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Finance Minister launches economic survey, economy grows by 5.28 pct

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while launching the Economic Survey for the outgoing financial year said that the national economy has achieved high growth rate of 5.28 percent, ARY News reported on Thursday.

The government in the fiscal year 2016-17 federal budget had set a target of 5.7 percent but failed to achieve it.

Highlighting salient features of the Economic Survey Ishaq Dar talked about the performance of different sectors of the national economy in the outgoing year.

The Finance Minister providing an overview of the economic progress made in recent years in Pakistan said that “There has been visible growth in the national economy.”

Commenting on the economic growth Dar said that this is the first time in 10 years that Pakistan have crossed the 5pc GDP growth mark.

“For the first time, Pakistan’s economy has crossed the $300 billion mark,” he said.

He said that the large scale manufacturing grew by 5.02pc, while Agriculture grew 0.27pc and the inflation averaged at 4.1pc.

About the industrial growth, Dar said that the large scale manufacturing sector is on a positive trajectory while the construction industries witnessed a growth of nine point zero five percent during the outgoing year.

Mentioning the agriculture sector, the Finance Minister reminded that its growth remained 0.27 percent last year. “Kissan package worth 341 billion rupees has paid the dividends to raise its growth to 3.46 percent this year.”

Under the Kissan package, he said the agriculture inputs including fertilizers were subsidized.

Wheat crop production remained 25.75 million tonnes this year as compared to 25.63 million tonnes last year. Cotton production remained 10.6 million bales this year as compared to 9.92 million bales last year, said Dar.

He said efforts are being made to further improve cotton production in order to domestically meet the demand of textile industry.

The finance minister also said that a package of around Rs 100 billion will be allocated for the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons and reconstruction of infrastructure in the northern areas in the budget measures to be announced on Friday.

He said the industrial sector contributed 21 percent to GDP, while agriculture 20 percent and services sector 16 percent in the round figure.

Giving a breakdown, Ishaq Dar said that agriculture growth remained 3.46 percent, services 5.98 and industries 5.02 percent.

About the agriculture credit, he was confident that it will achieve the target of 700 billion dollars this year.

The Finance Minister will present the budget for the fiscal year 2017-18 in the National Assembly on Friday (tomorrow) at at 4:00pm.

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