Poor rank­ing

The Pak Banker - - 4EDITORIAL -

IT should be a mat­ter of con­cern to all of us, es­pe­cially those at the helm of affairs, that Pak­istan con­tin­ues to be placed at the bot­tom of most of the 'rank­ing' lists and in­dexes is­sued by var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and re­search in­sti­tutes. This has been so for many years now, with there be­ing no signs of an im­prove­ment in the sit­u­a­tion in the near fu­ture. The sit­u­a­tion is brought into sharp fo­cus by the World Bank's World De­vel­op­ment Re­port 2016 ti­tled "Dig­i­tal Div­i­dends". Ac­cord­ing to this sur­vey, there are 3.2 bil­lion in­ter­net users glob­ally against a to­tal pop­u­la­tion of 7.4 bil­lion, which leaves 57% of the world un­con­nected. But Pak­istan is far below the global av­er­age as 165 mil­lion peo­ple or 83% of the pop­u­la­tion­are found to be off­line in the coun­try. In­dia tops the list of the world's off­line pop­u­la­tions, fol­lowed by China and In­done­sia, while Pak­istan ranks fourth, one place above Bangladesh. With its cel­lu­lar tele­den­sity stand­ing at 65%, more than half of Pak­istan's pop­u­la­tion has ac­cess to mo­bile phones, but the coun­try's in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion still re­mains in the 12% range.

Again Pak­istan finds it­self in an un­en­vi­able po­si­tion in the Global Pros­per­ity In­dex 2015, which shows that Pak­istan has dropped three places from 2014. Pak­istan has been ranked 130th of the 142 coun­tries on the 2015 Global Pros­per­ity In­dex. The Le­ga­tum In­sti­tute, a Lon­don-based think tank, pub­lishes the in­dex ev­ery year, bench­mark­ing coun­tries across eight cat­e­gories: econ­omy, en­trepreneur­ship and op­por­tu­nity, gov­er­nance, education, health, safety and se­cu­rity, per­sonal free­dom and so­cial cap­i­tal. Ac­cord­ing to the pros­per­ity in­dex, about 57 per­cent Pak­ista­nis re­ported sat­is­fac­tion with their liv­ing stan­dards as op­posed to the global av­er­age of 59.7 per­cent. Again, around 34 per­cent Pak­ista­nis be­lieve it was a good time to find a job in con­trast with the world­wide av­er­age of 36.9 per­cent. The coun­try's low­est rank mostly comes from the safety and se­cu­rity sub-in­dex, where it has been ranked 138th among 142 states.

As op­posed to Pak­istan, In­dia went up three ranks to 99th on the over­all in­dex. Pak­istan fared worse than In­dia in all eight sub-indices. Bangladesh (103), Sri Lanka (61), Iran (106) have all ranked higher than Pak­istan in 2015. Afghanistan is the se­cond worst-per­form­ing coun­try (141st) in the lat­est edi­tion. Nor­way, Switzer­land and Den­mark are at the top of the pros­per­ity in­dex, while Syria (down 23 places), Tu­nisia (down 28 places) and Venezuela (down 16 places) are among the worst places to live.

An­other in­dex, the Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness Re­port 2015-2016, tells the same story. The re­port is an an­nual as­sess­ment of the fac­tors driv­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity and pros­per­ity in 140 coun­tries. On the twelve pil­lars of the Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness In­dex Pak­istan scored as fol­low­ing; In­sti­tu­tions 119, In­fra­struc­ture 117, Macroe­co­nomic en­vi­ron­ment 128, Health and pri­mary education 127, Higher education and train­ing 124, Goods mar­ket ef­fi­ciency 116, La­bor mar­ket ef­fi­ciency 132, Fi­nan­cial mar­ket ef­fi­ciency 99, Tech­no­log­i­cal readi­ness 113, Mar­ket size 28, Busi­ness so­phis­ti­ca­tion 86 and In­no­va­tion 89. While the in­di­ca­tors for qual­ity of education sys­tem (75) have im­proved, avail­abil­ity of In­ter­net ac­cess in schools has de­te­ri­o­rated to 103 this year from 89 in 2014. The Ju­di­cial in­de­pen­dence has lost its rank­ing of 67 last year to 82 in 2015. The gov­ern­ments have shown greater fa­voritism in de­ci­sions of govern­ment of­fi­cials rank­ing at 101 this year, where Pak­istan lost 26 ranks.

Among the mem­bers of the South Asian As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­gional Co­op­er­a­tion (SAARC) In­dia leads the way at 55th, fol­lowed by Sri Lanka (68th, up five), Nepal (100th, up two), Bhutan (105th, down two), Bangladesh (107th, up two), and Pak­istan (126th, up three). An­other in­dex, the Global In­no­va­tion In­dex 2015, ranks Pak­istan 131 out of 141 coun­tries. The GII sur­vey is an an­nual rank­ing of the world economies' in­no­va­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties. In this in­dex too Pak­istan has slipped sev­eral places as com­pared to last year.

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