‘Pakistan’s economic model is…’: World Bank issues warning as 95 million fall below poverty line | Mint
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Business News/ News / World/  ‘Pakistan’s economic model is…’: World Bank issues warning as 95 million fall below poverty line
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‘Pakistan’s economic model is…’: World Bank issues warning as 95 million fall below poverty line

Poverty in Pakistan has risen to 39.4% as poor economic conditions have caused 12.5 million more people to fall into poverty. The World Bank urged the country to take urgent action to achieve financial stability, including taxing agriculture and real estate and cutting wasteful spending.

Pakistan's interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar holds an interview during his visit for the United Nations General Assembly (AP)Premium
Pakistan's interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar holds an interview during his visit for the United Nations General Assembly (AP)

Pakistan's financial woes prompted an urgent warning from the World Bank on Friday as millions more fell below the poverty line. The Washington-based lender called for urgent steps to achieve financial stability. Data compiled by the World Bank indicates that around 95 million Pakistanis now live in poverty.

“Pakistan’s economic model is no longer reducing poverty, and the living standards have fallen behind peer countries," said Tobias Haque – the World Bank’s lead country economist for Pakistan.

According to the latest draft policy notes unveiled by the lender, 12.5 million more people in Pakistan fell below the poverty line amid worsening economic conditions. Poverty in the the cash-strapped country has now shot up to 39.4% as of last fiscal year.

ALSO READ: India slams Pakistan on Kashmir at UNGA: 'World's worst human rights records'

The remarks came mere days after the Pakistani Election Commission announced plans to hold general elections in January 2024. According to the world bank there are several pressure points that need to be addressed urgently by the new government – from low human development and unsustainable fiscal situation to over-regulation in the private, agriculture and energy sectors.

Pakistan has also been urged to take immediate steps to tax its 'sacred cows' – agriculture and real estate – and cut wasteful expenditures in an effort to achieve economic stability through steep fiscal adjustment of over 7% of the economy.

The World Bank also suggested immediately increasing the tax-to-GDP ratio by 5% through a host of measures and cutting expenditures by about 2.7% of GDP in order to steer the economy back to a prudent fiscal path. It also proposed reducing distortive exemptions to generate taxes equal to 2% of the GDP. The World Bank also sought an increase in taxes on land and property to collect another 2% of GDP in revenues and generate another 1% of the GDP from the agriculture sector. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 23 Sep 2023, 06:19 PM IST
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