A Quarter of Pakistan’s Educated People are Jobless: The Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) officials stated that 16 percent of the uneducated population is unemployed; and 24 percent of graduates from the educated population are jobless, of which 40 percent are females.
The Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Special Initiatives met with the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics under the Chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla at the Parliament House.
The Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) gave a briefing on its roles, functions, and performance. It highlighted Pakistan’s rising unemployment rate, underlining that 24 percent of the educated people are currently jobless.
It was noted that these figures are in contrast to the figures given by the government. The officials of PIDE further elaborated that there are also hidden numbers, such as those who only take admission in MPhil and Ph.D. Programs because they do not have employment opportunities.
“Eighty 80 percent of students are enrolling themselves because of unemployment, and this number doesn’t come in any count,” informed the PIDE officials. “Our aim is to provide employment opportunities to 120 Million youth/graduates of the country.”
The Chairman Committee sought a report on the factual statistics regarding the number of youth unemployment, etc., which the committee can actually rely upon in order to take concrete decisions.
The PIDE, in their research, has proposed laws for Hawkers and also grant them licenses that will meet 20 to 30 million employments in the country.
The PIDE, in their recent publications also, proposed reform for the civil services, on their incentives and costs. According to the publication, the total cost of a civil servant is Rs. 11 lakh.
The PIDE also researched the Economic Cost of Tobacco-Induced Diseases in Pakistan, stating that the cost of cigarettes is the least in Pakistan as compared globally, and the health cost is three times the revenue generated by it.
The PIDE officials also debated on the criteria through which universities are registered in Pakistan. It was informed that unlike the worldwide practice of enlisting of universities through chatters, Pakistan approves universities through a Bill introduced by the HEC, which has lacunas such as a university can only be approved if it has thirteen acres of land, which does not justify a requirement of establishing a university at international level. The PIDE officials apprised the committee that in Islamabad, there are 40 training institutes and 40 universities.
The PIDE officials during their briefing informed the committee that the total budget for the PIDE is 300 million, out of which more than 90 percent goes into the salaries of the employees.
The Chairman Committee sought reports on the implementation of research being conducted by PIDE, along with its outcome. The chairman committee also sought proposed reforms of PIDE to be discussed in the next meeting.
PIDE aims for Research, Projects and Surveys, Academic Programs, and Executive Training through the active and continuous debate on key issues, extensive engagements with policymakers, practitioners, professionals, academia, and development partners.
The officials informed the committee that the mode of communication of PIDE is through Webinars/Seminars, Research Videos, and Newspaper Articles, etc. There are several PIDE’s Research Agendas, including Climate Change, Social Protection, Health, and Education.
The meeting also discussed issues being faced by the Chinese investors in Pakistan and measures taken in this regard.
The Chairman Committee questioned which forum should the issues of Chinese investors be taken. “There should be a remedy at the government level,” he said.
The Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives informed the committee that a Pak-China Committee had been constituted with the objective to remove the hurdles of finalization and execution of projects.
The constituency of the CPEC authority, headed by a Chairman, is also an apt authority for the redressal of issues faced by Chinese investors, he emphasized.
The Chairman Committee said that the general observation is that committees are non-effective and do not produce results.
“There should be a focal person to communicate the issues between the concerned authorities and the investors,” Mandviwalla said.
The Secretary Committee said that the Chairman CPEC authority is the right person to bring in the concerns of the Chinese investors to further address the issues through the committee.
The meeting was attended by Senator Dost Muhammad Khan, Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Muhammad Tahir Bizinjo, Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, and Senator Hidayat Ullah. Senior officials from the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives, and officials from the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), were also in attendance.