The World Bank has approved a $450 million loan programme for Pakistan to help the poor segments of society. At least 17.5 percent people live below the poverty line and most of them are already covered under the Benazir Income Support Programme in the country. However, the question is how the new loan programme will bring positive changes in their lives and how they would be given the basic amenities of life. Education and health are no more the federal government subjects, but of the provinces. The funds from the new loan will also be transferred to the BISP as part of the National Social Protection Programme. The country has already been burdened with loans of different categories and loans have allegedly become a major source of corruption. The meagre amount from the BISP bestowed on the poor families after every three months are the worth of not more than peanuts these days. The whole lot of the poor have been converted into beggars who only look for a few thousands rupees after three months without any visible improvement in their lives.
The most important issue before the economists these days is economy. If economy is improved and people are given jobs, it will be a great help for the poor as well as for the nation. It will also bring a positive change in the country as a whole. Obtaining millions of dollars loans for non-productive sectors is disservice to the nation. The foreign donor agencies are not tired of praising the government steps and persuading it to get loans for non-productive sectors. The World Bank Country Director for Pakistan could have the best academic credentials, but the ground realities should not be ignored. A country which is in a process of developing its institutions and devising a mechanism, it is difficult for it to stop misuse of the national funds. Under Growth Development Policy initiatives, a policy credit of $300million is envisaged to support the government to promote a more inclusive and transparent financial sector in the country as a sizeable chunk of the society has no access to banking system. The will raise financial access up to 50 percent across the country 2020. At least 100 million Pakistanis have no access to formal and regulated financial services which are about 5 percent of the unbanked population of the world. However, the best part of the programme is that it will boost private sector credit access to small and medium enterprises up to 15 percent in the three years. It is hoped the government will use the new loan judiciously on the welfare of the people.