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GDP growth at 3.3pc falls short of 6.2pc target: Hafeez Shaikh

GDP growth at 3.3pc falls short of 6.2pc target: Hafeez Shaikh

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan achieved a GDP growth of 3.3 percent during the outgoing fiscal year, falling short of its targeted 6.2 percent, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, said Monday.

Dr Shaikh was sharing details of a pre-budget document titled “Economic Survey 2018-19,” formally launched by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, with the media at a press conference here at the P-Block Auditorium.

The adviser spoke of the key economic indicators and the performance of different sectors of the economy as well as an overview of Pakistan’s economic progress in recent years, official sources said.

It highlighted the main features of the policies undertaken by the incumbent government, which, it said, were focused on bringing macro-economic stability and putting the country on a growth trajectory.

The survey covered all the important sectors of the economy, such as growth and investment, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, fiscal development, money and credit, capital markets, inflation, and debt and liabilities.

The survey also gave insight on performance of agriculture, education, and health and nutrition, besides showing the overall population, labour force and employment, poverty, transport and communication, and per capita income.

Meanwhile, the federal government is expected to present its first budget — with an estimated outlay of around Rs6 trillion — on Tuesday for the fiscal year 2019-20 in the Parliament.

The PTI-led government has said the budget would have a special focus on fiscal management, revenue mobilisation, measures for economic stabilisation and growth, reduction in non-development expenditures, boosting exports besides providing relief to the masses, promoting investment for job creation, and people-friendly policies for the country’s socioeconomic prosperity.

“The budget focuses on ensuring economic stabilization, [and] undertaking projects which create jobs and providing economic stimulus for sustainable growth,” a spokesperson for Finance Division, Dr Khaqan Hassan Najeeb, said.

It would have emphasis on austerity, fiscal discipline, external sector management and protecting the poor, he added, noting that sound policies would lay the foundation of sustainable growth and secure a better future for citizens.

 

On the revenue side, the government would introduce measures for bringing improvements in the system of tax collection, broadening the tax base, and facilitation to tax payers, official sources said, and argued that a strong revenue generation would play a crucial role in achieving the targets for economic growth.

The government is likely to set the revenue collection target at Rs5.55 trillion for the fiscal year 2019-20. Sources said preparations for the federal budget’s announcement continue in full swing in accordance with the prescribed timelines.

The budget was being prepared in close coordination between all departments and ministries involved in budget-related events, including the presentation of the budget in the Parliament and launching of the Economic Survey, they added.

On the other hand, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, had said Sunday the upcoming budget would be “people-friendly”.

The first priority of the government is the people of Pakistan, she added.

The special assistant further commented that the forthcoming budget — for the fiscal year 2019-20 — would smooth the way for the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) long-term plan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, she noted, would himself inform the people of the government’s priorities as well.