SIALKOT - Latest researches conducted by national and international organisations reveal that approximately 43 percent of Pakistan's 180 million populations is surviving below poverty line. It means that not only a very big chunk of human force does not have access to very vital and basic necessities of life but is also exposed to a serious threat of food insecurity. According to the reports published by the United Nations Development Programme, if compared with other countries of the region having same leper capita income level, Pakistan lags much behind in terms of Human Development Index, especially in respect of women development, This was stated by Prof Arshid Mehmood Mirza, while addressing "International Poverty Day" seminar organised by Baidarie Sialkot to highlight the need, importance and utility of poverty alleviation. He said that although the poverty in general is heavily taxing the lives of people living all across the country but the rural areas where more than 70 percent of the population, are the worst sufferers of its pervasive socioeconomic impacts. Its gender wise impacts victimize the women in the worst possible way. They remain vulnerable to all the coercion and compulsions but remain voiceless and hapless through the entirety of their life spans. Prof Mirza added that the uncontrolled and unmanaged population growth, unequal distribution of wealth, vast differences between the haves and have-nots in terms of ownership of agricultural and industrial means of production, gender discriminations, non-existence of long-term comprehensive planning to address the confronting issues, non- allocation of enough resources for social development especially for education and health sectors, ignoring the preferences and priorities of the poor and ultra-poor during development and implementation of the poverty alleviation programmes, non-provision of incentives to attract investments for increasing the productivity of industrial and agricultural sectors, missing the aspect of pro-poor and gender-sensitive approach during policy and decision making processes and the intense energy crisis are the crucial factors which are playing major part in increasing poverty in the country. Addressing the seminar attended by representatives of the major cross section of society Muhmmad Iqbal Ghumman said that vaporization of rule of law, the institutional malfunctioning, short of measure performance by the governmental machinery, nepotism, red- tapism and widespread corruption have let the people lose their trust in the state run mechanisms of service delivery and grievance addressing. Consequently, the poor in the rural communities are being pushed to the status of ultra-poor and then to destituteness. Speaking on the occasion Tahir Butt- a local industrialist said that in a social and economic environment where the drivers and push factors for poverty generation are stronger and more influential than the poverty alleviation measures and where a single decision increasing the electricity tariff and the prices of the petroleum products pushes lot many below the poverty line, it is imperatively necessary that the policy framers and decision makers should rethink and reassess their priorities. They should deliberate seriously whether they have to take effective decisions for poverty alleviation or remain oblivion of the miseries of the poor and perform in utopia. Concluding the debate the during the seminar Ms Hina Noureen President Baidarie said that for the purposes of sustainable human and social development, it is necessary that the state and society should have such a new vision as would enable the governmental institutions to deliver quality services in a corruption free manner to the people living at gross root level. Effective measures should be put in place to control the excessive population growth otherwise even whole lot of national resources will fall short in meeting the requirements in future. Ms Hina said that youth which is our great asset should be provided positive and constructive dimension and it should be enabled to commit its potentials for community development on self-help basis. Attractive incentives should be offered to national and international investors so that development in economic sector and provision of job opportunities may open avenues for mainstream development of the society. It would also be necessary that enabling atmosphere should be developed to make the poor the owners of the productive assets. They should be imparted with training on such income generating skills as are relevant to the local labour market requirements. They should also be linked to the income generating opportunities and be provided with finances to set up and run their microenterprises. Ms Hina stressed emphatically that mapping of the poverty affected pockets of the populations all across the country is needed to be done on preferential basis and on the basis of that poverty alleviation schemes having integrated approach for development should be implemented. Keeping some areas in high priorities and ignoring some which are really poor and vulnerable ones would be counterproductive for success of across the board and equitable poverty alleviation measures in the country. Advancing her argument in favour of poverty alleviation she said that agro-based economic activity should be promoted in the rural areas. It would also be useful if opportunities for non-farm employment are increased to the small peasant and worker classes. Immediate short-term and long-term based measures are required for overcoming the current crisis of energy otherwise no effort for poverty alleviation would turn up successful. Ms Hina added that Micro Finance Sector should also re-determine its dimensions. It should cease to understand and label itself as industry and function accordingly. It should treat itself as catalyst for poverty eradication in the country and should reduce its service charges to the minimum possible level. Levying heavy charges on the poor under the pretext of operational and organizational sustainability would just be another tool for exploiting the poor and would certainly end up in poverty generation instead of the poverty alleviation, she added.