The government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has announced provisional figures of the economic growth, claiming that it will achieve a growth rate of 5.8 percent in the gross domestic product against the set target of 6 percent during the fiscal year 2017-18 ending June 30. With this, the size of Pakistan’s economy will swell to $312.7 billion by the end of fiscal year 2017-18, but the per capita income in dollar terms will reach only $1,638.2 per person with marginal increase of 0.6 percent. Though unemployment remained high and industrial sector’s growth also fell short of the target it would be the highest growth rate in over a decade as all sectors of the economy have shown a better performance during the government’s final year in the office. However, the per capita income in rupee terms has recorded a growth of 11 percent. Though the government could not achieve the economic growth rate of 6 percent, the achievement of 5.8 percent growth is still appreciable against low projections by the international financial institutions. The country has been facing political chaos, mismanagement and terrorism, but a 5.8 percent growth rate shows the economy of Pakistan is still resilient and international affairs have little impact on its chemistry.
Experts are giving the credit of healthy growth in services sector and recovery in the agriculture sector to the positive indicators spelled out under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Despite achieving a suitable growth rate, the government missed all major macroeconomic targets. As the population of the country is growing at a fast pace, water resources are dwindling and the country has shown very bleak performance in the domain of international affairs, the growth rate of 5.8 percent is insufficient to absorb the bulge of youth in the job market. Experts fear the rate of growth below 7 percent will increase unemployment and the next government will have to stimulate industrial sector to create jobs and produce export surplus. A tiny country like Vietnam exported $31 billion worth of mobile phones which is the highest number after China and Bangladesh exported over $22 billion worth of garments, which is again the highest figure after China. Why Pakistan has failed to exploit even its cottage or indigenous industry is million dollar question. Instead, Pakistan is facing trade and the current account deficit of billions of rupees and its foreign exchange reserves are less than any African economy. The government officials are minting millions of rupees annually by drawing hefty salaries and perks, but giving the nation the gifts of loans. If this is the way of managing economy, the government should be handed over to a corporate organization on contract basis.