Minister stresses need for major shift in macroeconomic policies to address inequalities

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Zubair Qureshi

Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri has said that the current devastating flood situation which the country is confronted with calls for investing more in social protection and developing resilience to address the inequalities in the country.

She was speaking at a policy dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022 – Economic Policies for an Inclusive Recovery and Development here.

In this crisis-time when the floods have caused heavy financial and life losses adding to human sufferings, Pakistan needs a major shift in its macroeconomic policies to streamline the recovery phase.

Member of National Assembly (MNA) Mehnaz Akbar Aziz emphasized strengthening people-to-people contacts and the local government system in these testing times. She stressed the need to include youths, women, children and minorities in debates on economic policies to ensure their inclusivity and to align them with the real time needs of people.

Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Federal Secretary for Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives said that the growth pattern has been disturbed due to the pandemic, however, Pakistan has recovered from negative to 5.9% growth. Now, it is time to redistribute efforts for inclusive, fair, and resilient recovery.

Mr. Jian Zheng, Economic Affairs Officer, Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division, UNESCAP, said that the pandemic has pushed 85 million people to extreme poverty with highly detrimental impacts on informal workers, employment, subdued capital investment by further shrinking fiscal space and exaggerating learning deficits.

Dr Shabnam Sarfraz, Member of Social Sector & Devolution, Planning Commission, said that the Planning Commission repurposed finances for COVID-19 and built up a case for investments which was successful in securing Rs 72 billion for one project.

 

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