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Pakistan’s economy growing despite all odds: Asad Umar

Minister gives PTI govt credit for ‘tremendous’ economic progress during pandemic as country listed among top three world economies

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Friday said that record economic growth had put the country on the road to progress and prosperity despite the coronavirus pandemic and global inflation.

Addressing a press conference at the Circuit House in Faisalabad, he said that the National Accounts Committee in its meeting had made two major decisions and fixed financial base year from 2005-06 to 2015-16. “This proposal was floated about three years ago and today we explicitly discussed the GDP growth for the financial year 2020-21,” he added.

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He said during the first three quarters of the last year, the GDP growth was 3.94 per cent, which jumped to 5.37 per cent during the last quarter of 2020-21. It was the fastest ratio of growth second time during the last 14 years in the country, he added.

About Covid-19, he said it had contracted the global economies but in Pakistan national economy made tremendous progress only due to prudent policies of the government.

He mentioned the three surveys conducted by a renowned UK periodical and said that Pakistan was ranked third in the first survey; then it jumped to first position in second survey and now it was at the second position in the third survey. “It indicates an excellent performance of national economy as Pakistan remained among the top three economies of the world, which made phenomenal progress during pandemic.” He particularly mentioned auto manufacturing sector and said that it sold record vehicles during the first nine months of the last fiscal year. “The growth of this sector stood at 9.29 per cent, while in the last quarter it jumped to 15.27 per cent. This sector contributed its share of 1.12 per cent to the total GDP growth rate.”

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Asad also appreciated the excellent and bumper crops during this period. He said the country harvested 27.5 million tonnes of wheat against a set target of 27.3 million tonnes. Similarly, production of potato stood at 5.9 million tonnes against its target of 4.5 million tonnes, he said. “Other crops also gave excellent production by the grace of Allah Almighty and due to the sincere efforts of the farming community,” he added.

The minister said that during this period, production of natural gas also jumped to 1.279 trillion cubic feet from 1.255 trillion cubic feet. “Similarly, production of crude oil also surpassed the target, as it remained at 27.6 million barrel instead of 26.2 million barrel. The production of coal also increased from 8.5 million tonnes to 8.95 million tonnes.”

Responding to a question, he said the SME was a most dynamic sector, which had a potential to play its role as growth engine of the economy. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had recently announced a policy for the SME sector, which would catalyse the overall economic growth of the country. He said that size of Pakistan’s economy was 11.3 per cent with Rs 3,100 billion. Last year it jumped to 16.3 per cent with Rs 5,488 billion, he said.

He said that the per capita income in Pakistan was $1,457, which had now jumped to $1,666, indicating that purchasing power of the people had also increased considerably.



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