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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Inclusive development: A new aspect of development in Pakistan

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The world’s stable shift from Millenium Development goals towards Sustainable development goals has brought innovation in the parameters of assessing the economic development of the countries. This paradigmatic shift spins around the concept of sustained inclusive economic development.

Hence the concept orchestrates the currently expanded horizons of assessing and implementing the phenomenon of development. Along with the confinement to the stationary goals of basic human development, on the forefront, lies the underlying principles of the new paradigm have recognized to the core the imperativeness of ensuring “development for all”.

The idea of Inclusive development index, which is just one aspect of the multi-dimensional development, is gaining accelerated currency in the economic world. Pakistan, in the recent statistic in the purview of Inclusive Development Index revealed by the World Economic Forum, was ranked 52nd, just few numbers ahead of India, in the list of 79 developing economies.

The rankings are an orientation of Pakistan’s standing position in the realm of the gender equality, and above all speak about the presence of the uniform chances of progression for each member of the society. In the background, it creates a stronger correlation between the Sustainable Development goals, the target of ensuring maximized social inclusion, economic development, and democracy.

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Where economic productivity and growth is a warrant to progressive development, gender equality, and a more inclusive development is a path towards diminishing poverty levels, the impact of which when goes around, gives a favorable boost to all the indicator of human development.

What is the significance of the Social Inclusion for Pakistan?

Where the rest of the world is moving at a steady pace towards innovation and transforming their societies in accordance with the new paradigms. Pakistan’s adherence to the traditional model of 70’s encompassing GDP growth as a sole factor in determining development is an indicative of its inflexibility in achieving that progress.

Leaving aside other factors for development, the greater social inclusion is a one-solution to multiple problems Pakistan is dealing with.

The greater social inclusion will ensue a trickle-up effect. The effect may be brought about by reduced gender gaps, enhanced productivity by availing the human capital to its full potential, and reduced poverty levels since more job creation will lower the unemployment and will narrow the income and wealth distribution gaps.

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What lies for Pakistan in the socially inclusive for development?

With the bleak figures, Pakistan currently stands on 79th out of 109 countries on the Global Food Security Index. As more of it, 60% of Pakistani is food insecure. The further breakdown also tells that, 50% of women and children under 5 are malnourished. Almost 45% of death of children under five is due to poor nutrition.

Pakistan, therefore by committing to SDGs, is expected to end hunger and malnutrition problems of all forms by 2030.

Where increased industrial and service sector is an immediate answer to increase social inclusion and living standards of people, there are other factors such as climatic change and uncertain weather condition a constant fear that may adversely affect the agricultural sector, affecting the food productivity.

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Apart from other socio-economic benefits derived, it is crucial that Pakistan needs to realize the political benefits that can be achieved by ensuring increased social inclusion.

Social inclusion will enable the ousted groups to get well assimilated in the development progress. Cutting the throat of any such possibility of falling these people afflicted with abject poverty in to the web of terrorism, to seek financial sustainability. Also their access to education, will assist these politically astray groups to get themselves politically enlightened.

Limitations and Opportunities

However implementation of SDGs, and to come to terms with the features of equality is a difficult process for Pakistan. because it not only does need economic reforms on large scale but the rather prerequisite of political improvisation may turn out to be a biggest impediment. For example by signing up to equal rights to economic resources creates the possibility of arguing once again for land reforms, and this may not coincide well with the political and economic oligopoly of few elements in the institutions.

The progress towards, inclusive development, also hinges up on inter-dependent provincial harmony and equality. The status of each provincial department of Planning and development differs on many factors such as on expertise, motivations, budgets, and resources. An imbalance and clashing opinions between the provinces on any of the mentioned above factors may disrupt the progress, just like we have seen KPK’s concerns and reservations in case of, CPEC.

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SDGs, which is a more dignified and tractable representation of MDGs, demand higher level of expertise, for its fulsome implementation.

Development activities, which are rampant in each political setup, lack proper coordination, since each province, with differing objectives, acts to their own convenience. This divergence constitutes for the vast development differences between the provinces. Where Balochistan, stand lowest, from Punjab being at the top in the internal development index.

This divergence of different approaches to development by Provinces brings particular benefits to a small segment of the population and promotes directionless development, at a broader level for the country.

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Where devolution of power is an essential feature of democracy and modern-day development, there is at least a need to converge all the provinces on uniform set of goals. The tactics however may tend to vary, and this can encourage the provinces to become more competitive. Thus, Legislators and policy makers are the central figures in bringing this change and driving the economy towards more  development