Mass Poverty in Pakistan: Some Preliminary Findings

S. M. Naseem


The disillusionment of many developing countries with past
policies which paid exclusive attention to the rate of growth has, in
recent years, led to a some¬what belated interest in the problems of
unemployment, income distribution and mass poverty. Pakistan/perhaps,
has the unique, if dubious, distinction of being one of the first
developing countries both to adopt and, later, to reject growthmanship
as a national creed.1 Although serious doubts about the assumptions and
implications of the official strategy of economic growth in Pakistan
began to be expressed in 1968, the issues were clouded by the political
demand for the autonomy, and later the separation of the eastern wing of
the country. At the recent Pakistan Economic Conference, held in
February 1973, some of the basic issues of Pakistan's development
strategy were discussed hi detail in various papers [1], [7], [14],
[25]. The focus of these papers was on income distribution and
employment and their implications for the future growth strategy. The
present author in his paper [14] at the Conference, presented some
tentative estimates of mass poverty and unemployment in West Pakistan.
The present paper is designed to give more systematic estimates of the
extent of mass poverty in Pakistan.

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