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Report of the National Manpower Commission 1989.

Report of the National Manpower Commission 1989

Since 1947, some efforts have been made occasionally to study the problem of population or labour force of Pakistan. Most of these studies were incomplete as these covered either population or labour problems but not in an integrated manner. Further, when these studies were made, the problems were not so complex as these are today. A good part of rural population has migrated to towns and cities and have created numerous socio-economic problems in both villages as well as in urban centres. This is partly due to a wide disparity between the per capita income of urban centres and villages and widening gap with march of time. Naturally, the villagers migrate to towns and cities for better wages, employment opportunities and socio-economic conditions.

Due to negligence of education, science and technology and their mismanagement, and misdirected development efforts, the problem of unemployment among educated young persos particularly in urban centres has become a headache for the Government and the politicians. Some misdirected politicians are using them for destructive purposes. On the other hand, in rural areas, under-employment is a serious problem. Female population is almost a half of the total population. Most of them do not participate in socio-economic activities and are unemployed and in some cases under-employed. Due to non-participation of most of the female population, per capita income is low and its growth rate extremely slow. Study of such sections of the people was an important requirement for Manpower Commission.

In the past, at least, during 1950's and 1960's, the demand for Pakistani labour and migration to Middle East Africa and other countries was not significant. It started in early 1970's and the tempo loosened in early 1980's and in late 1980's the problem of return of Pakistanis from the Middle East emerged. The Gulf crisis has added to the problem although it has not been covered in the Report of the Manpower Commission. It is suggested that the Manpower Commission should continue its work in the light of Gulf crisis and resultant developments.

The overall employment situation in the country is far from satisfactory due very high rate of population growth and rising trend in the growth rate. All these problems required the Government to appoint a National Manpower Commission in August 1987, exactly 40 years after Independence with following terms of reference:-

* To examine the manpower situation

in the country, project the supply and

demand position for the next 15 years

in the context of the draft perspective

Plan and suggest measures for bringing

about a better balance between

supply and demand for various categories

of manpower. * To examine the existing machinery

for manpower planning and suggest

measures for integrating it with the

machinery for economic planning to

ensure that employment generation

is given due importance in the formulation

of development projects and

programmes and not treated as a

mere by-product of economic growth. * To examine the problem of unemployment

and determine its size and

dimensions, and recommend both

short-term and long-term policies for

dealing with the problem. * To examine the present imbalance

between general education and technical/vocational

education and training,

determine the extent of wastage

of effort and resources involved in the

existing system keeping in view the

demand of the employment market,

and suggest measures to improve the

situation. * To consider the measures necessary

to provide employment to special categories

of personnel like doctors and

engineers and other professional

groups, and suggest measures for

their absorption in the interest of

economic and social well being of the

country. * To consider the special problems arising

from emigration of Pakistani workers

to foreign countries, as well as the

effects of the new phenomenon of

"reverse migration" following the

changing pattern of labour demand in

the Middle East and other countries

and the measures necessary for promoting

planned export of manpower

on one hand and the re-absorption of

returning migrants in the economy of

Pakistan on the other. * To examine the special problems of

women's employment and the training

programmes, service and facilities

necessary for enlarging and

strengthening the participation of the

women in the economic and other

national activities. * To examine any other matters having

a hearing on the manpower and employment

situation in the country and

to make such recommendations as

may be considered necessary.

In order to facilitate the Manpower Commission to carry out its work efficiently, it was empowered to appoint various sub-committees for different sub-sectors and subjects and to associate experts and officials for its deliberations as it considers necessary. The Commission had its own secretariat. It was required to complete its work in 18 months or during the first quarter of 1989. The Report appears to have been printed sometime in 1989 and made public in the first week of November 1990. The Commission appointed 10 Committees to deal with different subjects as shown below:-

* To deal with population and labour

force and their various aspects and

problems. * To deal with on-farm and off-farm or in

other words rural employment as various

aspects and problems; * To deal with employment problems in

large and small scale industries; * To deal with the present imbalances

between general education and technical/vocational

education and connected

issues; * To deal with the existing and future of

science and technology development; * To assess unemployment among the

educated; * To consider the special problems arising

out of migration of Pakistani workers

to foreign countries, as well as the

effects of return migration; * To examine the special problems of

women's employment and connected

issues; * To deal with the factors responsible

for the general decline in standards

and quality of education especially at

the higher secondary and gradual

level; and * To deal with the different sources of

existing labour market information and

educational statistics in the country

and suggest improvements.

The National Manpower Commission started its work systematically and based its work on certain assumptions which are given below:-

* During the 1990s with an expected

growth rate of the labour force of 3.3

per cent per annum the economy is

faced with the formidable task of creating

1.25 million jobs annually, if the

unemployment and under-employment

situation is not to worsen. * The labour absorptive capacity of the

economy has declined in recent years. * The problem of the educated unemployed

is especially serious after matriculation

and intermediate level.

Between 60,000 and 80,000 of those

entering the labour market from the

matriculation level or above every year

join the ranks of the unemployed. * The problem of unemployment among

graduates is quantitatively small and

reflects low quality and mismatch. * Women are Pakistan's most neglected

human resource. Most indicators of

women's welfare such as life expectancy,

primary school enrollment, birth

related deaths and labour force participation

place Pakistan at the bottom or

near bottom of the Asian countries. * Educational level and skill training of

the industrial workforce remains very

low. * The scientific manpower base in Pakistan

is extremely shallow. Only 20

per cent of the relevant age groups

pass matriculation and only a quarter

of these students pursue further studies

in science. * Labour market information is presently

not collected in a consistent and

systematic manner. * The existing institutional machinery

for Human Resource Development

(HRD) has failed to promote HRD issues

to the central place they rightly

deserve in overall national development


The Manpower Commission gave 10 points recommendations/policy measures to solve various problems of employment. These are classified below:-

* Overall Economic Management and

Structural Adjustments * Rural Employment Generation. * Urban Employment Creation. * Educational Unemployed. * Investment in Human Resource Development. * Higher Education, Science and Technology. * Mobilizing Women. * Overseas Employment. * Institutional Machinery for Human

Resource Development (HRD). * Implementation of the N.M.C. Report

(National Manpower Commission


Spread over more than 300 pages, the Report deals each subject in details with facts and figures within Pakistan and in the light of some other developed and developing countries. Each problem has been thrashed comprehensively and suggestions and recommendations made to solve these. The Report is useful for several sections of the population including students of economics and demography, education, science and technology, businessmen, workers and farmers.
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Article Details
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Author:Khan, Abdul Majid
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 1990
Previous Article:Equity on an upward march.
Next Article:War in the Gulf.

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