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GDP growth rate estimated at 6 percent in next fiscal year: minister

ISLAMABAD: Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Friday said the economic indicators of the country are highly positive and growth of GDP in the next fiscal year FY2017-2018 is estimated at six percent.

The minister, while briefing the media, said the GDP growth during the current financial year remained at 5.3 percent. He said 15.8 percent growth was witnessed in investment which is higher than previous years.

He said agriculture sector has performed significantly during the current financial year with a 3.5 percent growth and is expected to improve next year. This was due to incentives given to farmers including credit facilities, subsidy on fertilizers and electricity bills.

He said that manufacturing sector also contributed satisfactorily after the provision of uninterrupted gas and electricity has triggered the growth of industrial sector.

The minister said that development budget has been enhanced three times and over two trillion rupees are being allocated for the next year. He said that Rs404 billion have been allocated for infrastructure projects which will spent on roads and railways network.

He said that social sector development budget has also been increased from ninety to Rs135 billion while special measures are being proposed for the growth of IT sector.

He further said Rs180 billion have been proposed for the projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor, while development projects worth Rs17 billion will be completed in Gwadar.

Mr. Iqbal said that development budget for FATA has been enhanced to Rs24.5 billion while budget of AJK also being doubled to Rs20 billion. Similarly, the budget of Gilgit-Baltistan has also been enhanced from nine to Rs15 billion.

He further said that budget for Higher Education Commission will be Rs35 billion to promote the education sector, while hefty amounts are provided for drastic changes in Radio Pakistan and PTV.

He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has requested all four provinces to plan out funding for AJK, Gilgit Baltistan and Fata which are also part of the federation.

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