HOW TO TACKLE THE PROBLEM OF POPULATION EXPLOSION IN PAKISTAN
The rapid increase of population in Pakistan which is already over-populated is adding sufferings to the people. There is mass unemployment or underemployment in the agrarian economy for a greater part of the year. The country with increasing growth of population is caught in the low income equilibrium trap. The problem of population explosion cannot be solved in a day. The Government of Pakistan shall have to chalk out and implement the four fold measure to fight the problem of overpopulation (i) Economic measures (ii) Social measures (iii) Family planning measures and (iv) Administrative measures. These measures are now discussed in brief.
I. Economic Measures
The following economic measures, if adopted seriously, offer a long term solution to the problem of overpopulation.
(a) Modernization of agriculture. The Modernization of agriculture through farm mechanization, proper management of land and water resources, improved varieties of seeds, taking plant protection measures and use of fertilizers can increase the agricultural productivity manifold. The rise in the income of the farmers will raise their standard of living and help in reducing the birth rate indirectly.
(b) Expansion of the industrial sector. The government should help and encourage the people living in rural and urban areas to set up small, medium and large scale industries. The setting up of industrial states, the provision of fiscal incentives etc. create conditions for rapid industrialization in the country The engagement of surplus labor force in industries and other gainful employments raises their standard of living and motivates the workers to restrict the size of the family.
(c) Creation of employment opportunities in rural areas. More than 70% of the people are living in rural areas. The government should provide credit and know how to the dating up these and other industries will discourage the migration of farmers from countryside to cities, provide them employment at home, raise their income level and will help in the reduction of birth rate indirectly.
(d) Fair distribution of income. If the states guarantees a minimum living wage to workers and the fair system of land and income distribution is ensured to them the workers will be able to live a comfortable life. Fair distribution of income can thus help in slowing down the rate of growth of population.
II. Social Measures
Population explosion is as much a social problem as it is an economic problem. Many of the causes of population explosion are deep rooted in the social life of the country, For bringing down the birth rate, the following social measures should be undertaken.
(i) Spread of education. The provision of education both in rural and urban areas can help in arresting the rapid growth of population.
(ii) Improving the status of women. The improvement of the statues of women with men, the provision of gainful employment in all sectors of the economy can effectively reduce the birth rate of population.
(iii) Restricting early marriages. Restricting early marriages and raising the minimum age of marriage can also help in reducing population growth.
III. The Family Planning Programme
The family planning programmer all over the world is considered an effective measure in controlling population explosion. The public information programmers arousing consciousness and explaining the usefulness of family planning among people have helped in restricting the rate of growth of population. The establishment of family planning centers, the research ventures have played an effective role in limiting the size of family.
IV. Administrative Measures
The Government of Pakistan being an Islamic state is very conscious and careful in the enforcement of birth control measures. It has introduced population welfare programmer under which a number of activities such as service delivery infrastructure, capacity building, information, education and communication etc. are carried out to control the size of families.