Integration of development, social spending must for economic prosperity

ISLAMABAD: The integration of development and social spending is a must for the sustainable economic prosperity of any country and improvement of the living standard of its people, WealthPK reports.
It is believed that sustainable economic prosperity will remain a far cry as long as development is not evenly shared in such a way that it is integrated with social spending on healthcare, education, housing and clean water.
Ijaz Ali, a research fellow at the Centre for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Karachi, told WealthPK that developed countries have a “functioning system of welfare.”
He said that historical data showed that countries, which were first to develop on modern lines, had to switch towards a shared form of development.
“A shared form of development necessitated governments taking steps, such as including more and more people in the domain of a rewarding regime. In this respect, successive English governments, in the nineteenth century, introduced reforms to promote education and improve living conditions of people,” said Ijaz Ali.
He said that the reforms introduced by Gladstone in the field of education were some of the most important policy steps taken in that period. He made primary education universal and free of cost. After some time, this policy was extended to secondary education as well. During the same period, women were also given opportunities to get an education.
“Leaving women outside the domain of economic activity is a big mistake. Development is a process that, in essence, changes the whole visual sense of society. This is not possible without spending money on inclusive policies of education, women empowerment, healthcare and housing,” said Ijaz Ali.
He said that the 21st century changed the whole debate about development. The information revolution has made it a necessity that traditional development models should be integrated with the concepts of a welfare state. No economy has ever thrived in a volatile situation.
Spending money on social protection is not less important than the utilisation of funds for communication infrastructure and energy projects. The visual sense of society is important because it helps people to imagine where they want to go. “If you do not know where you want to go, you will get to nowhere. Shared development is the only viable policy option left to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” said Ijaz Ali.
He that shared development is basically an aggregating policy. It helps in bringing as many people as possible in the middle. It raises those, who are below the aggregate level, by instituting redistributive policies. Redistribution is a concept that is still not properly understood by market pundits.
“It is so because it involves other dynamics of politics, history, geography and culture. They all play out at the same time in the real world,” he told WealthPK