The World Bank has cautioned Pakistan that nearly 100 million of its population has fallen below the poverty line. The Washington-based lender on Friday urged the cash-stripped country to take urgent steps to achieve financial stability.
It also unveiled draft policy notes for Pakistan’s next government, Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper reported. The election commission has announced that the polls would take place during the last week in January. The country is currently led by interim PM Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar.
The World Bank noted that poverty in Pakistan rose within one year from 34.2 per cent to 39.4 per cent, with 12.5 million more people falling below the poverty line of the USD 3.65 per day income level. The institution added that about 95 million citizens live in poverty.
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Pakistan’s population is at 241.49 million in 2023, according to a CCI census. Tobias Haque, the World Bank’s lead country economist for Pakistan, said that the country’s ‘economic model is no longer reducing poverty, and the living standards have fallen behind peer countries’.
The World Bank further urged Pakistan to tax its ‘sacred cows’ – agriculture and real estate. It further asked the Asian country to chop off wasteful expenditures in an effort to achieve economic stability through steep fiscal adjustment of over 7 per cent of the economy.
“The World Bank is deeply concerned about the economic situation of today,” Haque said. “This may be Pakistan’s moment for significant policy shift,” said Najy Benhassine, the country director for Pakistan at the World Bank.