Pakistani engineers are unemployed

Report from Pakistan (end): The rich get richer


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The risk associated with taking over such a state-initiated company is extremely low; because the state protects the domestic industry through high protective tariffs and strict licensing of imports. According to estimates by an importer from Karachi, customs duties, fees and administrative charges accumulate so much that the price of the imported goods is at least twice as high as the - though mostly inferior - domestic production.

BA Kureshi, Chief Secretary in the Planning and Development Authority of West Pakistan: "The criterion for building new industries is whether the new project will reduce Pakistan's dependence on imports. We can only count on further foreign aid if we can prove that our country can bear the debt service. Pakistan does not want to sink back to the early stage of the developing countries, in which most of the foreign aid donated mainly served to save half the people from starvation. "

The concentration of the industry on a few families has a second reason besides the financial situation. Pakistan lacks technicians, engineers, agronomists and administrators. Kureshi: "So far we have invested far too little in people. But we hope that by 1980 we will be able to meet our need for specialists."

The lifestyle of rich families is no different from that of American or European entrepreneurs; In a developing country like Pakistan, however, their wealth is all the more obvious. The per capita income is currently 381 rupees a year, that's 320 marks or 26.66 marks a month. Of course, this income cannot be compared with the average income of a worker in western industrialized countries, because the living conditions and needs are very different.

On the other hand, however, it must not be forgotten that the relatively high unemployment - unofficially one speaks of 10 to 15 percent of all employable people - shifts the income structure again to the disadvantage of the Pakistani. A German engineer from Essen Hoch-Tief AG, which is involved in the expansion of the port of Karachi as part of German development aid, admired the hard work and hard work of the Pakistani workers. "But even though we pay above-average wages, people fall over me like flies. Because," he explained, "the workers use far too little of their income for their own food. Almost all of them have large families in which only a few have a steady income and they have to support them with the money they have earned with us. "

But social tensions are a problem that is still a long way off for Pakistan.