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Revenue, GDP growth targets missed

Publication Date : 02-06-2014


Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will launch the Pakistan Economic Survey 2013-14 on Monday, which is expected to be a mixed bag of missed targets and improved performance in various sectors.

The three-time finance minister would, however, like to play up the ‘better than last year’s performance’ aspect and will be looking to build on hopes for ‘beginning economic revival’ going forward.

While announcing the budget last year, the government had set itself an economic growth target — as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) — of 4.4 per cent for fiscal year 2013-14 on the basis of 3.8 per cent growth in agriculture, 4.8 per cent improvement in the industrial sector and a 4.6 per cent rise in the services sector.

The GDP growth rate target was missed as it improved by 4.14 per cent instead of 4.4 per cent. It was, however, higher than the 3.7 per cent growth posted in fiscal year 2012-13, the last year of the Pakistan People's Party tenure.

Except for the industrial sector, which exceeded its target for this year, the two other major sectors — agriculture and services — not only missed their targets but effectively pulled down the economic growth rate.

The main contribution came from the manufacturing sector, which posted a growth rate of 5.5 per cent against a target of 4.5 per cent and an output of 3.7 per cent in fiscal year 2012-13. Large-scale manufacturing contributed significantly to this with a growth rate of 5.3 per cent, against a target of 4 per cent and the fiscal year 2012-13 figure of 2.8 per cent.

On the other hand, the agriculture sector grew by a mere 2.12 per cent — far below its target of 3.8 per cent and even lower than the growth rate of 2.9 per cent posted in fiscal year 2012-13. This was despite the fact that the sector showed mixed trends with crops growing by 3.7 per cent this year as against 1.2 per cent in fiscal year 2012-13.

The performance of other crops (potato, tomato, fruits and onion, etc), as per the economic survey, was below par as it recorded negative growth of 3.5 per cent, a significant deceleration from the impressive 6.1 per cent recorded in fiscal year 2012-13.

The services sector grew by 4.29 per cent against a target of 4.5 per cent. The current performance was not even as good as the fiscal year 2012-13 figure of 4.86 per cent.

The government has also missed its target for the investment-to-GDP ratio. Against a target of 15.1 per cent, the ratio actually stood at 14 per cent this year, below even the 14.6 per cent ratio achieved in fiscal year 2012-13. Both domestic and foreign direct investment contributed to this downward movement, according to official papers.

National savings were expected to grow by 14 per cent during the current fiscal year but ended up at 12.9 per cent, lower than last year’s 13.5 per cent national savings-to-GDP ratio.

On the fiscal front, even though the government was able to contain the fiscal deficit below target, it failed to achieve its tax collection target by a large margin.

Inflation stood at 8.5 per cent against a target of 8 per cent and 7.5 per cent from fiscal year 2012-13.


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