Handout

LAHORE - The policy of mega projects have been proved very effective in Punjab for public welfare and development and it has become the centre of the public debate ahead of the general elections, says a UNDP report.

“Punjab is known as a province building large infrastructure, roads, underpasses, overpasses, bypasses, power stations, metro bus systems, orange train and other means of mass transit. On the other hand, there are companies for clean drinking water and waste management,” it adds.

As opposed to this, the image of KP painted by its government and the ruling party is limited to the imaginations of development. They have laid emphasis on delivering services, changing the way education is imparted and health is accessed and delivered.

The report further says better governance instead of larger development spending is the aim. In short, the objective in KP is on human development. The UNDP’s recent Pakistan National Human Development Report, however, tells a different story. Its human development rankings take the steam out of the engine of human development paraded by the ‘tabdeeli band’.

All over Pakistan, there are only six districts ranked as high-human development districts. Four of these districts are in Punjab and none from KP. The next category is high medium human-development districts. Four KP districts make it, but against 19 districts from Punjab, a report in a section of media says.

The report says no province of Pakistan earns the top ranking of high human development. Punjab is ranked one category below as a high medium human-development provinces. Even here the KP province as a whole lies in the lower ranking of medium human development.

The report adds two main components of human development are health and education. Punjab is leading in both. In health, the immunisation rate in Punjab is 89 per cent, higher than KP’s 78 per cent. The satisfaction with health facilities in Punjab was measured at 78 per cent, again higher than 73 per cent in KP.

Education too is a disappointment for KP. Expected years of schooling in Punjab are 10.1 compared to KP’s 9.7. There is a big difference in mean years of schooling. KP’s 3.3 years is well behind 4.6 years in Punjab, the report further says.

Winning votes in the coming elections is a lot about wooing the youth bulge in population. The UNDP report is themed around youth. It ranks regions by youth development. Youth Development Index puts K-P in the low achievers.

KP is not only behind Punjab, it falls far behind even south eastern Punjab, the report concludes.