There is much talk of poverty alleviation in the developed countries as well as under developed countries but nobody realizes that money does not grows on trees, and no one seems to be clear as to how it is to be obtained? It is easy to point out the poverty-ridden persons but the measures taken to rid them of poverty is not upto the mark and all sermons thereof are nothing but rhetorics. The ground reality is that for every one dollar advanced as loan by World Bank and IMF to Pakistan, we have repaid almost $ 12.00 in debt servicing with spiral rise in liability on this account, the loan which stood as $ 17.29 billion in 1991 has increased to $ 39.5 billion in 2001, while almost 60 % of Pakistan’s annual budget goes into debt servicing. That being so, there is hardly any money left for poverty alleviation, the present capitalistic system makes the rich richer and poor the poorer. It is therefore necessary to devise a model Islamic financial system whereby beggar thy neighbour is not the motto.
The rich borrowers should bear the burden of the poor borrowers in order to make the world a place worth living for one and all, that is to say the rate of interest for rich borrowers should be higher and the rate of interest for poor borrowers should be comparatively lesser and for this, a detailed study and classification of rich and poor nations is necessary. These nations of the third world countries who have already paid much more than what they have borrowed should be allowed a write-off for their remaining debt liability otherwise poverty alleviation will only remain a slogan.
It is a pity that 5 % of the world population controls the entire resources of the world. While 40 % of the South Asian population lives below the poverty line and the gap between the rich and the poor is widening and this is fatal not only to the economy but also to the people. Tuberculoses is rampant not only in Third World countries but also in Western Hemisphere and so is Diarrhea because of arsenic contaminated drinking water in third world countries. All the tall claims of sustainable environmental programme to harness the toxic industrial waste have been another tool of exploitation of the third world countries by the West. In Pakistan alone during last five or six years, environment technology transfer & assistance programme for industry coupled with financial aid launched in collaboration with Apex trade body of trade and industry and chambers and association have produced zero results while the money so advanced has been siphoned off by the representatives of the donors and the donee’s, while the NEQ regime will put further strain on their production factors, this was so designed to exploit the developing world by the developed countries. It is a pity that effective medicine are yet not available to the people, seminars and statements on poverty alleviation do not provide any relief against these fatal disease, what to talk of providing two meals a day.
In order to enforce the poverty alleviation programme it is necessary to control the population explosion with little seriousness, people in this region who earn less then one dollar a day have ten to fifteen mouths to feed and their only recreation is sex. Let us plan and provide a better life with education, health and recreational facilities, unless population explosion is controlled, no programme of poverty alleviation is going to work, and teeming millions will continue to suffer inspite of all the tall claims by world leaders in this regard.
It is an eye opener that during the year 2000 IMF and World Bank advanced a total of US $ 292 billion to the developing countries as loan, while during the same year these countries paid in debt servicing US $ 269 billion, which means in real cash term they only received $ 23 billion and thus the unborn children are also mortgaged to the lenders in this scheme of things. While money does not grow on trees but it does grow on trees so far as IMF and World Bank under the global village and free market economy programmes of the capital world are concerned. The developing countries had a total liability of US $ 75 billion in 1970, which stands as $ 2038 billion in 2000. Statistics show that in 1980’s era only against this liability the developing countries had paid $ 1280 billion in debt servicing alone. The control over these money growing trees is so strong that nobody can even get a sapling or seed to culture and cultivate their own nursery for future protection from the clutches of world money Mafia.
The government should take and only the government can take prompt action to redefine institutions, which would narrow the inequalities. Credible and efficient institutions with sincere and honest management are required for social security. Entrepreneurs and trade leaders on their part must cater to the imperatives of social justice. The dark clouds of continuing injustice and multiplication of inequalities would persist and result in unrest that may ultimately explode into terrorism.
It is always the poor who lead a revolution, this is evident from the history of French Revolution, where the King and Queen and their Prince were guillotined by the people. It all happened because there was such a big distance between the rulers and the ruled that when the people cried for the bread, the Queen advised them to eat cakes if they haven’t got breads, this distance between the rich and the poor and the ruler and the ruled is fatal to any country. The King Louis XVI was turned into a baker; the Queen into the baker’s wife and the Prince was turned into a baker’s boy. Such are the vistas of inequalities, which every ruler would like to avoid and in order to achieve their goals they have to avoid the companionship and advice of sycophants and yesmen.
Sincere and honest persons are not available in Palaces where intrigues are hatched and in Government Houses and Presidencies where mostly yes ministers are born and brought up the rulers should also develop interaction with their opponents. Taking a leaf out of Americas recent history President Bush dispatched a military aircraft to Australia to bring back the former President Bill Clinton for urgent close door consultations. While it is a pity that in our country the opponents are dubbed as traitors, this all leads to confusion, chaos and misery for the people. In the end the leaders do not suffer, it is only the people and the country that suffers. History of Pakistan is the history of failure of leadership. Let us therefore launch a grow more trees campaign bearing money for the people and this is the function and primary duty of every ruler and the country. Even as the Premier of China, Mr. Chou-En-Lai use to go to his office on bicycle, so why we can not develop a culture of austerity in our life style.