India needs to invest more on providing basic health care services, especially in rural areas and backward States, noted economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said here on Friday.

“There is not enough public service provision in health care...The situation in elementary health care is the worst...Market economy has done extremely badly in delivering elementary health care services in the country,” Dr. Sen said at a lecture.

The services have been found wanting in backward States like Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand, he said.

“It is not right to say that planning in India has failed. It is only that the planning is not able to tackle various problems like health care and illiteracy.”

Dr. Sen, however, lauded India’s growth trajectory and said the public revenue was bound to jump with higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

Asked whether India should trim its defence budget, he said the country should think more in terms of strengthening security rather than one-upmanship against potential external threats.

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