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Pakistan’s GDP expected to grow 3.94%, says PM Imran Khan

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The gross domestic product (GDP) growth of Pakistan for the fiscal year 2020-21 was estimated at 3.94%, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday.

“National Accounts Committee has finalised GDP growth estimate and GDP growth is estimated at 3.94%,” the prime minister said.

“This reflects the success of our government’s economic policies while managing the COVID 19 pandemic,” the premier said.

The V-shaped recovery is balanced between 3 major sectors — agriculture, industry, and services — PM Imran Khan added.

In this regard, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar said that on the basis of the latest data, the National Accounts Committee has estimated this fiscal year’s GDP growth to be close to 4%.

“This is a remarkable recovery and unlike past growth stints, forex reserves have also grown and the current account remains in surplus. Industry led this growth,” he said.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said the growth, in a period in when COVID-19 posed a huge challenge to the economy, is extremely gratifying and “proof of the success of Imran Khan’s economic policies”.

A day earlier, official sources informed The News that Pakistan’s GDP growth is expected to touch a 3% mark in the outgoing FY2021 year.

There is a possibility of no major revision into finalised GDP growth figures for the last fiscal year that stood at negative 0.4% of GDP on the provisional account.

Sources said the GDP growth might exceed the 3% mark due to two factors — wheat production estimates for the current fiscal year and large scale manufacturing (LSM) growth figures taken into consideration by the National Accounts Committee (NAC) for calculating the provisional growth figures of the current fiscal year.

Official sources confirmed to The News that the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) had incorporated possible losses to the national economy for the fourth quarter (April-June) period of the last fiscal year while calculating the provisional GDP growth figures and they had estimated that the growth stood at negative 0.38%.

If the PBS had not incorporated the possible losses of the fourth quarter in the last fiscal year, the GDP growth might have nosedived to negative a 1.5 to 2% of the GDP.

The PBS was faced with an embarrassing conundrum when the provisional GDP growth figure of 3.3% for 2017-18 was revised downward to 1.9% in the finalised figure.

Hence it proved correct that the PBS decided to include possible/expected losses in the fourth quarter for calculating the GDP growth of the last fiscal year that estimated that it stood at a negative 0.38%.

It is hoped that there will be a slight revision in the upward or downward direction into the finalised GDP growth for the last fiscal year.

The government had earlier estimated a GDP growth of 2.1% for the outgoing fiscal year. The IMF and the World Bank, on the other hand, had predicted the GDP growth in the range of 1.5% for the current fiscal year.

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