Pakistan

Public spending in Pakistan is politically driven, says UNDP chief

ISLAMABAD: The outgoing chief of United Nations Development Programme, Marc Andre believes that the concentration of public spending in Pakistan is politically driven and only restricted to a few developed districts, which is increasing inequality between the rich and poor regions.

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He was speaking at a seminar discussing the growing inequality in the country.

“Investment (of public funds) in Lahore, the most developed district of Punjab, is six times more than the allocations of the Seraiki belt of the province,” he said.

A recent UNDP-funded report revealed that Pakistan’s richest 20 percent consumed seven times more than the poorest 20 percent population.

It also highlighted that 38.8 percent of Pakistan’s population lives in poverty.

Andre was of the opinion that allocation of fund is a political decision and there were structural problems in the way money was allocated in Pakistan.

“A good amount of public fund is allocated to the members of assemblies under political consideration,” he added.

His remarks implied growing frustration over the way federal and provincial governments have been allocating resources which, believingly is becoming a cause for growing inequality among various districts across the country.

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