Pakistan’s economy volume crosses $300 billion: Dar

Pakistan’s economy volume crosses $300 billion: Dar

ISLAMABAD: The volume of Pakistan’s economy crossed the threshold of $300 billion dollars during the outgoing financial year.

This was stated by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while launching the Economic Survey for 2016-17 in Islamabad on Thursday.

GDP

Briefing the media about the performance of different sectors, the Finance Minister said that overall economic growth remained 5.28 percent which is the highest in the last ten years.

Industrial Sector

He said the industrial sector contributed 21 percent, agriculture 20 percent and services 60 percent to the GDP.

Agriculture & Services

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

GDP target for FY18

Ishaq Dar said that 6 percent growth target has been set for the next financial year.

LSM

About the industrial growth, Ishaq Dar said that the large scale manufacturing sector is on a positive trajectory while the construction industries witnessed a growth of 9.05 percent during the outgoing year.

Agriculture

Turning to the agriculture sector, the Finance Minister reminded that its growth remained 0.27 percent last year. Kissan package worth Rs341 billion 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.

Major crops

He said the production of different major crops also witnessed an increase during the period. 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.

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

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

Inflation

Ishaq Dar said inflation according to Consumer Price Index was 8.69 percent in 2013-14 and it is is expected to close at 4.09 percent at the end of the current financial year as a result of measures taken by the Government.

Exports

He said exports is the area of concern and the government is focusing on it.  He said exports are $17.91 billion in the first ten months of the current fiscal year. He said the exports are likely to close at $21.76 billion.  He said package given to exports has been enforced and this will continue during the next financial year.

Imports

He pointed out that imports of the country have increased to $37.40 billion during the first ten months of current fiscal year as compared to $33.44 billion during the same period last year. These are expected to close at $45.48 billion at the end of the year.  He said import of plants and machinery have been increased by 40 percent which good for the growing economy.

Finance Minister said current accounts deficit is expected to close at 8.3 percent this financial year.

Remittances

He said remittances are expected to close at 19.5 percent this year showing a decline of 2.6 percent.

FDI

He said Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has increased to $1.73 billion during the first ten months of this year as compared to $807 million during this period last year. He said it is expected to reach $2.58 billion.

Forex reserves

He said at present foreign exchange reserves stand at just under $20 billion.  He said exchange rate as of 22nd of this month was 104.87 which is satisfactory.

Per Capita Income

Ishaq Dar said per capita income was $1333 in 2013 which has increased to $1629.

Stocks

Upbeat about the performance of stocks, the Finance Minister said the market capitalization has doubled over the last four years. He said the decision of merging different stocks into Pakistan Stock Market helped earn the status of best performing market in Asia and the fifth largest in the world.

Fiscal deficit

He was confident to close the financial year at the fiscal deficit of 4.2 percent which was 8.8 percent when the present government assumed power.

Debt

About the net public debt, the Finance Minister said it stands at Rs18,892 billion which is 59.3 percent of the GDP.

Tax collection

Ishaq Dar said that FBR is expected to achieve the revised collection target of Rs3521 billion.

War on Terror

About the war on terror, the Finance Minister said that it has cost the country $123.13 billion. He said the country is annually spending Rs90 billion to Rs100 billion in the war on terror.

He said that Rs100 billion rupees will be set aside for the next fiscal year for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of tribal areas. The amount will also be used for raising new wings of civil armed forces.

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