ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has told the Senate that the poverty ratio has declined in the Country in the last few years.
In a written reply to a question by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, the minister told the House on Friday that the Household Integrated Economic Survey (HIES) was last conducted in 2018-19, and based on its estimates, 21.9 percent of the population was living below the poverty line as compared to 24.3 percent in 2015-16, indicating a decline in poverty.
The minister told that after 2018-19, the HIES has not been conducted and there is no latest official estimate of poverty to verify or deny the claim that poverty has increased during the tenure of the incumbent government.
However, the simulation exercise reported in Annual Plan 2021-22 states that Ehsaas led initiatives (Kafaalat Program) are expected to reduce poverty by 2 percentage points in 2021-22.
Asad Umar apprised that the fieldwork of the HIES was planned to be conducted in 2020-21.
However, the Labour Field Survey was being conducted at the district level in 2020-21 and is still in progress due to which the original plan for conducting the HIES was changed.
The minister told that it was decided that the HIES will initiate in 2021-22; however, due to the decision of conducting Census, the fieldwork for HIES is postponed till Census results and is expected to be held in 2023-24.