China — a role model

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PRIME Minister Imran Khan has said that China is a role model for developing countries in poverty alleviation and added that the neighbouring country’s stellar growth has brought “800 million people out of poverty over the past four decades”.

Addressing the 20th anniversary of Junsao Assistance and Sustainable Development Cooperation on Thursday, he said that poverty alleviation and tackling climate change are key priorities of his government.

China has, no doubt, successfully implemented a comprehensive poverty alleviation programme that has helped raise the living standards of the relevant segments of the society and it is cited as a role model in this regard.

No one can deny that the PTI Government has launched a wide-ranging social safety programme called ‘Ehsaas’, with the objective of uplifting marginalized people, eradicating poverty and supporting vulnerable households but there is a fundamental difference of approach.

The Chinese model helped people come out of the vicious cycle of poverty as it offered them practical assistance to stand on their own feet while our focus all along has been on disbursement of cash, which is not enough to meet even staple food requirements of the poor.

We have to analyze how China was able to achieve the goal of complete eradication of extreme poverty – the first target of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – 10 years ahead of schedule, which is a milestone in the history of the Chinese nation and the history of humankind, making an important contribution to the cause of global poverty alleviation.

President Xi Jinping, always concerned about impoverished regions and families in straitened circumstances, has always put poverty alleviation at the top of his work agenda and devoted much of his energy to it.

He has presented a series of important ideas and proposals, and made some major policy decisions in this regard.

China devised different approaches for urban and rural poor; went for tailor-made policies to get quick results; education and health needs of the poor were taken care of; jobs were allocated for the poor so that they can earn their livelihood; and food for work programme was launched to enable families to work for government projects and in return get healthy food besides income.

A whole range of efforts were directed to business development, the training and transfer of rural labour, poverty alleviation through relocation and relocation for the development of the eco-economy.

While the Pakistan Government seemed to have left the senior citizens and pensioners in the lurch and launched a propaganda campaign against the concept of pension, China has raised the amount of basic pension in rural areas and subsidies for basic medical insurance for poor seniors to further reduce poverty among the elderly in rural areas.

It was because of the sincere commitment and time-bound practical steps that China saw an end to the backwardness of poverty-stricken areas, boosted overall rural development, resolved the greatest threat to success in achieving moderate prosperity in all respects, and laid a solid foundation for building a modern socialist China and realizing the Second Centenary Goal.

We can also change destiny of our people if poverty alleviation programmes are modeled on local needs and requirements; citizens are imparted vocational skills; quality health and education facilities are made accessible to all; infrastructure projects are initiated in the length and breadth of the country in close coordination with the provinces; PSDP programmes are implemented in letter and spirit without any downward revision and above all factors leading to price-hike are addressed in a comprehensive manner as more people fell below the poverty line during the last several years than those who were helped by the Government through Ehsaas programme due to non-stop price-hike.

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