Inequality Report 2019 Launched by Labour Education Foundation
South Asia’s share of the poor in the globe increased from 27.3 percent to 33.4 percent between 1990 to 2013
“Growing Inequality in South Asia” Growing poverty in South Asia has been exposed the myth of growth in several countries of the region. Most countries have failed to make use of the economic growth in the region to improve the lives of the poor and marginalized people of the community. South Asia’s share of the poor in the globe increased from 27.3 percent to 33.4 percent between 1990 to 2013, and the trends of growing inequalities are on ever increase. This was stated by the speakers at the launch of an Inequality report at a local hotel in Lahore.
The report is been released by South Asian Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) in association with Labour Education Foundation. Prominent economists and researchers of the eight countries of South Asia were engaged in preparation of this Inequality report sponsored by OXFEM International.
Main speaker on the occasion was Dr. Netra Prasad Timsina, the regional coordinator of SAAPE who is based in Nepal. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Netra said that South Asian countries are competing with each other on to provide the facility of tax exemptions to the rich and the powerful. The two regional super powers, India and Pakistan, feature in the list of top 0 countries in losing the most tax revenues.
Dr. Netra said that in South Asia, 134 million people still do not have access to improved drinking water. It is estimated that between 68 to 84 percent of sources of water are contaminated in the region.
Dr. Netra said that the appalling situation defecation can be seen in the region where over 600 million peoples in South Asia practice this in open. While on average globally, women are paid 24 percent less than men, In South Asia, the
gender pay gap is 35 percent for women with children compared to 14 percent in terms of women without children.
Farooq Tariq general secretary Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee said that in Pakistan, though nearly 64 percent of population lives in rural areas, only one percent of the farmland owners (feudal lords) own 20 percent of the country’s farms land and top 20 percent own 69 percent of the countries’s farmlands. A small scale farmer, on the other hand, owns an average of 0.3 hectares. Farooq Tariq said that in India, the top 10 percent people now hold nearly three quarters of the total wealth. The policies of neo liberalism are resulting devastating effect on the lives of the people and inequality is growing faster than any other time in the region.
Dr. Ammar Ali Jan of Haqooq Khalq Movement said that the present government in Pakistan is on the same path of implementing neo liberal agenda and the results would be no different than any other country where these policies were imposed on the instructions of the IMF and World Bank. He said there is growing inequality and this is met with growing resistance to these anti people measures.
Those who spoke on the occasion included Abida Ali from Pakistan Institute of Labour and Research (PILER) and Khalid Mahmood director Labour Education Foundation.