Pakistan to achieve over 4% economic growth despite challenges: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that despite the worst balance of payments crisis in 2018, economic problems due to COVID-19, high commodity prices in the international market, as well as the direct and indirect impact of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Pakistan was expected. to achieve economic growth of over 4 percent in the current fiscal year, which is a great success.

“Since we inherited a huge circular debt, bad export policies, unstable financial conditions, a less competitive business environment and policies of lower incentives for the private sector, the last three years of government current are an economic success, ”he said. added.

The Prime Minister expressed these views while chairing a meeting of the Macroeconomic Advisory Group. The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers Shaukat Tarin, Hammad Azhar, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Asad Umar, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister of State Farrukh Habib, Advisor to Prime Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood, Special Assistants to the Prime Minister Dr Sania Nishtar, Dr Shehbaz Gill, SBP Governor Reza Baqir and other relevant senior officials.

He said the government’s policy on smart lockdowns, incentives for the construction industry, social protection program and subsidies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) had helped move the economy forward. at a sustainable rate – a fact appreciated by analysts globally.

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The meeting was devoted to a comprehensive review of the overall economic situation of the country, measures taken by the government to minimize the impact of the increase in the price of essential items and its economic achievements over the past three years.

The meeting was informed that due to the strong measures taken for economic stabilization after successfully emerging from the fiscal crisis inherited from the previous government, Pakistan has made more economic progress even during a pandemic compared to other countries. of the region.

It was said that with 25% growth in exports and the largest ever 38% increase in tax revenue, the country also saw a 27% increase in remittances.

Moreover, it was said at the meeting that with record incomes in the agricultural sector – transfer of additional income of 1.1 trillion rupees to farmers, 900 trillion rupees of record profits in the industrial sector, development of the Information technology (IT) sector through policies as well as successful tariff negotiations with independent power producers (IPPs), a decline was also observed in the monthly accumulation of circular debt.

In addition to the above, the government kept its promise of a welfare state by launching the largest social security program under Ehsaas, made institutional reforms and successfully complied with the terms of the Action Group. financial institution (FATF) which saved the country from entering the blacklist. , the meeting was informed.

The meeting participants were presented with proposals to mitigate the transfer of the effects of high world commodity prices to the common people, including increased incomes, increased purchasing power of the population, subsidies focused on middle and lower income classes and expansion of the social safety net.

Following the meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan called on the relevant departments to coordinate and implement long and short term plans for further improvement of the macroeconomic situation of Pakistan in addition to improving the the economic situation of the common man.

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