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Increase in spending on social sector priority of govt: president

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has said that increase in the spending on social sector was priority of the government. He was talking to Regional Director World Health Organization Dr Ahmed Salim Saif Al-Mandhari and Regional Director UNICEF SEARO Ms Jean Gough, who called on him in Islamabad on Monday. The president said that budget allocation for health had been increased to 2% from the current 0.9% of the GDP towards the attainment of universal health care and sustainable development health related goals. He…

With back pain, depression tied to higher healthcare spending: study

WASHINGTON: When patients with painful back problems are also depressed, they have significantly higher healthcare costs than back-pain patients without depression, a U.S. study suggests. Getting treatment for both depression and back pain may reduce pain episodes and the economic burden, the study authors write in the journal Pain Medicine. “Back pain is a big problem in our clinics, and we’re seeing more and more admissions,” said lead study author Dr. Jawad Bilal of the University of Arizona College of Medicine in…

IMF urges Saudi to contain spending as deficit widens

DUBAI: The International Monetary Fund has called on Saudi Arabia to keep public spending under control, even as a partial recovery of oil prices helps the economy emerge from recession. The lender called on the world's top oil exporter to continue "bold structural changes" but to "resist the temptation to re-expand government spending in line with higher oil prices", in a statement late on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia has embarked on an ambitious reform drive, known as Vision 2030, as it seeks to reduce dependence on oil,…

China boosts defence spending, rattling its neighbours’ nerves

BEIJING: China unveiled its largest rise in defence spending in three years on Monday, setting a target of 8.1 percent growth for this year, fuelling an ambitious military modernisation programme and making its neighbours nervous. The 2018 defence budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion), according to a report issued at the opening of China’s annual meeting of parliament. The defence spending figure is closely watched around the world for clues to China’s strategic intentions as it develops new military…

IMF chief urges Arab states to slash spending

DUBAI: IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Saturday urged Arab countries to slash public wages and subsidies in order to rein in spending, achieve sustainable growth and create jobs. Speaking at the one-day Arab Fiscal Forum in Dubai, Lagarde welcomed "promising" reforms adopted by some Arab countries, but insisted much more was needed to overcome daunting economic and social problems. Low oil prices are weighing on the finances of Arab oil exporters, while importers are battling with rising debt, unemployment, conflicts,…

FIFA report details spending of Blatter era

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND: A copy of a report seen by AFP into the state of FIFA commissioned by Gianni Infantino after his election as president shines a light on the murky ways of the old regime at world football's governing body. The 98-page "Progress at FIFA - Status Report" gives details of lavish spending, particularly by Sepp Blatter, the former president, and Jerome Valcke, his Secretary General, who had a taste for private jets and unjustified expenses. The report covers the period from 2006 to 2015, the year the…

Govt spending over Rs3.5 bn on promotion of education in FATA

ISLAMABAD: The federal government is spending three and a half billion rupees on promotion of education in FATA. Sources of FATA Secretariat said that the government has initiated 59 projects in education sector out of which 35 projects have been completed. The projects include provision of missing facilities, clean drinking water, furniture, overcoming shortage of teaching staff and security, improvement of infrastructure, boundary walls and up-gradation of schools, Radio Pakistan reported.