KARACHI (Dunya News) – Pakistan’s justice system is inclined towards the rich and powerful, United Nations report revealed on Friday.
A report prepared by the United Nations on the causes of inequality in Pakistan stated that the real power consumers bear the burden of cost due to the poor measure taken by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).
The report stated that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) appears helpless in overcoming the growing monopoly on credit facilities in the financial sector, while Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) seems to have failed to boost public confidence in the stock market.
According to the report, the Competition Commission appears to be inactive in ensuring fair prices, while the regulatory sector has failed miserably to end monopolies and cartels in the country. Cement, sugar, automobiles, auto parts, and pharmaceuticals are among the industries in which cartels have resorted to fraudulent methods.
“Powerful groups use their privilege to capture more than their fair share, people perpetuate structural discrimination through prejudice against others based on social characteristics, and policies are often unsuccessful at addressing the resulting inequity, or may even contribute to it,” read the report.
The wide-ranging NHDR provides detailed data on deep-rooted inequality in Pakistan’s economy. While the richest 1 percent held 9 percent of the country’s income of $314.4bn in 2018-19, the report found that the poorest 1 percent held just 0.15 percent. Overall, the richest 20 percent of Pakistanis hold 49.6 percent of the national income, compared with the poorest 20 percent, who hold just 7 percent.
“The poorest and richest Pakistanis effectively live in completely different countries, with literacy levels, health outcomes, and living standards that are poles apart,” writes Aliona Niculita, deputy resident representative of the UNDP in Pakistan, in the report.