Inequality is a major contributing factor in keeping millions of people across the globe trapped in the poverty. Pakistan is no different when it comes to the ever increasing gap between the haves and have-nots. The current situation demands the right policy reforms, especially to redress and remove anomalies in the existing tax systems. Oxfam’s CEO Mark Goldring shared these views during the seminar ‘Can we eradicate poverty without tackling inequality?’ held by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), in collaboration with Oxfam in Pakistan at the Margalla hotel.

During the keynote address, Mr. Goldring said “Eight billionaires own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who form the poorest half of the world's population.While one in nine people on the planet will go to bed hungry tonight a small handful of billionaires have so much wealth they would need several lifetimes to spend it.”

Mr. Goldring was of the opinion we need an economy that encourages and rewards enterprise and innovation, yes, but one that also offers everyone, regardless of background, a fair chance in life and ensures when individuals and businesses succeed, they do so for the benefit, rather than at the expense, of others.

Dr. Vaqar Ahmad, Deputy Executive Director of SDPI, on the occasion presented an outlook of inequalities in the context of Pakistan and said thatour indirect tax system wasnot only aggressive and biased towards the lower income groups of the society.

Oxfam in Pakistan’s Country Director Muhammad Qazilbashin his welcome note, explained, “Oxfam is calling for urgent action to tackle the inequality crisis and reverse the dramatic fall in wealth of the poorest half of the world.”

Published in Young Nation Magazine on September 30, 2017