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- Saturday, March 01, 2014 - From Print Edition


Islamabad: Pakistan is ranked 146th among 187 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) in light of its combined average performance on health, education and economic growth, said Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Friday.


“The main reason of weak performance in these areas has been low expenditure in terms of percentage of gross domestic product on health and education over last many years by the federal and provincial governments and management issues,” he said.


The minister also said per capita income of the country was lower than many other countries.He said despite limited fiscal space for enhancing expenditure in education and health, the government undertook a number of steps to improve human development situation in the country.


“Such steps include launching human development programmes in education, health, population welfare, skill development and access to clean water and sanitation; improving access and quality of education and health services; providing better population welfare facilities; beginning skills development programmes, and creating better investment climate in the country through regulatory and institutional refinements,” he said.


The minister said in addition to giving a reasonable increase in allocation of funds to social sector programmes, the government had taken special initiatives to improve management, efficiency and productivity in health, education and economic growth sectors. He said in the next five years plan, human development was accorded high priority.