ISLAMABAD: Urbanisation process in Pakistan is being daunted by massive rise in poverty and increasing joblessness, says Asian Development Bank in its report on Urban Poverty in Asia.

Economic susceptibility was the main cause while social powerlessness, political marginalisation and instability, ill-functioning and delinquent institutions, uncontrollable corruption, lawlessness, terrorism and income inequality fuelled poverty growth, it noted.

Other factors energising urban poverty were reported to be slow economic growth, wage and employment restraints in public sector, low development expenditure and investment, unstable agricultural production, highinnation, and poor governance of social services.

Although national poverty incidence stood at 14.4 per cent, shelter and service deprivations at 46.6pc forced almost half of the country`s population to live in informal settings with only 58pc having access to line water within the premises. Health and education attainments were cited dismally low.Life expectancy in Pakistan was the lowest in the region.

However, process of urbanisation impacted the economy as shifting of rural population generated problems by depriving the residents of essential and basic needs.

Another factor was the rural population`s endeavour to urbanise themselves faster.

Unequal distribution of wealth, ownership of land, property and financial assets, uneven access to education, health, water, sanitation and economic opportunities, and failure to generate revenues for social and physical infrastructure increased urbanrural disparity.

Urban poverty rose to 22.7pc in 2000-01 from 15.4pc in 1993-94. However, it declined to 13.1pc in fiscal 2004-05 which was attributed to strong economic growth, rise in per capita income, large inflow of remittances, and better economic and social policies of the former government.

Then again in 2006-07 urban poverty depicted an upward trend.

Pakistan like many countries experienced rapid urbanisation with the ratio increasing to 36pc in 2010 from 17pc in 1951, the ADB report concluded.

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