Finance Minister, Senator Ishaq Dar on Monday launched the Economic Survey of Pakistan for the financial year 2013-14. Launching the Economic Survey 2013-14 at a news conference, the finance minister said it was the first time in six years that the gross domestic product (GDP) has crossed 4 per cent.
He said the GDP would increase by one per cent each during the next three years taking it to 7pc in 2017. The minister added that industrial growth has been recorded at 5.84 per cent as against 1.37pc last year.
Large-scale manufacturing recorded growth of 5.135pc against 4.08pc last year, said the minister. He said electricity generation and gas distribution growth last year was minus 16.33 per ent and this year it has grown by 3.72pc.
Construction recorded growth of 11.31 per cent this year as against minus 1.685 per cent last year while wholesale and retail trade increased by 5.181 per cent as against 3.38 per cent last year, he said.
Ishaq Dar said that transport and communication recorded growth of 2.89 per cent as against 2.88 per cent last year while agriculture sector showed growth of 2.12pc against 2.88pc last year.
Major crops showed growth of 3.74 per cent as compared to 1.19pc last year. Wheat production this year is 25.29 million tonnes as compared 24.21 million tonnes last year, he said.
Rice production this year stood at 6.8 million tonnes as against 5.54 million tonnes; sugarcane 66.47 million tonnes as compared to 63.75 million tonnes last year and maize production this year is 4.531 million ronnes as against 4.22 million tonnes last year.
Provisional estimates of cotton production this year are 12.77 million bales as against 13.03 million bales last year. Similarly, grams and oil seeds recorded growth of minus 3.52 per cent.
The minister said inflation in the first eleven months of the current financial year was 8.6 per cent as against 7.5pc last year.
Exports in ten months of the outgoing financial year stood at $21 billion as against $20.1 billion last year, showing an increase of 900 million dollars.
Ishaq Dar said the grant of GSP Plus concession by the European Union has started impacting our textile sector positively as it grew by 7 per cent in value terms.
According to the survey, imports in ten months of the outgoing financial year stood at $37.1 billion as against $36.7 billion last year, indicating 1.2 per cent increase. The minister said there was a significant increase in import of plant and machinery which was a positive indication.
Workers’ remittances in ten months of current financial year reached $12.9 billion as against $11.6 billion last year, showing a growth of 11.5pc. Foreign investment this year stood at $2.979 billion against $1.277 billion last year.
Foreign exchange reserves presently stood at $13.63 billion against $11.4 billion dollar last year, said the minister.
The survey further unveiled that per capita income this year has increased to $1,386 from $1,339 last year. Stock market crossed 29,700 points and its capitalisation increased by about 38 per cent. Tax revenue as percentage of GDP this year is 7pc as against 6.8pc last year.
Non-tax revenue as percentage of GDP remains at 2.7pc while total expenditure as percentage of GDP reduced to 12.9pc from 14.8pc last year.
Development expenditure this year as percentage of GDP was 2.2 per cent as against 2pc last year. Fiscal deficit in first ten months was 3.2 per cent as compared to 4.7pc last year.
The finance minister further said that FBR tax collections in 11 months have grown by 16.4 per cent.
Answering a question, the Finance Minister said the PML-N Government made the defence of the country invincible. He said all requirements will be fulfilled to make the country’s defence strong as was being done in the past.
To a question, he said major incentives will be given to the private sector to restore the confidence of the investors.
To another question, Ishaq Dar rejected the impression that the Federal developmental projects are Central Punjab specific and major development projects are being executed in all parts of the country.
Replying to a question, he said SROs will be rolled out in the next three years.
He said vulnerable group is being extended financial help under the Income Support Programme. He said seventy-five billion rupees have been allocated for this programme during this year and increase in the allocation is expected for the next year.
He expressed the hope that nine hundred thousand jobs will be created in the next four years after the introduction of G-3 and G-4 spectrum.
It is pertinent to mention here that finance minister will also present the second budget by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in the National Assembly today (Tuesday).
The pre-budget document highlights the overall performance of economy during the outgoing fiscal year, providing a realistic feedback and basis for planning.
The survey covers development of all the important sectors of economy, including growth and investment, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, fiscal development, money and credit, capital markets and inflation and debt and liabilities.
The survey also highlights the performance of education, health and nutrition besides showing the overall population, labour force and employment, poverty, transport and communication.
It also assesses the issues of environment, contingent liabilities, tax expenditure as well as economic and social indicators.