Pakistan leaves India behind in 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, a ranking released by USA’s No 1 think-tank, The Heritage Foundation.

With a score of 52.8 out of 100, Pakistan was ranked 141, while India, with a score of 52.6, was ranked 143.

Both countries share the category ‘mostly unfree’ and saw their scores declining since 2013: Pakistan by -2.3 points, India by -2.6 points.

Clip: Watch Wali Zahid on BOL TV live discussing 2017 Index of Economic Freedom

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It’s the economy, stupid

The Index measures economic freedom in the world in four policy areas and 12 categories. This year’s Index ranks 180 countries.

Only five countries:

  1. Hong Kong (89.8)
  2. Singapore (88.6)
  3. New Zealand (83.7)
  4. Switzerland (81.5)
  5. Australia (81.0)

which topped the index, were designated in the ‘free’ category. Four of these are in the Asia-Pacific region.

Among South Asian countries, Afghanistan (163), Maldives (157) and Mayanmar (146) were ranked below India (143).

Bhutan (107), Sri Lanka (112), Nepal (125), Bangladesh (128) and Pakistan (141) surpassed India in economic freedom.

The four categories in which Pakistan beat India are:

  • Government spending: PK🇵🇰 87.3 vs IN🇮🇳 77.4
  • Business freedom: PK🇵🇰 61.2 vs IN🇮🇳 52.8
  • Fiscal health: PK🇵🇰 30.8 vs IN🇮🇳 11.0
  • Investment freedom: PK🇵🇰 55.0 vs IN🇮🇳 40.0

Pakistan’s travel infrastructure

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Multan gets its Metro bus service

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Lahore awaits its Orange Line Metro Train

e-ticketing on Green Line train from Islamabad to Karachi

Karachi to get Green Line bus service by end-2017

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Five economies earned the Index’s designation of ‘free’ (scores of 80 or above), while the next 87 are classified as ‘mostly free’ (70-79.9) or ‘moderately free’ (60-69.9).

Yet the number of economically ‘unfree’ economies remains high: 65 are considered ‘mostly unfree’ (50-59.9) and 23 are ‘repressed’ (scores below 50).

Launched in 1995, the Index evaluates countries in four broad policy areas that affect economic freedom:

  1. Rule of Law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness)
  2. Government Size (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health)
  3. Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom)
  4. Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom)

There are 12 specific categories:

  1. property rights
  2. judicial effectiveness
  3. government integrity
  4. tax burden
  5. government spending
  6. fiscal health
  7. business freedom
  8. labor freedom
  9. monetary freedom
  10. trade freedom
  11. investment freedom
  12. financial freedom

Scores in these 12 categories are averaged to create an overall country score (image below).

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Based on an average score, each of 180 countries graded in the 2017 Index is classified as ‘free’ (i.e., combined scores of 80 or higher); ‘mostly free’ (70-79.9); ‘moderately free’ (60-69.9); ‘mostly unfree’ (50-59.9); or ‘repressed’ (under 50).

You can download the full report of 2017 Index of Economic Freedom here.

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