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‘Growth rate reaches 13-year high’: Government launches National Economic Survey 2017-18

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday launched the National Economic Survey 2017-18 during a press conference in Islamabad, ARY News reported

Addressing media in the federal capital, Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan has seen a visible economic turnaround over the last five years, due to successful implementation of a comprehensive program of economic revival aimed at higher economic growth and macro-economic stability.

He said that the country’s growth rate has reached 5.8 percent, the highest in last 13 years, which shows that the government’s economic policies have put the country on the right track.

“The growth momentum remained above 5 percent for the last two years in a row and reached 5.79 percent in the financial year 2018 which is 13
years high on account of a strong performance in agriculture, industry and services sectors which grew by 3.81 percent, 5.80 percent and
6.43 percent, respectively,” said Ahsan Iqbal
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Giving an overall review of the government’s performance of the past five years, the Minister said the government successfully addressed the challenges of energy shortage, economic turmoil, and terrorism, which gave a boost to the economy.

Ahsan Iqbal said the government has added 11000 MW of electricity to the national grid during the last four years, which helped overcome the energy crisis. He said till 2025, more investments will be made to generate additional 15000 MW of electricity.

He said 1750 kilometers in motorway has made Pakistan the largest infrastructure economy in South Asia.

Ahsan Iqbal said imports increased due to machinery import in the wake of mega projects undertaken under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and increase in demand of appliances due to improvement in purchasing power.

On his turn, Miftah Ismail said that agriculture sector grew by 3.8 percent, industrial 5.8 percent, services 6.4 percent and large scale manufacturing by 6.24 percent. He said current budget deficit is 5.5 percent.

He maintained that the highest growth in agriculture sector in last 13 years was achieved on the back of initiatives taken to improve the sector such as expansion in credit to agriculture sector along with agriculture Kissan Package, provision of better quality seeds including hybrid and high yield varieties and timely availability of agriculture inputs including fertilizer, pesticides.

Ismail added that Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) also recorded a growth of 6.13 percent highest in ten years. Industrial sector growth improved by 5.80 percent, highest in ten years.

He said that Manufacturing sector grew by 6.24 percent highest in 11 years. The performance of services sector witnessed a stable growth of 6.43 percent in last two years.

 

The Adviser said FBR revenue is expected to be 3935 billion rupees, which will be 11.1 percent of GDP. He said net public debt was 60.2 percent when the PML-N came to power and it will be 61.4 percent by the end of the current fiscal year. He said external debt was 21.4 percent of GDP and now it will be 20.5 percent. He said exports have also started improving since this year, and in March exports increased by 13 percent.

 

The document presented on the occasion says that during current fiscal year, CPI increased to 4.6 percent which was the highest since the start of current fiscal year FY 2018, in January 2018 it was came down to 4.4 percent and in March 2018, it fell eight month low at 3.2 percent on account of subdued food prices which offset the impact of rise of petroleum prices.

The average inflation during first nine months of the current fiscal year, July-March FY 2018 has been contained at 3.78 percent which was slower than the level observed during the same period of last year recorded at 4.01 percent.

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