveloped regions of Pakistan and thus need special focus. Only 17 percent of the overall population is literate and among women literacy is as low as 3 percent. The low level of literacy is a significant cause for concern, along with poor enrolment and high dropout rates. For both boys and girls, factors that deter primary enrollment and discourage continuation into secondary schooling include poverty, the perceived low economic impact of education, improperly sited schools where they are most needed. An overly theoretical curriculum coupled with poorly trained teachers, makes schooling less engaging for students. Among girls, enrolment is affected by the shortage of girls’ school and female teachers, as well as social factors such as early marriages, cultural taboos and tribal enmities that make travel hazardous. Poverty also affects girls more severely, since poor families who may be able to invest in some education for their children will invariably award priority to sons. Federal government programmes address quality assurance, school rehabilitation, training and resource centers, technical and science education, adult literacy, and the Education for All Programme. Other federal initiatives include streamlining madrassah; introducing the use of information technology; scholarship for girls, talented students and teachers; and training of school teachers. The Sustainable Development Programme (SDP) for FATA envisage following objectives and strategies for development and progress of Education sector. The SDP aims to improve the functioning of the education system in order to make education a major agent of change in the tribal areas. To achieve this objective, the following broad strategic measures are required:115

  • ▪ Enhance awareness of the value of education;
  • ▪ Increase access to education at all levels, and across all agencies;
  • ▪ Raise the number of local teacher’s particularly female teachers;
  • ▪ Substantially decrease dropout and repetition rates;
  • ▪ Promote the acquisition of basic knowledge and skills;
  • ▪ Regularly assess classroom teaching and student learning; and
  • ▪ Develop accountability mechanisms for effective monitoring and evaluation. Under these strategic measures, a detailed set of priority interventions in various sub-sectors of education including: enrolment; capacity development; governance, student learning and empowerment; and job relevance and role of private sector have been designed. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) Issues The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system has remained fragmented, supply-driven, and lacking a national direction. The education strategy for the PRSP-II period envisages a major overhaul of the system. The philosophy behind the strategy for reforming the TVET system is to change it from a supply-driven system to one that responds to the demand of the marketplace. The strategy envisages the following major initiatives during the PRSP-II period: (i) adoption and implementation of a National Qualifications Framework to ensure coherence of national qualifications within the TVET system; (ii) shift to a system that is competency-based rather than curriculum-based; (iii) to create a PPPs, in which the private sector can give much clearer and more definite indications of the skills that they are seeking; and (iv) to make a significant increase in the budget of the system so as to improve its physical infrastructure and to attract the requisite amount and quality of teachers. In order to cope with the requirements of fast developing economy, to gear up employment generation and meet the challenges of Word Trade Organization and globalization, it was absolutely imperative to realign Technical and Vocational Education & Training (TVET) system in the country to cater for these requirements. National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (NAVTEC) was established in 2006 to oversee:

  • ▪ Policy and Planning;
  • ▪ Standards setting and Regulation;
  • ▪ Curricula Development;
  • ▪ Certification and Accreditation;
  • ▪ Demand Assessment and Research; and
  • ▪ Others such as facilitating PPPs, establishing national and international linkages, coordination with provincial governments, training of trainers etc. The National Vocational and Technical Education Commission is assisting provincial governments in the area of skill development, facilitating PPP at the national level, coordinating national sectoral training policies and acting as a catalyst. The NAVTEC is paying special attention to creation of linkages with the labour market. One of the intended directions of the Commission’s work will be to transform the current supply driven TVET system into a demand driven one. The TVET trainees can thus be ensured of their employability in the labour market. The Way Forward for TVET

  • ▪ TVET institutes will be subject to performance evaluation by provincial authorities based on expected outcomes, which will include development of linkages with local industry;
  • ▪ A TVET Quality Council shall be set up to oversee the operation of the quality training framework. This Council will work according to clearly defined powers and functions. Uniform national standards for registration of training providers will be framed while actual registration will remain with provincial governments. A system of federal audits will be introduced for quality assurance of the system. ‘Employer Satisfaction Surveys’ will be carried out to guide major policy decisions regarding relevance and quality;
  • ▪ Competency standards for TVET teachers and assessors will be developed. To remain current with industry practices, two weeks’ attachment in industry in a year of a TVET teacher will be compulsory;
  • ▪ The Apprenticeship Ordinance, 1962 will be revisited and stakeholders consulted, in order to make it more attractive for the industry as well as trainees. Incentives will be introduced for employers and apprentices, rather than coercion and control. The new apprenticeship model will have a support system: for attracting new apprentices and where viable, for providing incentives to employers and benefits (such as stipends, tools allowance) to apprentices. The qualifications earned by an apprentice will be reflected in the National Qualifications Framework. Incentives will be targeted to encourage apprenticeships in areas in which skills are short;
  • ▪ Currently only 3 percent of all students enrolled at all levels of education pursue a career path by choosing the TVET stream of education. It is intended to double this percentage during the PRSP-II period, and to aim that by the year 2030 at least 50 percent of students should be expected to choose a career through this system;
  • ▪ The TVET coverage will be extended to 100 percent of tehsils all over the country;
  • ▪ Females account for only about 30 percent of students enrolled in TVET programmes. By expanding the number of scholarships for female students and bringing in more female teachers, the aim is to raise this to 35 percent (of a substantially larger total) by the end of the PRSP-II period, and thereafter to keep increasing it until by 2030 females account for 50 percent of enrollment in the TVET sector;
  • ▪ Currently only 3.45 percent of the pubic sector budgetary allocation for Education goes to TVET. This allocation will be doubled by the end of the PRSP II period and steadily increased in each subsequent PRSP period so that it reaches 40 percent by 2030;
  • ▪ Regulations will be reformed so that TVET institutions become more autonomous in their day-to-day operations. TVET institutes will be able to retain part of their earnings generated through commercial activities;
  • ▪ A National Qualifications Framework will be adopted to ensure coherence of all national qualifications within the TVET system;
  • ▪ Introduction of TVET at the secondary school level will be encouraged so that an increasing percentage of school pass-outs enter the TVET stream each year;
  • ▪ A sector-based approach will be adopted to measure demand in sectors of importance. This will be done through research led or undertaken by Sector Skills Councils supported by the government. Research into demand for skills will feed into national and provincial training plans. Demand for skilled labour abroad, especially in countries where Pakistani labour force is exported, will also be assessed;
  • ▪ Access to TVET will be increased. Each district of Pakistan will have at least one technical education institute and each tehsil of Pakistan will have at least one vocational training institute. While expanding the geographical coverage of the TVET, it will be ensured that training in the new TVET institutes conforms to the needs of the local economy; and
  • ▪ Regions such as Balochistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and Northern Areas have a relatively low coverage of TVET compared with other regions and provinces. Special seats in TVET institutes, country-wide, will be reserved for youth from disadvantaged regions. To ensure their employability at home and abroad, apprenticeships of shorter duration will be arranged in industrial areas. Flexible learning methods will be used to reach far-flung communities. Higher Education The Higher Education Commission (HEC) aims at creating the necessary foundations on which excellence can flourish and Pakistan can enter effectively into the global knowledge-based economy. Three major issues need to be addressed in order to develop the higher education sector. These are: (a) access; (b) quality; and (c) relevance to national needs. The present MTDF of HEC aims at increasing the access to Pakistan’s higher education institutions by doubling the enrolment (from 341,168 in 2007 to 513,533 in 2010). This will be achieved by increasing the capacity of existing higher education institutions and, where necessary, establishing new ones. The present quality of higher education falls short of requirements. Not a single Pakistani University is ranked among the top 500 of the world. A number of steps to improve quality are planned, which include: faculty development; infrastructure improvement; attainment of excellence in research; and making the system relevant to national priorities. Faculty development At present, out of 7000 faculty members in Pakistani universities, only 1700 have PhD degrees. Each of the 60 public sector universities needs to have a faculty of at least 300–400 persons with a PhD (i.e., at least 15–20 per department) before it can be regarded as a genuine university. For this purpose an additional 15,000–20,000 persons will need to be sent for PhD level training to suitable foreign institutions in fields of national priority. This foreign PhD level training will help to develop a cadre of highly qualified men and women who can carry out teaching and research in universities and also act as consultants to industry. This foreign PhD level training, combined with the indigenous PhD programme and the foreign faculty-hiring programme, will provide the core element of quality human resources essential for public sector university education. Infrastructure upgrading Each public sector university will be upgraded in terms of availability of books, journals, scientific equipment, consumables, teaching aids, and high-speed Internet connectivity. It will also be equipped with sports and other facilities so as to provide the requisite environment for quality education. Research quality International linkages, access to research grants and post-doctoral training programmes will also help to improve quality. Governance; financial management systems; curricula; examination system; and quality assurance systems in the universities will be constantly improved in order to bring these to international standards. The Pakistan Educational Research Network (PERN) will be expanded and its performance further improved so that the materials available on the internet can be readily accessed, and faculty resources can be shared through video-conferencing. Relevance to National Priorities In order to transform Pakistan into a ‘knowledge-economy,’ specific projects and programmes have been identified as priority national programmes. The human resource development effort will be tailored to meet the human resource requirements of these programmes. These include transition of the agriculture sector to one that is engaged in high value-added production, information technology, biotechnology, engineering sciences, pharmaceuticals, material sciences, basic sciences, social sciences, economics, finance, and other disciplines. The curricula for these fields have already been modified in consultation with experts and the private sector to make them relevant to market demands and the needs of the society as well as emerging international opportunities. During the PRSP-II period, these curricula will progressively be adopted by higher education institutions; the HEC will monitor and ensure that this is done. The establishment of technology parks, business incubators, and funding of joint projects with industry are expected to transform the universities to creative and vibrant institutions where new ideas are born and transformed into commercial products and processes. The role of education in poverty eradication, in close cooperation with other social sectors, is crucial. No country has succeeded if it has not educated its people. Not only is education important in reducing poverty, it is also a key to wealth creation. As investment in education as a poverty reduction strategy can enhance the skills and productivity among poor households, on the one, and eliminate role of poverty as a constraint to educational achievement as children of poor households receive less education, on the other. The PRSP-II presents a holistic medium term policy framework covering all the tiers of education sector with an aim to achieve MDG targets for education, thus leading to creation of knowledge economy and a more prosperous future.

9.8 (2) Health

9.8.1 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone should have access to health care, education, water and sanitation and, when times are hard, social security.” The health-poverty nexus is well established. Ill health contributes to poverty: ‘catastrophic costs’ of illness which can rapidly plunge households into poverty; reduced earning capacity when ill; and the need to consider how this impacts on adult men, who are likely to remain the main income earners in many households; and the burden of caring for the sick, which falls unduly on women. Poor people suffer disproportionately from disease; and women and children are particularly vulnerable.

9.8.2 Health Status of the People of Pakistan Pakistan’s estimated population of 163.8 million is growing at an annual rate of 1.9; the total fertility rate is currently reported at 4.1, which is 30 percent higher than its South Asian neighbours. Both the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) have steadily declined since 1990; however, the rate of decline over the last fifteen years has been considerably slower than its South Asian neighbours—IMR declined by 21percent in Pakistan during 1990 and 2005, less than half the decline in Bangladesh and Nepal where IMR declined 46 and 44 percent respectively—and Neonatal Mortality Rate has remained relatively intransigent. In addition, available data suggest that there has been no change in malnutrition levels in children, with the percentage of under-five children who are under-weight ranging from 33-45 percent. This snapshot of health status indicates that Pakistan is far from achieving the health related MDG targets. To achieve these targets Pakistan will have to significantly improve the performance of its health sector. Despite the slow progress towards health related MDGs and other health outcomes, there is evidence that Pakistan has made some level of progress particularly at the intermediate outcome level. This can be attributable, in part to the increase in public expenditure on health as envisaged in the I-PRSP and PRSP-I and to the sustained focus on prevention and control of preventable diseases. Expansion of the Lady Health Workers Programme in the rural areas has contributed to improving primary health care, although many gaps still remain to be addressed. In addition, intermediate maternal and child health outcomes have also shown improvement during the last five years; this is evidenced by the increase in antenatal and post natal care—ANC increased from 35 to 61 percent and PNC increased from 9 to 22 percent during this period of time, as reported by the PSLM surveys. Similarly, skilled attendance at birth increased from 24 to 36 percent during the last five years; the percentage of fully immunized children increased from 53 to 76 percent, and TT2 coverage in women improved from 35 to 58 percent during the same timeframe. In addition, recent reports of the TB case detection rate at 69 percent and cure rates at 87 percent are encouraging despite limitations of the reporting system in terms of its inability to take into account cases which report to private sector healthcare providers. Despite these achievements, the sector continues to face significant challenges, which pose an impediment to progress. Key issues are summarized below:

9.8.3 Key Issues and Challenges Slow progress in achieving health specific MDGs and other health outcomes remain the major challenge faced by the health sector. This can be attributed to contributing factors both external and internal to the sector. External factors largely include causes implicit in the social determinants of health; these include illiteracy, unemployment, gender inequality, social exclusion, lack of access to safe drinking water and inadequate sanitation and food insecurity; the stresses of urbanization and a range of environmental determinants of health add to these challenges. Inherent factors contributing to inadequate performance of the health sector are deep rooted. These include weak management and governance systems; partially functional logistics and supply systems; poorly motivated and inadequately compensated staff, lack of adequate supportive supervision, lack of evidence based planning and decision making, low levels of public sector expenditures and their inequitable distribution. As a result coverage and access to essential basic services remains limited and unequal with poor quality of services which are generally perceived to be less responsive to community needs. The key programmatic and management challenges for the sector can be summarized as follows: Limited coverage of quality services The delivery and coverage of quality essential health services needs to be ensured on a universal basis especially in rural and underdeveloped areas. Access issues emerge as a result of staff unavailability; absenteeism; security risks; poor supervision; and interrupted supply chains. Additional investments in the health sector are needed to offer and ensure better access to quality essential services, which should include reproductive and child health, nutrition and control of communicable diseases as well as the emerging challenge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and to develop strategies to address risk factors related to NCDs and injuries. Health delivery system is not properly equipped to deal with emergency and disaster situations. All these issues are known to have major impacts on macroeconomic growth and on poverty. A key challenge is rapidly rising population which continues to undermine health gains and needs strong political commitment and priority ensuring provision of family planning services across all health outlets and at the community level. Management and governance issues: The public health sector at all the three levels of management and governance—federal, provincial and district—is overly centralized and faces serious management and governance challenges, which in turn limit its ability to deliver. Management challenges arise due lack of clear roles, responsibilities and prerogatives at the three levels of government and multiple, often conflicting directions coming from different levels. Devolution in the sector is incomplete with weak accountability mechanisms and management capacity at the district level. Recent analyses indicate that services delivery at the district level and below continue to face many of the systemic problems, which characterized the earlier centralized arrangements; as a result, the benefits that devolution could deliver to the population are not being actualized. The recent initiative to strengthen management or contract out management at the primary healthcare level has shown improved utilization of services at first level care facilities. However, the initiative needs a comprehensive overall assessment before further expansion and ways and means to institutionalize it. Unharnessed role of private providers: Pakistan has a large and growing private, philanthropic and non-state health sector providing services at various levels, particularly in the domain of curative care. The is cognizant of the fact that improving health outcomes and access to essential services is unlikely to be achieved without working closely with the non state sector; in this regard, unevenness of services, absence of appropriate regulatory and institutional frameworks to protect the rights of the consumers pose a challenge. An additional overarching issue, which complicates the public private divide further is dual practice of public providers. Weak stewardship functions: The existing health system lays little emphasis on stewardship functions of the state agencies in health; these functions include setting strategic policy directions; monitoring and evaluation; measuring performance; detecting disease trends and epidemics; regulating quality standards of healthcare; and guiding human resource production and development and deployment. An additional issue is clearly defining health sector policy and its monitoring. At present strategic direction and sector priorities are not synchronized among various policy, strategic and programme’s documents—a gap that is currently being bridged through an effort that will be described later. Low levels of public health investments: The public sector in Pakistan continues to spend less on health than most countries at the same level of GDP despite the commitments enshrined in macro-policy documents—PRSP-I, the Medium Term Development Framework and the Fiscal Responsibility Debt and Limitation Act, 2005. Despite increasing expenditures in nominal terms, the real expenditures as percentage of GDP have stagnated below 0.6 percent against the target of 0.92 percent. According to a recent civil society review on health financing the public sector spends 0.54 percent of the GDP. Increasing resources without addressing management challenges and appropriate prioritization is unlikely to improve performance significantly. However, as the system starts to improve performance by programmatic and management reforms, additional resources will be needed.

9.8.4 PRSP-II: Changing for the Better The PRSP-II is an opportunity to bridge many of the aforementioned gaps and weaknesses in the health system. It is opportune that the development of PRSP-II has commenced at a time cycle when two other overarching strategic planning exercises relevant to the health sector are coming to fruition: (i) chalking out of a new vision for the Medium Term Development Framework (MTDF) of the Planning Commission for the years 2011-2016; and (ii) ongoing work to develop a new vision for a National Health Policy. With regard to the latter there are two planning and consultative exercises running in parallel which are meant to complement each other. One is the work of the ‘Health Policy Task Force’, which has six working groups and has come up with recommendations after a set of consultative deliberations. The other relates to the process of setting directions for the new health policy by the civil society, which has culminated in the creation of the ‘Gateway Health Policy Scaffold’, under an agreement with the Ministry of Health. Regarding this as an ideal setting to revise goals, objectives and strategic directions with reference to health in these three planning instruments—PRSP-II, MTDF and the National Health Policy—state agencies in partnership with a civil society think-tank have developed a unified vision for the health sector in Pakistan, which draws on the Policy Objectives of the Gateway Health Policy Scaffold. This takes cognizance of the need to strengthen health systems to deliver on program targets, addressing weaknesses in existing programmes and drawing on a broader constituency of actors in the inter-sectoral scope to improve health outcomes in Pakistan.

Box 9.1.Government commitments during PRSP-II timeframe

  • ▪ Save 350,000 addirional lives of children;
  • ▪ Save additional 7,000 lives of mothers;
  • ▪ Eradicate polio;
  • ▪ Prevent 1. 5 million children from becoming malnourished;
  • ▪ Provide family planning services to 2.5 million additional couples;
  • ▪ Avert 5 million new TB cases;
  • ▪ Immunize12 million children against Hepatitis B; and
  • ▪ Reach 40 million poorest people of Pakistan to ensure provision of essential package of service delivery.

9.9 Policy Objectives

9.9.1 The policy objectives for health systems reform set a vision for a future health system that:

  • ▪ Effectively addresses social inequities and inequities in health and is fair, responsive and pro-poor;
  • ▪ Supports people and communities to attain the highest possible level of health and wellbeing;
  • ▪ Reduces excess mortality, morbidity and disability and care-givers burden—especially in poor and marginalized populations;
  • ▪ Mitigates risks to health that arise from environmental, economic, social and behavioral causes;
  • ▪ Meets the specific needs of health promotion as well as treatment, prevention and control of diseases; and
  • ▪ Is there when you need it—a health system that encourages you to have your say, and ensures that your views are taken into account.

9.9.2 The principles that support this vision are grounded in the principles of equity, solidarity, social justice, people-centered priorities, gender mainstreaming, community empowerment, universal coverage for essential services, evidence-based decision-making the inter-sectoral approach to health, outcome orientation, fair financing, quality management, subsidiary and technical and allocative efficiency.

9.9.3 The broad goals of the policy objectives and envisaged agenda for policy reform and their respective strategies fall within the following eight domains and their corresponding objectives:

  • Evidence and information: to garner an unyielding political and institutional commitment to base decisions on evidence and institutionalize rational accountability of the decision-making process; and to develop a sustainable health information infrastructure and capacity within the health system to systematically collect, consolidate, analyze, and interpret health data and information and relay it in a timely manner for actions at appropriate levels.
  • Health in all policies: to regard health within an inter-sectoral scope in a broad national and international policy context to ensure that people receive a clear benefit from the health system in terms of health gain, which is concerned with health status and social gains that is concerned with broader aspects of quality of life; to support vulnerable households in managing hazards and risks and to build equity safeguards with respect to the emergence of health as a sector within the market economy.
  • Health promotion: to enable people and communities to make appropriate use of health services and to exercise control over their own health and well-being by ensuring their participation in decisions related to the environment, which impacts their quality of life.
  • Leadership and governance: to enhance transparency, effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness in governance by improving accountability to the people and to foster evidence-based decision-making as the norm
  • Health financing: to maximize public sources of financing (revenues and social health insurance) over private sources (out-of-pocket payments and private insurance) and to enable universal coverage for a certain set of essential interventions through revenues and provide alternative means of health financing for achieving the equity objective.
  • Service delivery: to ensure the delivery of a package of essential health services to all citizens leveraging the strength and outreach of all stakeholders in the health sector—both state and non-state and to ensure quality and equity and uphold ethical values in service delivery.
  • Health workforce: to develop a health workforce appropriate to the needs of the country’s health system giving due attention to numerical inadequacies, issues relating to mal-distribution and deployment, lack of diversity, problems with capacity building and training and regulation; and to take into account the impact of reform in the areas of decentralization, outsourcing, granting autonomy, PPPs, and other areas on the health workforce and vice versa.
  • Medicines and related technologies: to make quality essential medicines and technologies, critical for the delivery of the essential health package accessible, affordable and consumer friendly on an equitable basis and to promote their rational use in the health system.

9.9.4 The strategic priorities for the health sector articulated in a subsequent section emanate from this vision, principles and broad goals.

9.10 Health priorities in PRSP-II

9.10.1 Analysis of the burden of disease (BOD) conducted in 1996 indicated that Pakistan bears a double burden of disease; although the burden of communicable diseases, childhood illnesses, reproductive health problems and malnutrition is high and remains to be tacked, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are fast emerging as the major contributors of death and disability. The major brunt of all these diseases are borne by the poor—communicable diseases and malnutrition are commoner amongst the poor and the vulnerable whereas NCDs affect the economically productive workforce, lead to income losses, lost productivity and are known to be the major contributors to health shocks. The focus of the PRSP will therefore be to address all these disease dimensions which have implications for poverty.

9.10.2 In previous years, the government of Pakistan placed poverty reduction at the heart of its development policies, but focused only on dealing with diseases that occur predominantly among the poor; it did not take into account other poverty reduction health related approaches that could be embedded in service delivery and financing reforms. These alternative entry points to health-related poverty reduction efforts, as stated by the Gateway Health Policy Scaffold involve a number of restructuring arrangements which have now been adopted by PRSP-II and include:

  • ▪ Prioritizing public sources of financing and prepayment mechanisms as a form of financing health rather than at the time of service expenditures on the premise that this is essential for macro-economic poverty reduction measures;
  • ▪ Using cash transfers/waiver and exemption systems as a targeting approach in order to benefit the poor and institutionalizing this as part of Pakistan’s existing Social Protection Strategy and by establishing a legal and regulatory framework;
  • ▪ Prioritizing services relevant to the poor and reorienting government services towards the disadvantaged through means that target benefits by virtue of certain characteristics or eligibility criteria or adopt targeted approaches to reach specific population groups in which the prevalence of poverty is high, such as women, who constitute over 73 percent of the poor in Pakistan and geographical areas inhabited mostly by the poor;
  • ▪ Prioritizing addressing diseases that affect the economically productive workforce and therefore contribute to lost productivity, undermining of the income-generating capacity and precipitating an acute poverty crisis and lastly, plugging leakages with respect to coverage for the non-poor such as in the case of non-communicable diseases;
  • ▪ Ensuring that access issues do not emerge at the service delivery level where management of state-owned Basic Health Units (BHUs) is handed over to the non-state sector and ensuring that the package of essential health services is delivered regardless of management arrangements. Additionally, ensuring that public resources in autonomous hospitals are used to ensure that the poor are not excluded and support objectives, which directly serve the equity objective;
  • ▪ Broadening the scope of heath related poverty reduction efforts will enable the state to deliver health services more equitably and efficiently.

9.11 Strategic priorities

9.11.1 The strategic priorities of the health sector emanate from within the aforementioned framework which include the following:

9.11.2 Enhancing resource availability: The Health Plan in the MTDF period envisages increasing revenue allocations for health to deliver the essential health package. An amount of Rs 85 billion has been allocated for the development programme during the MTDF period 2005-10; it includes Rs 53 billion for federal development health programmes and Rs 32 billion for provincial development health programmes. However, the strategy will attempt to provide more resources to the health sector and aims to increase public health expenditure from 0.6 percent to 0.85 percent by the end of PRSP-II period (in FY 2011-12).

9.11.3 Essential services: The PRSP-II envisaged the following as being included within the essential health services package:

  • Maternal & Child Health (MNCH) and Family Planning: Pakistan needs to improve the performance of the health sector significantly to achieve targets articulated as part of Goals 4 and 5 of the Millennium Declaration. In addition to strengthening maternal and child health services within the existing health system, this would warrant scaling up essential health services through the National EPI Programme, the Lady Health Workers Programme (Family Planning and Primary Health Care) and the newly launched National MNCH Program and to maximize the synergies between these interlinked programs and further reinforce linkages with existing nutrition programs. Ministry of Health has already developed a framework to reinforce sector specific nutrition interventions; these will be translated into a new Nutrition Programme.
  • Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) has played a key role in reduced morbidity and mortality from childhood vaccine preventable diseases; coverage of fully immunized children is reported to have increased over the last two decades; however data from the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, 2006 indicates lower coverage (47 percent) than what has been reported by PSLM survey data for earlier years. The immunization programme is trying to respond to the systems level challenges by beefing up the cold chain and district immunization programme, increasing coverage by focusing on low performing areas, attempting to reduce dropouts and improving monitoring and supervision systems; e.g. EPI programme has expanded its scope with the introduction of Hepatitis V vaccination in addition to pentavalent vaccine; the feasibility of introducing other vaccines is also being explored.
  • ▪ The programme is also attempting to get around overarching issues, such as the security situation in NWFP and large scale population movements, which are responsible for the increase in the Polio transmission during 2008 by continuing with the momentum built around the National Immunization Days (NIDs) in NWFP and Balochistan; there will also be an emphasis on improving the quality of the campaign in some districts of Sindh. The Programme will continue with NIDs with implementing a new strategy to continue with NIDs in security compromised areas and expand the use of monovalent vaccine during the next three years.
  • ▪ To address the persistence challenge of child mortality at facility and community level, the National MNCH and Lady Health Workers (LHW) Programmes will implement standard protocols for management of common childhood illnesses and strengthen emergency neonatal care at secondary level hospitals. In addition 12,000 CMWs will be deployed in different parts of the country to reduce low birth weight babies, help in clean delivery to minimize sepsis, and manage asphyxia and hypothermia at birth. To reduce mortality due to diarrhea and respiratory infection, a BCC campaign to enhance hand washing will be initiated through the LHWs Programme.
  • ▪ The health sector will specially focus on provision of Family planning (FP) services through the health care network and community based workers by: (i) ensuring financing and provision of at least three modern contraceptive methods and skilled manpower in all health outlets of Departments of Health (DoHs)over the three years; (ii) strengthening the provision of FP services and products through the LHWs at the doorstep of community, especially in rural areas and exploring use of social marketing techniques and (iii) Fostering greater functional integration between the two vertical institutional entities, (MoH and DoHs vis-à-vis Ministry of Population Welfare and Public Works Department) in order to maximize synergies for ensuring the introduction of a minimum uniform and comprehensive reproductive health package in health and population outlets and move towards better functional integration at the service delivery levels. The main constraint to be addressed through above measures is to ensure commodity security and availability of contraceptives in each and every health outlet.
  • ▪ In relation to maternal health, the National MNCH Programme will ensure training and deployment of the new cadre of community midwifes—over the next three years, 12,000 CMWs will be deployed in their own community. In addition, the LHW Programme will be further expanded in line with the priorities of the new government from 92,000 to 120,000; further expansion will be decided upon as part of strategic planning. The LHW Programme intends to expand the scope of services focusing on introduction new methods of FP, low osmolality ORS, zinc supplementation and non-communicable disease prevention, control and health promotion. The National MNCH Programme will also expand provision of round the clock comprehensive EmONC services through 214 DHQ/THQ hospitals and round the clock basic EmONC services through 662 RHCs/THQ; it will promote the use of standard management protocols to deal with obstetrical and neonatal emergencies with training of doctors in anesthesiology and obstetrical surgical services to manage risk pregnancies at sub-district hospital. To provide leadership and strengthen management of maternal health services fully functional federal, provincial and district MNCH cells are being created.
  • ▪ Pakistan’s nutrition outcomes have been relatively intransigent over the last two decades, as a result of which a significant burden of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies affects children and women of child bearing age. The current global increase in food prices, which is affecting Pakistan as well, is likely to compromise these outcomes further. The MoH will develop a practical programme with an objective of improving the nutrition status of women of child-bearing age and children below 3 years by improving the coverage of effective nutrition interventions with a focus on the poor and marginalized. The focus of the proposed programme will also be to scale up three interventions—salt iodization, promotion of breast feeding, wheat flour fortification, and provision of zinc during treatment of diarrhea. The program will pilot test interventions before scaling up including management of severe malnutrition in young children, Vitamin A supplementation during the neonatal period, use of “sprinkles” to see if it can also improve feeding practices as well, multiple micronutrient supplementation for pregnant women and a conditional cash transfer scheme targeted at the poor. A new National Nutrition Survey is being planned to assess the situation and to establish benchmark for the new programme.

9.11.4 Communicable Disease Prevention and Control: The TB DOTS programme continues to make progress and recent results are encouraging in terms of case detection and treatment success. The programme will continue to follow its strategic plan with a special emphasis on expanding TB DOTS through large network of tertiary care hospitals and working with the private sector for provision through its large network. In addition, the Programme will expand its laboratory network to ensure implementation of quality assurance guidelines for sputum microscopy. A critical challenge will be to ensure uninterrupted availability of DOTs medicines; this will be addressed by strengthening the logistics and procurement system with adequate financing. The Programme’s strategic plan will be updated based on the results of TB prevalence survey and independent third party assessment of the Programme. In response to the endemic Malaria burden in Pakistan, the Programme will continue to implement the Roll Back strategy with an emphasis on effective implementation of the strategy in high risk districts, expand the use of ITNs and use of intermittent presumptive treatment. In addition, a comprehensive strategy will to be developed to respond to other vector borne diseases especially the ongoing epidemic of dengue fever. The National HIV & AIDS Control Programme will enhance its response significantly to the growing challenge of spread of HIV among injecting drug users and male sex workers. The Programme will continue to contract out service provision through private and NGO sector. Over the PRSP-II timeframe, focus would be on scaling up HIV preventive services to the high risk groups, provision of treatment and care to the positive cases; control of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), ensuring safe blood transfusion, changing behaviors especially to address issues of stigma and discrimination and enhancing capacity of the implementing partners. The Programme has developed contracting procedures and a rigorous behavior and sero-prevalence surveillance which will be continued. A monitoring mechanism to oversee service provision will be operationalized. To address the growing burden and spread of Hepatitis infections, the National Programme for Hepatitis Control is reviewing its strategic plan to focus on primary prevention through expanding immunization for Hepatitis B in children, vaccination of high-risk groups, establishing 150 screening and diagnostic centers and provision of Hepatitis treatment facilities in tertiary hospitals in a phased manner. A behavior change communication strategy would be implemented in order to target the general population. The Ministry of Health has started taking initial steps towards an integrated Disease Surveillance System. A field based epidemiological training program for young public health professional has started. Over the PRSP-II time period, operational surveillance units will be established at the federal and provincial headquarters linked with public health laboratory networks. National Institute of Health and four Provincial reference labs will provide laboratory backup for integrated communicable disease surveillance. As the system develops, existing disease specific surveillance activities will be integrated.

9.11.5 Non-communicable diseases, mental health and injuries: During the PRSP II time frame, the scope of public health interventions will be broadened to address diseases that have remained neglected to date, but which paradoxically are the leading causes of death and disability. Non-communicable diseases, which include diseases of the heart, diabetes, and some cancers and chronic lung conditions account for 59 percent of the mortality in Pakistan according to the Pakistan Demographic Survey data. These diseases affect the economically productive workforce, result in income loss and lost productivity and lead to catastrophic spending in health. The PRSP II will build further on the National Action Plan for the prevention and Control of Non-Communicable diseases and Health Promotion in Pakistan (NAP-NCD), a multi-stakeholder consensus driven plan of action to incorporate NCDs into county health systems planning; a new national programme on NCDs will be based on the NAP-NCD strategy, and will focus on health systems strengthening and address issues that were part of earlier vertical disease planning.

9.11.6 Health systems interventions: The government’s priorities, which gel with the vision, principles and strategic of ‘Policy 8/67’ and on which work will commence in a phased manner during the PRSP-II period are as follows:

  • National Health Scheme: The new government is working on the concept of a National Health Scheme. Through this, the government is committed to ensuring access to services and more explicitly access to a doctor for every citizen of Pakistan. The scheme envisages registering all citizens at the level of the union council or sub district level and issuing a health card with basic health characteristics; the card will entitle citizens to services not provided by the state through private providers. The providers will be compensated according to the number of patients seen—or by capitation. The provider will refer cases of critical illness to district level hospitals (or whatever higher tier that is required). The design, modalities and strategies will be pilot-tested before nationwide expansion.
  • Management and Governance Reforms: The government has devolved political, administrative and financial powers to the district governments in order to improve the effectiveness of social services and accountability to the local population. The district system has not yet achieved the desired success in improving quality of services. It is envisaged that the district system will be reorganized under new statutes and administrative arrangements.
  • Peoples’ Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI): The PPHI has been started to strengthen the management of PHC facilities, and the management of BHUs has been contracted out to the rural support programmes. While administratively demanding, the reform is very promising but need vigorous assessment to generate evidence for better value for money, as compared with the present model of in-house provision. The new health policy will provide a framework for PPP and outline ways and means to monitor results.
  • ▪ There is considerable momentum towards granting greater managerial and financial autonomy to tertiary government hospitals, especially in the province of Punjab and NWFP and some of the hospitals under the MoH. However, a recent assessment indicates that hospital autonomy has not been associated with any significant improvements in provision of good quality services and that wherever improvements have been reported, they are in the area of revenue generation and incentive sharing. During the PRSP-II, hospital management and governance will be revisited with a view to exploring avenues to match efficiency with equity in outcomes. The focus would be to strengthen governance, increased efficiency and resource mobilization. In addition, hospital reforms will also focus to developing information systems to reduce errors and costs, promoting greater transparency, rational use of pharmaceuticals, development and implementation of patients management protocols, in-service training of staff maintenance of electro-medical equipment, etc.
  • Current Human Resource Planning, Development and Management: is focused on doctors thus neglecting other important cadres such as nurses, midwives and paramedics, other categories of female paramedics and professionals with competencies in health systems domain. The MoH intends to pursue policies to minimize existing imbalances, especially to improve the production and deployment of nurses, lady health visitors and community midwives. Options will be explored for ensuring the availability of the female health care providers at the community level through offering better financial incentives and catering for their residential needs, etc. As part of this work it will undertake a detailed analytical exercise to prepare a human resource strategic and implementation plan. In addition, the new health policy will pursue the development and strengthening of the health management cadre, separating clinical and management cadres and also investing in training of hospital managers and ensure that investments are made to train, recruit and retain people with the right health systems competencies. The plan will explore options to initiate formal continuing education through public health institutions and professional associations of healthcare providers linked to their career development.
  • Emergencies and disasters: The health sector in Pakistan has inadequate arrangements to respond to emergencies and disasters needing health care actions; in addition it has limited ability to comply with the stipulations of the International Health Regulations. It is important to learn lessons from different disasters during last few years and establish a well-coordinated response and disaster relief efforts. Ministry and Departments of Health will take the initiative to build capacity of the health sector for disaster management, respond to emerging and reemerging infections devising an institutional arrangement and implementing disaster management protocols; and plan at national, provincial and district levels for an effective emergency response.
  • ▪ The MoH intends to ensure availability, affordability and access to essential medicines, vaccines, supplies and commodities in all public health facilities. The MOH & DOH will undertake health facility assessments on a regular basis to assess availability of medicines and vaccines in the facilities. A Drug Regulatory Authority Act is also being introduced along with measures to ensure quality of medicines with appropriate price.
  • ▪ Existing public financial management and procurement systems in the health sector are evolving with changes in overarching civil service procedures. A strict financial discipline will be maintained to avoid pilferage and promote judicious use of scarce public resources. The existing internal audit system would be reviewed and strengthened. In addition, work on the use of PPRA guidelines—to strengthen and ensure transparency of procurement in the health sector—will be continued and will be further strengthened.

9.11.7 Fostering partnership with the Private Sector: Over the last several years, the health sector has initiated interventions where the ‘financing’ vis-à-vis ‘provision’ split in the service delivery functions of the state has been used as a policy tool on the premise that this makes service delivery more efficient and responsive. This has been tested in the case of contracting out primary healthcare curative services to NGOs or private health sector mainly for the HIV & AIDS and TB programmes and the Primary HealthCare restructuring initiative in Rahim Yar Khan and later in the rest of the country. Most of these initiatives have yielded some encouraging results and the challenge now is to sift evidence from pilot interventions to upscale these models where feasible and needed. An overarching issue in mainstreaming the role of the Private Health Sector in health for service delivery is the lack of a regulatory framework for the sector. Although this is a difficult area of public policy, the government will take initiatives to improve the quality of private health services. Besides development of a conducive regulatory system for health care, the MoH will: (i) encourage continuing education through professional associations of healthcare providers; (ii) empower professional associations to manage a system of certification/licensing of health care providers; (iii) introduce a voluntary accreditation system for private clinics and hospitals; and (iv) mount public campaigns to educate consumers about the dangers of seeking care from untrained healthcare providers and through self-medication and helping to identify various categories of providers.

9.11.8 Strengthening Stewardship functions of the State: The federal Ministry of Health and provincial Departments of Health have traditionally spent less time and effort on strengthening their stewardship role. A greater emphasis on policy formulation, setting strategic directions, outlining and safeguarding priorities, regulation, monitoring and evaluation, financing and surveillance will enable the MoH and DoHs to perform more effectively. The aim is to reorganize both the MoH and the provincial departments to develop structures manned by skilled manpower to perform these functions. The MoH will undertake a review of existing health related regulatory mechanisms and will introduce new regulatory mechanisms, which will be focused towards standardization, quality control and implementation by biomedical ethics in line with appropriate guidelines. The process of development of regulatory authority would be undertaken in collaboration with the private sector, other stakeholders and provincial governments, albeit with careful attention to ethics and conflict of interest related considerations.

9.11.9 Testing innovations: During the PRSP II timeframe, the MoH will pilot test innovations in service delivery and financing to guide future restructuring of the health system. Three specific types of reforms that could be considered for piloting would include: (i) expansion of Employees Social Security Institutions to broaden its base and specifically provide social protection to employees of small units and farm workers; (ii) piloting community financing schemes for households outside the formal sector; (iii) testing conditional cash transfer and vouchers schemes in rural areas to protect the poor against catastrophic health expenditures.

9.11.10Health information systems: The MoH and its partner organizations have taken many steps to streamline health information systems. A performance assessment health sector has been visualized; this process will be institutionalized and will be undertaken every year. Through the collaborative efforts of a civil society think-tank, a mechanism has been developed to periodically report on health indicators; this exercise has also garnered a consensus on the current gaps within individual health information streams and the way forward in terms of bridging them. The Health Management Information System (HMIS) is being revised and a new District Health Information System (DHIS) has been designed and is ready for roll out after assessment. Over the PRSP-II time period DHIS will be made fully operational across all facilities (DHQ and below) by activation of NHIRC (National Health Information Centre) and in close collaboration with the provinces. In addition, MoH will develop an integrated disease surveillance system initially focusing on communicable diseases and later expanding to risk factors behavioral surveillance for non-communicable diseases; the infectious disease component will be compliant with the stipulations of International Health Regulations, 2005.

9.12 Measuring the Performance of Health component of PRSP-II

9.12.1 The MoH will work closely with the PRSP Secretariat and Federal Bureau of Statistics to ensure timely collection of the desired data to tract trends especially by income quintiles. The specific goal of performance measurement under the PRSP-II framework would be to ascertain that data are segregated by income quintiles and by other variables relevant to considerations of equity.

9.12.2 National Health Systems & Policy Unit established under the MoH will be strengthened to serve the strategic function of reviewing, refining and reformulating the evidence based national health policy with identification of cost effective pro-poor policy interventions. The unit will be responsible for monitoring progress on PRSP-II indicators and will undertake regular health sector performance assessments on key indicators disaggregated by income, gender and geographical areas (including provinces and districts). The unit will disseminate it through MoH’s website and via media and will additionally report data on the template provided by the publication entitled ‘Health Indicators of Pakistan’. The process was initiated under PRSP-I and will be institutionalized as part of PRSP-II. These assessments would also become the basis for federal and provincial dialogue and setting resource priority.

9.13 Health Sector in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA):

9.13.1 Health indicators for FATA are incomplete and in many cases only estimates are available highlighting the poor status of health care system. Infant mortality is estimated to be as high as 87 deaths per 1,000 live births while maternal mortality is thought to exceed 600 deaths per 100,000 live births. Access to health services is severely limited, with just one dispensary, basic health unit or rural health center reported in 2004 for every 50 square kilometers of area, and these facilities are concentrated near the settled areas.116 Available bed strength in the same year stands at 1,762 for all of FATA.

9.13.2 The major issue confronting the health sector is restricted access to health services, especially for more vulnerable segments of the population. These restrictions are physical, as a result of the great distances between health facilities; cultural, from the tribal custom of strict pardah (veiling) among women, which limits their movement in the public sphere; and administrative, owing to widespread absenteeism among staff, the prevalence of rent-seeking behaviour, the allocation of health centers for public favour, and the practice of landowners nominating their own chowkidars (watchmen) and peons. Ongoing initiatives of the federal government include: national priority programmes including Expanded Programme on Immunization; Lady Health Workers; and the control of HIV, malaria and tubercolulosis; in addition to mobile hospitals; construction of new hospitals; rehabilitation of existing facilities; and strengthening of the health directorate. The federal government is currently in the process of finalizing a national maternal, newborn and child health programme which, once implemented, will cover FATA with a proposed allocation of 700 million rupees for five years.

9.13.3 The SDP aims to ensure equitable access to health and guarantee quality services to all segments of the population, particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. The SDP presents a comprehensive strategic plan and priority interventions to achieve this objective. Some of these are presented below:

  • ▪ Focus on human resources and provide opportunities for the development of local human resources by establishing paramedical schools and a medical college. This will also help to strengthen the private sector by increasing the pool of available technical personnel;
  • ▪ Upgrade the knowledge and skills of existing health care providers;
  • ▪ Empower communities to take action for better health care. This will be achieved through an intensive information, education and communication strategy. Knowledge is a vital tool in empowering individuals, households and communities. Communities will be equipped with information about preventive and curative care; and
  • ▪ Encourage the private sector and civil society to provide services in remote and inaccessible areas, or areas where security is an issue.

9.13.4 Key priority interventions for the revamping of health care system in FATA include dissemination of information to increase awareness; strengthening of health system through forging of partnerships with civil society, religious organization and national and international non-government agencies and by providing incentives to private sector; and through establishing a comprehensive HMIS.

9.13.5 The PRSP-II takes into account health as a key determinant of economic growth and development, as ill health is both a cause and effect of poverty. The strategy takes into account the fact that aside from the serious consequences for social welfare, ill health deprives a country of human resources and the high cost of ill health reduces economic growth and limits the resources available for investment in public health. As a result, improving health is essential in order to reduce poverty and is one of the primary objectives of the human development strategy for reducing poverty.

9.14 (4) Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation

9.14.1 Present situation and issues

9.14.2 It is estimated that at present more than 65 per cent of the total population in the country has access to safe drinking water, including 85 percent of persons living in more than 500 urban places. About 55 percent of the rural population, living in about 30,000 large villages, is served with planned water supply, while in about 20,000 rural settlements water supply schemes are yet to be developed. Most of the urban water is supplied from groundwater, except for the cities of Karachi, Hyderabad and part of the supply to Islamabad, which mainly use surface water. Rural water supply is mostly from groundwater except in saline groundwater areas, where irrigation canals are the main source of domestic water.

9.14.3 The Ministry of Environment initiated a major Clean Drinking Water Programme117 under two parallel phases: (i) Clean Drinking Water Initiative (CDWI) project, whereby 409 plants have been installed one in each tehsil across country; and (ii) Clean Drinking Water for All (CDWA) project, whereby 6035 filtration plants will be installed, one in each union council. Work on the first phase has been completed whereas on the second phase it is in progress. The CDWI Project Initially the project cost was Rs 495 million. Technical survey of 549 sites was completed and work orders for 409 plants, (including three containerized plants) were released to complete the task in a specific time schedule. Installation of all plants has been completed on schedule. The authorities carried out a marathon consultation process with stakeholders for efficient execution of the project. Following these consultations, the project was revised and its cost increased to Rs 955 million.

Table 9.5.Number of filtration plants installed under
Sr. NoProvince/RegionPlants installed
TotalAll Provinces/Regions409 The CDWA Project The federal government launched a mega project, namely, Clean Drinking Water for All (CDWA), at a cost of Rs 7,872 million in 2004/05, envisaging the installation of one water filtration plant in each union council. A total of 6035 plants will be installed by the end of the PRSP-II period. The District Governments are responsible for selecting the sites in each union council in consultation with the relevant Nazims. The Ministry of Science & Technology was assigned the responsibility for analyzing the water quality in these sites and recommending the type of plant to install. Almost all the sites have been surveyed, and reports on most of them have been received. The project was approved by Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) on 16 April 2006 to install 6035 water filtration plants, one at each union council of the country. On the basis of insight gained through consultations with stakeholders and the experience of Phase-I of the programme (CDWI), the technology and implementation methodology of the CDWA Project was improved. The number of plants to be installed under the Project was also enhanced to 6585 by including leftover ninety-nine plants of CDWI Project in the total figure.

Table 9.6.Province/Region wise of number of water filtration plants to be installed under CDWA
Provinces/regionNumber of Union CouncilLeft over Tehsil fromTotal
Total Plants6527996626 Volume/Categories of plants as per new design

  • ▪ 500 gallons per hour for rural areas; and
  • ▪ 1000 gallons per hour for urban areas. The implementation of the CDWA project is proceeding well. Contracts for the NWFP, FATA, NAs, Sindh and Balochistan have been awarded, and the contractors have started their work. The award of contract for Punjab, AJK and ICT will be completed shortly. After the completion of CDWA, the Government of Pakistan may consider initiating Phase -III of the clean drinking water programme, which envisages installation of one water filtration plant in every village of the country having population of 1000 individuals or more. This Phase is, however, in its planning stage.

9.15 The way forward

9.15.1 The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) 2002 held in Johannesburg set its Plan of Action in line with MDGs. This summit recommended: (i) halving by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water; and (ii) safeguarding human health by improving the quality of drinking water. In the case of Pakistan, these recommendations translate to increasing water supply and sanitation coverage to 93 percent and 90 percent respectively by 2015. While the water supply and sanitation programmes are being accelerated, it is likely that the envisaged MDG targets of water supply and sanitation coverage might not be fully met. However, the target of regularizing 75 per cent of katchi abadis (temporary settlements) with adequate access to water supply and sanitation will be fully met by the end of the PRSP-II period.

9.15.2 Considering the present resource position and sectoral constraints, the safe water supply coverage will be increased from 65 percent population in FY 2004/05 (urban 85 percent, rural 55 percent) to 76 percent by 2010 (urban 95 percent, rural 65 percent), thereby serving an additional 27 million persons in five years. Water requirements in 2005–10 include (i) 7.8 million acre feet for domestic and municipal and rural potable water supply and sanitation; (ii) industrial water requirement of 4 million acre feet, and (iii) 1.5 million acre feet to meet water requirement for environment for the wetland areas, environmental protection, and irrigated forestry along railway lines and roads.

9.15.3 In rural areas, safe drinking water will be provided in accordance with the stipulated norms on a sustainable basis to all the villages. The stipulated norms of supply in rural areas are a minimum of 5 gallon or 20 liters per capita per day safe drinking water within a walking distance of 1.5 kilometers, or at an elevation difference of 100 meters in hilly areas. MTDF’s rural water supply and sanitation programmes will ensure that by 2010 (i.e. the end of the PRSP-II period) all villages with a population of 100 households or 1000 persons and above are served with planned drinking water supply, along with sanitation and drainage schemes on a sustainable basis.

9.15.4 A National Drinking Water and Sanitation Policy along with the Clean Drinking Water for All Programme will be launched by the Ministry of Environment as an integral part of MTDF, focusing on provision of clean drinking water to the entire population; improving and expanding delivery of water services; ensuring conservation of water and increasing system efficiencies; and maximizing the coverage of sanitation services in both urban and rural areas. The policy will link the water and sanitation to national development goals and to protect the environment through: (i) improving water and sanitation management so as to reduce the inefficient use of water and excessive groundwater pumping; and (ii) reducing pollution by urban and industrial users through on-site or combined wastewater treatment and reuse.

9.15.5 The main aim of the strategy is to improve the performance and utilization of water supply and sanitation systems and reduce financial dependence on the federal/provincial governments. It aims to do this by improving planning and management of capabilities of the involved agencies; by encouraging the involvement of communities in general and women in particular; and by promoting community responsibility, particularly for operation and maintenance. The strategy includes: (i) adoption of an integrated approach, rational resource use, and the introduction of water efficient techniques; (ii) containment of environmental degradation; (iii) strengthening of institutional capacity building and human resource development; (iv) improvement of sanitation through sewerage and drainage schemes; and (vii) strengthening understanding of the linkages between hygiene and health through community education campaigns, especially among women and children.

9.15.6 To make the programmes people-friendly, the rural water supply and sanitation schemes will be designed to be simple, community-based, and use locally familiar technologies. The preferred schemes include hand pumps; gravity schemes; street pavements; and drains that minimize environmental damage. Priority will be given to reducing water losses through wastages and leakages, and to the rehabilitation of existing networks.

9.16 (3) Sanitation and Solid Waste Management

9.16.1 According to a recent World Bank report the mean estimated annual cost from inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene is about Rs 112 billion. The Government of Pakistan recognizes that there are clear links between sanitation, water, health and economic productivity. The government is aware that progress in sanitation not only has direct impact on MDG 7, in relation to environmental sustainability, but also has impact on MDGs 1, 2, 3 and 4118, and indirect impact on other MDGs. The government recognizes the cost of sanitation in the far-reaching effects it has on the dignity and fundamental rights of all its population, but on women and girls in particular. In addition to the above, poor solid and liquid waste management systems cause an increase in the threat posed by bird hits to the aircrafts as well as damage our assets in oceans. The challenge is how to scale up coverage of improved sanitation and waste management facilities to poor households.

9.17 Key challenges

9.19.1 Coverage of sanitation facilities: Improved sanitation facilities are available to only 58 percent of the total population of Pakistan. With the exception of a few big cities sewerage is almost non-existent causing serious public health problems. Nearly 25 percent of all households do not have access to latrines, about 9 percent in urban areas and 40 percent in rural areas; 51 percent of all households are not connected to any form of drainage; 35 percent to open drains and 16 percent to underground sewerage or open drains.

9.19.2 Poor management of underground sewage systems: Large and intermediate cities have underground sewage systems which are subject to danger of collapse due to poor management and negligence. Most of the sewage is released untreated into the natural water bodies resulting in severe contamination of natural water bodies, making water injurious to human and aquatic life.

9.19.3 Urbanization and katchi abadis: About 30 percent of urban population lives in katchi abadis and slums with inadequate sanitation facilities. With an urban growth rate of 3.5 percent, almost twice the rate of population growth, Pakistan is facing a rapid urban transition. Amongst the issues this creates is that of poor and unplanned urban services, including inadequate housing conditions and water supply and sanitation, particularly in low income areas. Current incremental demand for housing is estimated at 570,000 units annually, with only 370,000 units being built annually in urban areas.119 This gap exacerbates the situation in relation to the formation of slums and ‘katchi abadis120,. The government’s policy is to legalize and improve these settlements i.e. ‘regularize’ them. This supports Target 11 of MDG 7, ‘Have achieved by 2020 a significant improvement in the lives of slum dwellers.’ The MDG Progress Report121 notes that by FY 2004/05, 60 percent of katchi abadis had been regularized against an MDG target of 95 percent. However, with the growth of low-income settlements outside officially recognized katchi abadis, there is a need to take a wider view of the issue, and target services at all low income areas which remain under or un-serviced. Public toilets are highly inadequate in cities and are not properly managed and maintained. These are virtually absent in small and medium size towns and villages. Treatment plants exist in a few cities but are inappropriately located and hence receive little or no sewage. Solid waste management systems exist only in large and a few intermediate cities. Only 50 percent of the garbage generated by major cities is lifted and that too is taken to informal dumping sites since formal sites have not been adequately developed. Major part of hospital waste is not safely disposed off and disposal systems only partially exist in some big cities like Lahore and Karachi.

9.19.4 Declining water resources and its impact on sanitation: Majority of the population relies on groundwater for drinking purposes, though it is estimated that about 40 million residents rely on irrigation (surface) water for domestic use, particularly in areas which are brackish122. Water quality issues are all pervasive, with arsenic and fluoride contamination becoming a serious problem, in addition to bacteriological contamination. The country is water stressed - water availability on a per capita basis has been declining at a disturbing rate, and has decreased from 5,000 cubic meters per capita in 1951 to about 1,100 cubic meters per capita in 2006. It is estimated to go down to 700 cubic meters by 2025. The declining water resources may further enhance the sanitation problems in the country.

9.19.5 Resource allocation and opportunity for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs): GDP allocation for water supply and sanitation is not sufficient to meet the targets for sanitation component where most of it is utilized for water supply. In Pakistan PPP has successfully implemented the provisions of household sanitation and supported communities in financing and managing the construction of their neighbourhood sanitation infrastructure through self-help. Government-NGO/CBO and private company partnership has been successfully built, where the local government has complimented the work by providing trunk sewers in addition to solid waste disposal.

9.19.6 Technical capacity of government agencies and the local communities: There is also a lack of technical capacity and capability in government agencies to plan design and implement sanitation programmes in the absence of management information systems. The local communities lack the capacity of operation and management of the sanitation related infrastructure built with their collaboration.

9.20 The Overall Policy Framework

9.20.1 The policy and regulatory framework of sanitation sector includes Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997; National Environmental Action Plan, 2001; National Environment Policy, 2005; The National Sanitation Policy, 2006; and Local Government Ordinance, 2001. Under PEPA the discharge of any pollutant in excess of the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) is prohibited and carries a penalty. NEQS were revised in 2000. The Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the regulatory agency but has devolved responsibility to provincial EPAs. If applied, there is considerable room for maneuvering through this Act, including the creation of environmental tribunals. The National Sanitation Policy which was formulated through country-wide consultative process supported by Government and UNICEF was approved by the Cabinet in October 2006. The overall goals and objectives of sanitation efforts as described in the policy are as follows:

9.21 Overall Goal

9.21.1 The National Sanitation Policy aims at providing adequate sanitation coverage for improving the quality of life of the people of Pakistan and to provide physical environment necessary for healthy life. The objectives of the sanitation efforts in the country are:

  • ▪ To ensure an open defecation free environment; the safe disposal of liquid, solid, municipal, industrial and agricultural wastes; and the promotion of health and hygiene practices;
  • ▪ To link and integrate sanitation programmes with city and regional planning policies, health, environment, housing and education;
  • ▪ To facilitate access of all citizens to basic level of services in sanitation including the installation of sanitary latrines in each household, in rural and urban areas, schools, bus stations and important public places and also community latrines in densely populated areas;
  • ▪ To promote Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS);
  • ▪ To develop guidelines for the evolution of an effective institutional and financial framework;
  • ▪ To enhance capacity building of government agencies and other stakeholders at all levels for better sanitation, particularly avoiding incidents of waterborne diseases;
  • ▪ To develop and implement strategies for integrated management of municipal, industrial, hazardous and hospital and clinical wastes of national, provincial and local levels;
  • ▪ To meet international/regional obligations effectively in line with the national aspirations;
  • ▪ To change the attitude and behaviour on the use of sanitation; and
  • ▪ To increase mass awareness on sanitation and community mobilization.

9.22 Ongoing Initiatives and the Way Forward

9.22.1 Selected government, nongovernmental and private sector initiatives are highlighted to demonstrate how programmes are driving change and are indicative of sector trends.

9.22.2 National Sanitation Policy Roll Out - Provincial Sanitation Strategies: The National Sanitation Policy was approved immediately after Second South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN II), and since then all four provinces/Federally Administered Northern Areas/AJK have formulated policies/strategies which have a significant focus on a system of ‘fiscal incentives for local governments that deliver improved sanitary outcomes to all.’ With the line provincial agencies taking the lead in policy and strategy development, these provincial processes were supported by a range of partners like UNICEF and WSP-SA. Balochistan and AJK Governments have approved their provincial sanitation strategies.

9.22.3 National Environmental Information Management System (NEIMS): The overall objective of the NEIMS is to contribute to promotion of sustainable development through building the national capacity in developing, managing and utilizing environmental information for informed decision-making.

9.22.4 Rural Strategy: CLTS takes root in Pakistan: Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is based on the principle of triggering collective behaviour change. In this approach, communities are facilitated to take collective action to adopt safe and hygienic sanitation behaviour and ensure that all households have access to safe sanitation facilities. This process has been supported by key sector partners including UNICEF, WSP-SA and DFID. Many NGOs and Rural Support Programmes are also aligning with the new policy by adjusting previously subsidy and hardware based approaches. About 600 villages are now Open Defecation Free (ODF), and over 1500 activists have been trained in the distinctive ‘triggering’ techniques that are intrinsic to the methodology. Importantly, the Khushal Pakistan Fund (KPF), a facility for community driven projects, has dove-tailed its programme with the approach. It is likely that close to a million people have been reached in villages that have been ‘triggered.’

9.22.5 IYS and Global Hand-washing Day- catalyzing behaviour change: The Ministry of Environment, with provincial and regional governments, and partners developed a comprehensive country plan for the International Year of Sanitation (IYS). The IYS targets included: (i) finalization and approval of provincial strategies and action plans by respective cabinets; (ii) dissemination of hygiene messages focusing on hand-washing with soap, construction and use of latrines and use of safe water to 20 percent of the population; (iii) provision of improved sanitation facilities to at least 6 percent of the population lacking sanitation; and (iv) finalization and approval of the National Drinking Water Policy and development of an action plan. Over 11 million people have been reached with hygiene messages, including hand-washing with soap, through a multi-pronged and comprehensive communication strategy involving the Ministries of Health and Environment. In accordance with Pakistan’s IYS targets, the corporate sector (e.g. Proctor and Gamble, Unilever), agencies (e.g. UNICEF, USAID), have come together with line agencies in the provinces to undertake extensive hygiene campaigns country-wide.

9.22.6 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools - Transforming a Generation: Adequate water and sanitation facilities in schools are essential to reduce disease, increase enrolment and retention as well as enhance learning capacity. About 40 percent of schools in Pakistan lack water supply while 48 percent do not have access to a toilet facility.123 A study conducted in Punjab during 2007 has shown that of the total available latrines in schools, only 72 percent are functional and the remaining 28 percent suffer from construction deficiencies, non-availability of water and poor operation and management. It is also a matter of great concern that the current student per available latrine ratio is around 250 students, six times higher than the recommended standard. The lack of appropriate facilities affects girl students in particular, reducing already low enrolment and retention rates. The Ministry of Education has prepared draft standards for school water and sanitation facilities which are currently undergoing consultations. In addition, detailed designs, drawings, specifications, and cost estimates for these facilities are also being developed. Federal, provincial and regional governments with support from UNICEF, USAID and other partners, are also implementing several water and sanitation programmes to enhance water and sanitation coverage in schools and to promote hygiene education. The Ministry of Education has also established a working group on school water and sanitation. The School-Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) project was piloted in AJK in mid 2007. The programme initiates change by developing useful health and hygiene skills in school to encourage life-long positive habits. The school is the ‘entry point’, with children replicating practices in the family environment, and advocating for the use of latrines. During the past two years, nearly 4,500 primary school teachers were trained, and more than 316,000 students received instruction in school sanitation and hygiene education. SLTS is one strategic approach which can be instrumental in increasing sanitation coverage and bringing about behaviour change. To strengthen the capacity of teachers in life skills-based hygiene education, the Government of NWFP has set up a School Sanitation and Hygiene Education Centre at the Provincial Institute of Teachers Education, in 2007. Work on establishing similar centers in other provinces is on-going.

9.22.7 Sector Coordination: For improving coordination in the sanitation sector, several forums meet monthly for exchange e.g. the Water and Sanitation Sector Donor Coordination Group (WSDCG) co-chaired by DFID and UNICEF. Seven meetings have been held. Water and sanitation coordination committees have been formed at the provincial and regional levels. A Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Core Group has been notified by the Ministry of Environment and been tasked with speeding the roll out the Sanitation Policy in consultation with the provinces and ensuring the mainstreaming of efforts. A National Working Group on School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE) has been notified and had its first meeting. This draws in the federal ministries of Health, Environment, Religious Affairs, and Education, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA), and provincial Education departments. The intent behind these initiatives is not just to improve coordination, but to catalyze the sector, provide oversight and ensure that resource flows are well targeted and sustained.

9.22.8 Sindh Cities Improvement Programme: The Programme will support a comprehensive programme of reform for improved urban service planning and management, including increased private sector participation, complemented by priority investments in water supply, wastewater and solid waste management improvements. The Investment Programme comprises four parts. Part A supports the establishment of professionalized urban service providers, urban planning capacity, and technical back-stopping for program implementation. Parts B and C will finance targeted infrastructure improvements in water supply and wastewater and in solid waste management, respectively. Part D provides revenue shortfall support for the newly established urban services corporation.

9.22.9 Water and Sanitation Sector in One UN Joint Programme: Water and sanitation is considered a major component of ‘One UN Joint Programme on Environment’. The outcome of Joint Programme Component 2: ‘Integrated Programme on Access to Safe Water and Improved Sanitation’, is safe and healthy living and working conditions for all people in demonstration regions and secured access to environmentally sustainable water, sanitation, air, fuel, shelter and food. The outputs of the component include: (i) enhanced access to improved drinking water and sanitation services in rural areas; (ii) enhanced access to water and sanitation facilities as per standards in child friendly schools and healthcare facilities; (iii) improved hygiene practices amongst healthcare workers, families and school children; (iv) strengthened water quality monitoring, surveillance and improved systems; (v) enhanced water and sanitation sector coordination and knowledge management; and (vi) enhanced disaster risk management and humanitarian response capacity for water and sanitation sector at the federal, provincial and district level.

9.23 (4) Population Programme

9.23.1 Present Situation and Key Issues

9.23.2 Pakistan, currently with a population of 163.8 million and with a growth rate of 1.9 percent per annum and an annual addition of 2.87 million persons, presents a challenge to address the issue of economic development and poverty reduction. It is estimated that, population of Pakistan will reach 194 million by 2020, and will double in 34 years.

9.23.3 To maintain the current rate of literacy in future, around 111,654 additional primary schools and 244,475 additional primary school teachers would be required by 2020. The housing requirement will increase from 2 million to 33.7 million units at the present growth rate. It is argued that birth averted cost translates into huge saving in terms of costs incurred on the upbringing, education and health of the child till the age of 16.124

9.23.4 The Population Welfare Programme aims to reduce poverty by lowering the population growth rate. This programme addresses issues and challenges such as poverty, high maternal mortality, high infant and child mortality, poor access to health facilities, low socioeconomic status of women through advocacy/community mobilization, through safe and effective contraceptive methods, and by training women and so providing them with employment opportunities.

9.23.5 Programme Strategy The population programme is operating through a multi-pronged strategy which entails:

  • Generating FP/RH demand through:
    • ▪ Advocacy/ IEC;
    • ▪ Population Education; and
    • ▪ Inter Personnel Communication.
  • Ensuring supplies of safe and effective FP/RH services through:
    • ▪ Programme service delivery network;
    • ▪ Health outlets (functional integration);
    • ▪ Partnership with public and private sector; and
    • ▪ Involvement of NGOs.
  • Improving programme efficiency and efficacy and quality of care through:
    • ▪ Research (social and clinical);
    • ▪ Training (technical and non-technical); and
    • ▪ Strengthening Monitoring. Strategic Focus of the Programme:

  • ▪ Develop and launch advocacy campaign focussed to policy makers, opinion leaders, youth and adolescents;
  • ▪ Increase ownership of population issues by the stakeholders and strengthen their participation in the processes of service delivery and program design;
  • ▪ Reduce unmet need for family planning services by making available quality family planning & RH services;
  • ▪ Adopt a shift from target oriented to need based and people-centered approach;
  • ▪ Ensure provision of services to the poor, under-served and un-served populations;
  • ▪ Coordinate and monitor an overall network of family planning & RH services in Pakistan public and private sectors;
  • ▪ Collaborate with concerned ministries, provincial line departments particularly Health;
  • ▪ Build strong partnerships with private sector and civil society players, particularly NGOs and media;
  • ▪ Expand the role of the private sector by making contraceptives accessible and affordable; and
  • ▪ Harness support, cooperation and involvement of men in strengthening the family as the basic unit of society. Presently the population welfare programme operates within the broader framework of Population Policy, 2002; the National Perspective Plan (2001-2011); and in accordance with Devolution of Power Plan. The programme has adopted a holistic approach to population by linking it with human development and poverty alleviation efforts. Pakistan Reproductive Health & Family Planning Survey (FY 2000/01) and Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey FY 2006/07 have revealed that Population Welfare Programme had entered a new phase and there was almost universal knowledge (96 percent) about contraceptive methods. Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) had increased from 24.8 in 1998 to 27.6 in 2001 and was estimated at 34 percent in 2007. Information Education and Communication (IEC) efforts have played an important role in recording this increase. There is still, however, a significant portion (33 percent unmet need) of the married women of child bearing age who wanted spacing or did not want any more children but were not practicing family planning. There is still a high degree of misconception and fear of side effects of contraceptives; this and some other factors have resulted in a high unmet need and warrant attention. In 2001, the programme implementation was shifted to provinces; the federal Ministry continues to fund the programme while its implementation has been transferred to provincial governments. The provincial government will devolve the implementation of the programme to the local governments. The Devolution of Power Plan assigns administrative and fiscal authority to the local governments to manage staff and budgets according to local needs and priorities. The community participation is a vital aspect of development planning. It is expected that community involvement in local development will create accountability mechanisms that will improve the effectiveness, accessibility and efficiency of the delivery of public services. The programme is operationalized through the service delivery outlets of Family Welfare Centers (FWC), Mobile Service Units (MSU), Reproductive Health Services Centers (RHSC-A), Male Involvement of Health Outlets of Line Departments, Registered Medical Practitioners, Hakeems/Homoeopaths, Male Mobilizers, National Institute of Population Studies, National Research Institute of Fertility, Population Welfare Training Institutes and Regional Training Institutes (NIPS, 2005). The Population Welfare Programme has been successful to bring down the annual population growth rate. However, the general shortcomings of the programme are identified as lack of holistic approach to population welfare, lack of coordinated multidimensional and multi-sectoral efforts; lack of male involvement in family planning; lack of capacity of the programme field staff and managers; weak system of accountability; and inadequate monitoring and supervision.

9.24 The way forward

9.24.1 During the PRSP-II implementation phase the Population Welfare Programme will adopt a multi- pronged strategy by:

  • ▪ Generating FP/RH demand through advocacy/inter personnel communication;
  • ▪ Ensuring supplies of safe and effective contraceptive methods; and
  • ▪ Recognizing and promoting men as partners in the Population Welfare Programme for supporting overall family health and wellbeing and generating a sense of responsible parenthood for uplifting the status of girls/women in the society is also one of the main focuses of the programme.

9.24.2 The programme under the umbrella of Population Policy 2002 is striving to achieve universal access to safe family planning methods by 2010. The Policy also aims to achieve population stabilization by 2020.

9.24.3 The short term objective of the strategy is:

  • ▪ to reduce population growth rate to 1.9 percent per annum; and
  • ▪ to reduce fertility through enhanced voluntary contraception to 4 births per woman.

9.24.4 Long term objectives include:

  • ▪ to reduce population growth rate from 1.9 percent per annum to 1.3 percent per annum by the year 2020;
  • ▪ to reduce fertility through enhanced voluntary adoption of contraception to the replacement level of 2.1 births per woman by 2020; and
  • ▪ to attain universal access to safe family planning methods by 2010.

9.24.5 The policy aims to achieve the above mentioned short and long term objectives through emphasizing the following principles:

  • ▪ Attain a balance between resources and population with in the broad parameters of the paradigm of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994;
  • ▪ Address various dimensions of the population issues, development priorities while remaining within our national, social and cultural norms;
  • ▪ Increase awareness of the adverse consequences of rapid population growth both at the national, provincial, districts and community levels;
  • ▪ Promote Family Planning as an entitlement based on informed and voluntary choice;
  • ▪ Attain a reduction in fertility through improvement in access and quality of reproductive health services; and
  • ▪ Reduce population momentum through a delay in the first birth, changing spacing patterns and reduction in fertility size desires.

9.24.6 During the PRSP-II period, strategies proposed to achieve the goals and objectives set in the Population Policy of Pakistan include:

  • Focused IEC and Advocacy: The overall goals for the communication, mobilization and advocacy strategy is to ensure delivery of culturally correct and linguistic-appropriate message about family planning and reproductive health to all Pakistan in order to encourage informed decision-making about adoption of positive family planning and reproductive health behaviour. In this regard, the message in the media campaign are blended into educational and recreational programmes like drama series, comedy shows, melodies, panel discussions, interviews, seminars, workshops, and meet the person session. Orientation programmes for community and policy makers are being organized. Print material is also being produced and widely distributed. Articles, press conferences and advertisements are published regularly to maintain knowledge about family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) and to create demand for the services as well.
  • Provision of safe, affordable and quality contraceptives: In order to ensure coordinated and uninterrupted supply, the contraceptives are provided to clients with needs through both of Population Welfare Programme and non-programme outlets on subsidized rates.
  • Reaching out to couples, with unmet needs: Mobile Service Unit provides FP/RH services at the doorsteps of underserved communities in the rural areas through a predetermined and well communicated camp schedule. This also helps in mustering local support for programme through interaction with elected councilors and other opinion makers for promoting better understanding and need for reproductive healthcare.
  • Strengthening Public–Private Partnerships (PPPs): Involvement of Public Private Sector Organizations (PPSOs) for catering FP/RH services is one of the initiatives being launched by the government. So far, 90 Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) have been signed between Ministry of Population Welfare (MOPW) and PPSOs for the provision of FP/RH services through private sector outlets, 35 new centers have been established under Army, Navy, Air Force, Railways and Pakistan Steel Mills, etc.
  • Clinical and Non–Clinical Training: The clinical activities conducted by Regional Training Institutes (RTIs) include 24 month basic training of family Welfare Workers, 3-6 months advance training of Field Technical Officer/Assistant Sister Tutor/Family Welfare Counselors, Pre-service training of Family Welfare Assistant and Refresher training of Paramedics. Non–Clinical trainings are provided through Population welfare Training Institute. These institutes serve as capacity building machinery and provide in service, pre-service and refresher trainings to update knowledge and understanding of population issues.
  • Improved Quality Care Reproductive Health Services: Quality of Care (QoC) is a client-centered approach to provide high-quality health care as a basic human right; it is considered a critical element for FP/RH services and being promoted by all stakeholders in public and private sectors as well as by NGOs, as affirmed at international conferences. High quality services ensure that clients receive the care that they deserve. Furthermore, providing better services at reasonable price attract more clients, increase the use of FP methods, and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. Improving QoC for clients means understanding their cultural values, precious experiences, and perceptions of the role of the health system, and then bringing reproductive health service providers and the community together to map out a shared vision of quality. Similarly, enhancing QoC for healthcare providers requires identifying their motivations, addressing their needs (including general administrative and logistic support), and helping them to better understand and address clients’ concepts of quality. Creating a shared vision for improved QoC requires that Program Managers, service providers, researchers, and consumers advocate the idea that quality matters. Given time and effort, the ongoing attempt to improve the QoC will translate into services that meet minimum quality standards, satisfy the needs of clients and providers to bridge the gap of unmet need.
  • Social Marketing of Contraceptives: Population Welfare Programme is supplemented by Social Marketing intervention providing a complete range of contraceptives at subsidized rates with focus on low and middle income groups of population in the urban and semi urban areas indicating a reasonable presence involved through active private sector providers and retailer etc. the social marketing operation are supported with grant assistance provided by the development partners and is making 30 percent contribution to the national programme in terms of couple year protection (CYP).
  • Reaching Youth through population education: Based on the broader objective of Population Stabilization under the new holistic approach to Population and Development, the focus of these activities is to sensitize policy and decision makers and to initiate the public partnerships for adoption of small family norms.

9.24.7 The government has foreseen the far reaching implications of high population rate for the social and economic development and have recognized the prospects for improvements, and have among other things, undertaken volitional fertility moderation measures. The ultimate goal of population stabilization as a development priority to attain sustainable development is high on the priority list and there has been an ever increasing realization of cross cutting effects of population factor on the socio-economic development canvas. Thus, the programme has been accorded high priority in the development framework and supported as an important component of the PRSP-II.

9.25 (5) Mainstreaming Gender and Empowering Women

9.25.1 Women empowerment is more than simply increases in their incomes: it requires a transformation of their status in power relations. Aim to empower women requires going beyond income generation and provision of low-paid and part-time work which often merely serve to reinforce existing inequalities. It is essential to address both micro and macro level inequalities in order to enable women to exercise choice and fulfill their potential.

9.25.2 PRSP-I provided a framework under which the government initiated various measures to achieve gender equalities within the parameters of the ‘National Policy for Development and Empowerment of Women’ for political, social and economic empowerment of women. Some of the specific programmes that were highlighted in PRSP-I in the context of gender equity and equality included: (a) The National Programme for Women’s Political Participation, which provided leadership training to women councilors and members of the provincial assemblies; (b) National Framework for Family Protection, which provided legal aid, medical and rehabilitation facilities to women; (c) Gender Reform Action Plan, which facilitated the restructuring of national machinery dealing with gender issues; (d) Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) through a pilot study in the education sector; (e) provision of easy access to micro-credit, improved earning by better access to sources of livelihood, particularly in agriculture and livestock production; and (f) fulfilling the quota of 5 percent in government services.

9.25.3 The PRSP-II endorses this mainstreaming approach by aiming to create an environment that is more welcoming to women, focusing on policies that initiate improvements in female human development to achieve the desired results. The MoWD had launched development programmes and projects primarily within the available financial resources in the following areas of female empowerment: (a) political; (b) economic; (c) social; and (d) legal empowerment. (a) Political Empowerment Increased political participation of women in the Assemblies, especially in the local bodies, has opened a whole new political space. The Ministry of Women Development has prepared a comprehensive programme for capacity development for women councillors. This programme is intended to impart needs-based training so as to maximize the impact of the presence of women by enhancing their participation in the formulation, advocacy, and implementation of a gender-sensitive economic strategy.

Table 9.7.Provincial details of number of seats allocated for women councillors
Sr. No.Name of provinceNumber of DistrictsNumber of Union CouncilsNo. of Seats Allocated to WomenVacancy Position
Muslim (Women) (@ 2-seats per Union Council)Peasants/ Workers (Women) (@ 2-seats per Union Council)Muslim (Women)Peasant/ Workers (Women)
Grand Total:11061271225412254373413
Source: Ministry of Women Development, Government of Pakistan, 2008.
Source: Ministry of Women Development, Government of Pakistan, 2008. The programme has resulted in enhanced capacity of 21,590 newly elected women councillors in local government functions. Simultaneously, through a separate programme, IT training is being imparted to women councillors. Learning from past experience, innovative and systematic approaches will be developed to build the capacity of female representatives in political structures at the local, provincial and national levels. The issue of capacity of women cannot be assessed in isolation as it is the result of the socio-cultural, economic and political processes which provides unequal opportunities to men and women to develop unequal capabilities. Therefore, a broader view that moves beyond the capacity of women themselves is required on capacity building so that an enabling environment is established for women politicians to perform their roles effectively. (b) Economic Empowerment To ensure that the women in Pakistan play their role in enhancing the competitiveness of Pakistan’s economy internationally while simultaneously empowering themselves via greater participation in the economic life of Pakistan, economic opportunities are being offered to them at an increasing rate. This is an integral part of the growth strategy, because the demographic dividend derives in important measure from the increased participation of women in the labour force. A number of significant initiatives have been undertaken:

  • ▪ The National Fund for Advancement of Rural Women (Jafakash Aurat) is facilitating the process of economic empowerment. In this context, the Ministry of Women Development has initiated three pilot projects in remote areas aimed at diversifying women’s skills and training them to be competitive in the labour market.
  • ▪ Micro-credit schemes through First Women Bank, Khushhali Bank, and Zarai Taraqiyati Bank Limited (ZTBL) have started creating a new entrepreneur class among poor women on a local basis. The total number of female beneficiaries under Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Khushali Bank, and ZTBL increased from 174,000 in FY 2005/06 to 318,000 in FY 2006/07.125
  • ▪ Moreover, Benazir Income Support Programme intended to compensate economically vulnerable families for the erosion that their purchasing power has suffered. Its unique feature is that the payment will be made only to the female head of the family. The women’s empowerment impact is likely to be decisive, particularly in the context of social development. The payout is not claimed to be able to alleviate their poverty, but it should certainly serve to protect their nutrition intake to a large extent.
  • ▪ A ‘five-marla scheme’ has been launched in rural areas for homeless citizens where government land is available. The land title will be given to the female member of the house to boost her confidence and financial independence. The experience of PRSP-I shows that provision of micro-credit has met the objective of increasing the income of poor households. However, it may not have met the objective of women’s empowerment. If women creditors are provided support in skill development, developing linkages with markets, skills in business management and marketing, then there is a stronger possibility that they would graduate from income-generating activities and micro-entrepreneurship to big businesses. Similarly when credit schemes are designed for women to work in groups, this brings additional benefits to women in terms of increased self-confidence and greater say in decision-making within their families. Lady Livestock Workers (LLWs) are being trained to disseminate knowledge and training to other women in their areas for better rearing of livestock to enhance their incomes. Some 3500 women will be trained with the support of the University of Veterinary and Animal Science. It will ensure sustainable growth and speed up poverty alleviation process in rural areas where 60–70 percent of the population resides. The government’s strong affirmative and proactive policy in engendering public services at all levels of entry are bearing fruit by placing women in high positions of office in various services. Women’s share in the Pakistan Foreign Service, especially at ambassadorial positions, is also growing consistently. The last Governor of the SBP was a woman. Progressively larger numbers of women are entering the legal profession, and the higher judiciary is increasingly inducting women. With encouragement of the government, Pakistani women are now joining the armed forces, including Air Force, and various other new fields. (C) Social Empowerment Several measures are in place for increasing the social empowerment of women, and additional initiatives will be pursued during the period of the PRSP-II. Some of the more significant steps are:

  • Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Centers for Women (SBBCW): Ministry of Women Development has established 25 women centres (now called SBBCW) throughout the country to provide relief/support on emergent basis and rehabilitate the survivors of violence and women in distress. This support facility is in line with National and International commitments under the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (UNDHR); Convention on Elimination of All form of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); and Beijing Platform for Action (B-PfA). The objectives of the crises centres are to protect women against all types of violence and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. In the short run, these centres will provide temporary shelter to victims of violence in emergencies; provide medical/first aid; provide/arrange free legal assistance/aid; investigate cases of violence/prejudice; and liaison with agencies component to redress grievances of women at individual and collective levels, especially those concerned with combating violence against women. At present 25 centers are functional while 30 more centers are planned to be established during current financial year, after approval of the project by CDWP. Similarly, 9 centers will be established in the earthquake affected area of NWFP and AJK in collaboration with Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority (ERRA).
  • Awareness Campaign through Electronic/Print Media: The Ministry of Women Development launched a project entitled ‘Community Campaign to Prevent Violence against Women.’ This will rely on the media, both print and electronic. Its chief objectives are: to enable women to understand and exercise their rights across social, economic, political & legal streams; sensitize rural and urban communities, especially men, about gender issues and women’s rights; and to encourage and facilitate women in distress to avail of protection against violence by accessing services provided through women’s centers. (d) Legal Empowerment Violence against women with its various manifestations has been coming under increasing national and international scrutiny. “Honour” killing is one of the heinous crimes prevalent in various countries, including Pakistan. Women, who bring dishonour to their families because of alleged sexual misconduct, are forced to pay a terrible price at the hands of male family members. In case of Pakistan where extra-marital sex is an offence, the manipulation of men on this pretext extends to depriving women of their fundamental rights of choice to marry or inherit property. This manifestation of punishment affects not only a small percentage of women but it has grave consequences for female emancipation. The Ministry of Women Development to preserve the rights of women to security and life has taken the initiative by promulgating a law that makes changes in the existing criminal law to deal more effectively with offenders. Salient Features of the New Law:

  • ▪ Offences committed in name of or on the pretext of ‘honour’ (e.g. karo kari, siyah kari or similar other customs or practices) shall be treated as normal offences and will get no concession;
  • ‘Wali’ (legal heir) will not include the accused or the convict when ‘qatal’ (murder) is committed in name or on the pretext of honour. In other words, the accused would not be able to compound or waive the offence;
  • ▪ Punishment of qisas (death for death), death or imprisonment for life can be imposed keeping in view the facts of the each case;
  • ▪ A female cannot be given in exchange for compounding and whosever, violates this prohibition may be punished up to ten years but not less than three years;
  • ▪ In ‘attempt to murder’ case, the court may punish up to ten years but can not award less than five years;
  • ▪ In hurt cases caused in the name of ‘honour’, ta’zir (normal punishment) shall not be less than one-third of the maximum imprisonment provided by the law for the hurt;
  • ▪ The court may not accept compounding or waiver even if all the parties agree. The court may award death sentence or imprisonment for life but can not award less than ten years imprisonment;
  • ▪ The court will accept the compounding (forgiving the culprit after taking something) or waiver by the heirs (forgiving the culprit without taking something) subject to such conditions as it may deem fit to impose;
  • ▪ The Provincial government shall have no power to suspend or remit (to lessen) the sentence in such cases; and
  • ▪ In zina (illegal sexual relations) cases when the accused is a female, the police cannot arrest the women without permission of the court. Furthermore, the investigation shall have to be conducted by an officer not below the rank of superintendent of police. The government has taken additional measures to increase the legal protection of women. The following are some of the more significant.

  • Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) Amendment Ordinance, 2006: In an Ordinance promulgated on 8th July, 2006 amending section 497 of CrPc to grant of bail to women in jails on charges other than terrorism and murder. A large number of female prisoners have been released from different prisons of Pakistan under this new law.
  • The Protection of Women (Criminals Laws Amendment) Act, 2006: Protection of Women (Criminals Laws Amendment) Act, 2006 has been enacted on 1st December, 2006 to provide relief and protection to women against misuse and abuse of law and to prevent their exploitation. The object of this Bill is to bring the laws relating to zina and qazf126, in particular, in conformity with the stated objectives of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Constitutional mandate and in particular to provide relief and protection to women against misuse and abuse of law. This Act is providing 30 important amendments in the existing ‘Offence of Zina and Qazf (Enforcement of Hadood Ordinance 1979)’, the ‘Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860)’, the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 (Act V of 1898)’, and the ‘Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939.’
  • Domestic Violence against Women and Children (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2008: There is a need to provide legal mechanism for protection of victims of domestic violence in line with the provisions of the Constitution. To address this issue, comments/views have been gathered from various Ministries/Divisions/Departments, NGOs and civil society organizations on the draft Domestic Violence against Women and Children (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2008.
  • Harassment of Women at Workplace: The Federal Cabinet has in November, 2008 approved the following draft bills: (i) Protection against Harassment at the Workplace Bill, 2008; and (ii) Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2008. The draft Bills comprehensively address the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace in the public and private sectors. These legislations when enacted would serve as a deterrent to the issue of harassment at the workplace.

9.25.4 Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP) The Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP) proposes a coherent gender reform agenda to align policies, structures, processes, programmes and projects for enabling the government to implement its national and international commitments on gender equality. It is aimed at introducing government-wide reforms to engender the machinery at the federal, provincial, and district levels with a positive bias for women. GRAP seeks to address gender gaps through reforms in four major areas, namely: (i) political reforms; (ii) administrative/institutional reforms; (iii) reforms in public sector employment; and (iv) policy and fiscal reforms. Substantial capacity building and support actions are being added to this programme, which is to be implemented over four years. Gender Development Grant is one of the core components of the national GRAP with a total budget of Rs 250 million. This amount is to be utilized primarily for mainstreaming gender in the provincial and district governments. This amount has been released by the Ministry of Women Development to all the provinces in FY 2005/06 which is being further distributed to all the 111 districts of Pakistan. This grant will be utilized by the districts for supporting women-specific activities/projects, which have a need-based priority with the support of elected women councilors in the District Councils. The GRAP Secretariats are now fully operational at the federal and the provincial levels and focal persons have been placed in all partner ministries/agencies. The PRSP-II includes GRAP in its monitoring and evaluation framework. Through regular and systematic monitoring, it will be ensured that progress in all four key areas of GRAP is effectively made during the PRSP-II period.

9.25.5 National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), a statutory body, was established in 2000 by the President of Pakistan. The main goal of NCSW is emancipation of women, equalization of opportunities and socio-economic conditions amongst women and men, and elimination of discrimination against women. The main functions of the Commission include the examination of the policy, programmes and other measures taken by the government for women development and the review of all policies, laws, rules and regulations affecting the status and rights of women and gender equality in accordance with the Constitution. The Commission is providing valuable input on various gender issues.

9.25.6 National Plan of Action (NPA) for Women As an outcome of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 1995 in the Ministry of Women Development prepared and launched a National Plan of Action (NPA) for Women on 14th August 1998 as a partial fulfillment of our national and international commitment. The NPA for Women sets out 184