SPDC report says urban-rural disparities widening

September 25, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: Revealing the statistical changes that have shifted the masses from public to private sectors in past few years, particularly in rural areas, an independent and research based non-government organization ‘Social Policy and Development Center’ (SPDC) launched Annual Review 2012-13 on the state of social development in Rural Pakistan here at a private hotel on Wednesday.

Shedding light on research, the Managing Director of SPDC, Prof. Dr Khalida Ghaus, said that revelation of research must be reached to society, politicians, policymakers, economists, and other social scientists for legislation, policymaking, and its implementation in an effective way.

She asserted that sustainable economical development is feasible when equal social and economical opportunities be accessible to people. Regarding urban-rural disparities, she said that despite a contribution of 50 percent of the GDP by rural areas to the national economy, the urban per capita income is almost twice the rural, adding, 39 percent of rural population is living below poverty line.

While discussing the common economic constraints that found in rural areas and she said that rural labor force was confronted with the issues of unpaid work, underemployment, and seasonal employment, adding, at the same time, public spending on preventive health has declined by more than 5 percent per year.

Asif Iqbal, Member Core Research Team SPDC, on the occasion, revealed substantial changes through statistical researches done by the organization and said that the study found that in terms of education, the number of school going students has declined in past few years in rural areas.

He further concluded that the disparity that exist in urban-rural areas economically and socially, disparity within the provinces, and immense decline in rural economy, adding, the report estimates the size of the rural economy to be Rs 8.7 trillion in 2010-11 which constitutes half the country’s economy.

Dr. Hafeez Pasha, an economist and Member Core Research Team SPDC, discussed the impacts of latest floods in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab, which has declined the agricultural production of crops from 11 to 12 percent and said that there was a possibility of inflation in prices of agriculture products.

While accusing district model of government for committing massive corruption, he said that public sector was losing reliability in rural areas and people were shifting to private sectors for health, medical, and education. He was on the opinion that local body form of government would deliver more and in far effective way, while accusing public sector incompetent and corrupt.

He also urged 1972 land reforms to be implemented for boosting rural economy and eradicating feudalism. Regarding disasters and its impacts on economy, he said that the priority has to be shift from infrastructure to strengthening National Disaster Management, quoting, he had advised Chief Minister Punjab, Shabaz Sharif to invest the money in disaster management than infrastructure.

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