Published Date: Oct 31, 2017
Local solutions key to poverty reduction in Pakistan: Lijian Zhao
ISLAMABAD: People’s Republic of China Deputy Chief of Mission in Pakistan Lijian Zhao Monday said that his country was able to reduce poverty considerably during the last five years through a number of solutions offered at community level, including new income generation activities.
During a special lecture, titled ‘Poverty Reduction in China and Lessons for Pakistan’, held here at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Zhao said there was no single solution for poverty alleviation, and keeping this in view, the Chinese government helped communities through multiple approaches, involving measures like offering subsidies, financing income generating activities at local level and providing enabling policy environment and support for area specific economic activities.
Zhao, while quoting various examples of Chinese government’s success in poverty reduction, informed the audience that China was expected to become a poverty free country by the year 2020.
He said that financing efforts for projects at local level by the federal and provincial governments had been introduced so that the broader ownership for such developmental activities could be achieved. Besides, he said that banks in China were ensuring microfinancing to projects at the local level, ranging from industrial to farming activities. Moreover, educational subsidies were also offered to students so that they could avail educational facilities and hence improve their ability to have access to better economic opportunities, he added.
Furthermore, Zhao said that CPEC was providing a huge cushion for Pakistan’s efforts on combating poverty, as projects like power generation and the constructions of communication networks, including roads and highways, was offering huge economic opportunities to people of Pakistan.
He said that China and Pakistan were following different political systems and cultures, therefore the poverty reduction solutions that China had applied could not be exactly replicated in Pakistan.
On the occasion, SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qayyum Suleri lauded the Chinese success in poverty reduction, especially by meeting the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) on poverty reduction. He said that China had achieved the goals through targeted interventions and by creating a bond of ownership amongst people in connection with the developmental process.
Suleri said that Pakistan could apply a multi-faceted coordination policy at different levels of governance with the help of the federal government to ensure financing for local projects at the district level.
Earlier, representatives from SDPI had informed participants regarding the steps taken by the Chinese government for poverty alleviation. Later, participants agreed that there was a need to explore those areas which could provide beneficial lessons for Pakistan in its poverty reduction mission.