Developing Pakistan as a welfare state
A state that looks after its citizens is called as welfare state. Welfare state provides the basic facilities of food, shelter, medicine and education through benefits system. Lets discuss in detail about developing Pakistan as a welfare state.
History of welfare state & benefits system
The first welfare state emerged in the 7th century. Second Caliph of Islam, Umar (PBUH), started various benefits for the needy citizens who had no source of income. His system was based on a single principle, collect money from the rich people in the form of tax and distribute it to the poor people.
This system was the basis of the Law books of Ottoman Empire or Saltanat-E-Osmania (1299-1922). These books were written by Sultan Muhammad 2 (1432-1481) and his great-grandson Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent (1494-1566). The USA House of Representative has busts of 23 greatest law makers, including Sultan Muhammad 2 and Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent.
In turn early 19th century Napoleonic codes by French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1822) were derived from the Ottoman Law books. In the late 19th century, benefits and pension system was introduced by the German Chancellor, Prince Otto Von Bismarck (1814-1897). He derived the laws from Napoleonic codes and Ottoman Law Books. This system was only modified after WW2 and is still working.
Types of benefits
Benefits system is included in the government policy of Europe, U.K., USA, Australia, Canada and many other countries. There are many types of benefits but most common benefits are of 8 types:
1) Free food stamps for poor people to buy food
2) Child benefits
3) Housewife benefits
4) Old age benefits
5) Unemployment benefits
6) Free medical treatment
7) Free housing for the homeless people
8) Free education
How to start benefits system in Pakistan?
To provide benefits to general public, government of Pakistan needs the revenue. Revenue can be collected through taxation. After collecting tax, government can re-distribute this revenue to general public through various benefits as discussed above. At present we can’t provide 8 types of benefits, but we can start by providing food stamps to the poor people and with time we can expand this system by providing other benefits.
Housing benefits in Pakistan
Home ownership is declining in Pakistan due to rising property price. Its very hard for a common person in Pakistan to buy a home. The government of Pakistan can take different initiatives to provide housing to general public. Government can start rent benefits, housing allowances and can build affordable housing. The government of Punjab has taken the initiatives in form of Ashiana Housing Scheme but on limited scale. This project should be expanded to every corner of Pakistan.