In 1968, highlighting the glaring issue of income inequality in Pakistan, Dr. Mahbub-ul-Haq identified that 22 families owned 66% of the country’s industrial assets.
Unfortunately, nearly 50 years down the lane not much has changed with regard to income inequality in Pakistan. In 2016 the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) in its report titled, “Development Advocate Pakistan” reported that inequality in Pakistan was on the rise. The report stated that the richest 20% in Pakistan consumed seven times more than the poorest 20% in the country. In the same realm, the report also calculated that the Gini Coefficent (used to measure income inequality) had risen from 0.35 in 1987-88 to 0.41 in 2013-14.
Among the leading causes of income inequality in Pakistan is the dismal state of tax base. It is a documented fact that individuals and groups, who together own nearly 90% of the country’s wealth, only contribute about 2% through taxation! This not only puts immense pressure on state institutions to sustain with meager resources but also significantly contributes towards poverty and inequality.
To curb this unhealthy trend of growing income inequality in Pakistan, Indus Consortium and Oxfam joined hands with famous musician, Jawad Ahmad to launch a campaign motivating the Pakistani youth to demand an end to unjust practices that promote poverty and income inequality.
Through a motivational song, “Hum Hain Naujawan” developed especially for this campaign, Jawad Ahmad asks the young people to rise to the occasion and have their voices heard to eliminate income inequality in Pakistan.
The motivational lyrics coupled with Jawad Ahmad’s powerful vocals prompt young Pakistanis to value the immense power that they possess as citizens and raise their voice against societal discrimination for a developed and progressive country.
It is a welcome development to see cultural icons and the civil society collaborating for awareness raising on an issue that impacts virtually every Pakistani citizen’s life.
Click the link below to watch the song and share your views on the subject.