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Public Policy Forum and Launch of Oxfam Report “Reward Work, Not Wealth” in Pakistan At PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi 22-Jan-2018

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A Public Policy Forum emphasizing inequality crisis around the globe with a particular reference to Pakistan was organized by Oxfam Pakistan and Indus Consortium for Humanitarian, Environmental and Development initiatives at PMAS University of Arid Agriculture Rawalpindi on January 22, 2018. Purpose of the one day public policy forum was to highlight the inequalities in the society and how to reduce them in line with UN-SDG No. 10. The Oxfam Global Report entitled, “Reward Work, Not Wealth”- an Oxfam briefing paper published in January 2018 was also launched on the occasion, as a part of series of papers to inform public on development and humanitarian public issues worldwide. The Report highlights the situation of inequality between the poor and the rich, income growth, tax evasion, gender inequalities etc. (more details on www.oxfaminternatioanl.org ).

The forum was moderated by an Investigative Journalist Mr. Umer Cheema. The Speakers included Oxfam Pakistan Country Director Mohammed Qazilbash, Chairman of the Bank of Punjab Dr, Parvaiz Tahir, Vice Chancellor PMAS Arid Agriculture University Prof. Sarwat Naz Mirza, Director R&D Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Dr. Nadia Tahir, President ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro and Professor of Economics from PMAS Arid Agriculture University Dr. Abdul Saboor. The keynote address was given by the renowned Pakistani Economist Dr. Qaiser Bengali. Dr. Bengali focused his talk on the economic inequalities in Pakistan and the enhancing gaps between the haves and have-nots. He opined that there are two participants - one of the elite and the other of the ordinary people.

President ECOSF in his remarks highlighted the inequalities in Pakistan’s family and cultural system, the quality of education for the poor i.e, in public schools and the rich in elite private schools is leading to promotion of two classes’ viz., the ruling class and the ruled citizens. Similarly the policies and plans including the tax system remained pro-rich. As a solution he said, that a single action to address would be to ensure same good quality education for all, starting from primary school, whereby the children of rich and poor, the haves and have-nots, the politicians, bureaucrats and workers go to same schools which may reduce the inequalities caused by the humans.

After the forum, an exhibition and a concert on Oxfam Report was also organized which included performance by Mr. Jawad Ahmad, the popular singer.

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