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Pakistan has highest quantum of consumption among emerging economies: minister

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Development, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar on Wednesday said quantum of consumption in Pakistan was at 93 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), the highest among the emerging economies.

“Saving rate in Pakistan is less than half of other countries of the region,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of a three-day 34th Annual General Meeting and Conference of Pakistan Society of Development Economists that began in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The planning minister said the growth strategy should focus on building the economic fundamentals, such as quality and inclusiveness of economic growth, human capital and sustainable agriculture.

He said small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector had been identified as one of the key sector of economic growth. He said the CPEC was an opportunity for Pakistan and China for growth and prosperity.

Khusro Bakhtyar said the two countries were in effective collaborative arrangement that was beneficial for both countries.

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“The agriculture framework under the CPEC focuses on joint ventures, value addition, cold chain management for fruits and vegetables, marketing and branding will help the country to overcome socioeconomic weaknesses,” he said.

He said we needed to increase saving while the balance between direct and indirect taxes was skewed toward indirect taxes.

The minister said in the period of previous government the price of fuel went down making it easy to handle current account balance. The present government was trying to restructure the policies, he added.

He maintained that the service sector now contributed up to 56 per cent of domestic GDP but its share in exports was only 5 to 6 billion dollars, while our imports from China had reached 18 billion dollars.

He said the country needed to promote value addition and adapt import substitution policies and the government is devising policy packages for this purposes.

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