Country’s growth rate reaches highest in last 13 years: Ahsan



Islamabad, April 26 (TNS): Minister of Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal says the country’s growth rate has reached 5.8 percent, the highest in last 13 years, which vindicates that the government’s economic policies have put the country on the right track, state media reported.

Speaking at the launch of Economic Survey 2017-18 in Islamabad on Thursday, he said the government could have achieved the target of 6 percent had the impediments not stopped the economic march of the government.

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.

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 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.

Giving figures of growth in different sectors in the outgoing financial year, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Finance Miftah Ismail said agriculture sector grew by 3.8 percent, manufacturing 5.8 percent, services 6.4 percent and large scale manufacturing by 6.25 percent.

He said current budget deficit is 5.5 percent.

He said inflation rate remained low during the tenure of PML-N government and at present it stands at 3.8 percent, which is expected to remain under 4.5 percent by the end of current financial year.

The Advisor 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 government 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.

Courtesy: Radio Pakistan