Das Ost-West-Problem in der pakistanischen Entwicklungsplanung

  • Winfried von Urff (Autor/in)

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Although the economic disparities between East and West Pakistan were continually widening since 1947, they were not explicitly recognized in economic planning until the Third Five Yar Plan (1965/66—1969/70) and the long term Perspective Plan (1965/66—1984/85). An analysis of the Third and Fourth Plan reveals that the planned regional allocations of investment were entirely inadequate to achieve the stated objective of reducing and ultimately eliminating regional disparities. In recent years economists suggested three different strategies for a long-term elimination of East-West per capita income disparities: The first strategy, proposed by Mac Ewan, consists in allocating to East Pakistan the share of total development expenditure suggested by the Perspective Plan. Mac Ewan’s multisectoral bi-regional planning model leads to the conclusion that higher growth rates for East Pakistan can be achieved without any major changes in both the total amount and the distribution of internal and external resources and that they are compatible with the objective of maximizing long-term overall growth. It may be doubted whether the basic assumption of a lower capital-output ratio for East Pakistan is realistic. The second strategy, deduced by Stern from his bi-sectoral bi-regional model, suggests to give up the objective of equal per capita incomes from the region’s own resources since it is in conflict with the long-term growth objective, and to achieve parity of regional per capita incomes by permanent transfers of real income from West to East Pakistan. The conflict between regional parity and overall growth results from East Pakistan’s limited “absorptive capacity”. It is highly questionable whether the necessary West-East transfers would have been feasible politically. The third strategy, suggested by East Pakistan economists as an alternative to the Fourth Plan, requires larger transfers of foreign resources to East Pakistan. It is based on the assumption of equal capital-output ratios and savings rates and on the resulting necessity to allow East Pakistan a much greater share in the Plan’s total investment. Since a drastic increase in East Pakistan’s share in foreign aid would have created considerable foreign exchange problems for West Pakistan, the necessary inflow of real resources into East Pakistan could have been partially effected by transfers from West Pakistan.