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Thursday, March 30, 2023

PTI’s Muzzammil Aslam says govt reiterates his claims of 5-6% growth

Congratulating Imran Khan and Shaukat Tarin, Aslam called on Miftah Ismail to correct his growth estimates and told IMF to improve its research.

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PTI spokesperson on economy and finance, Muzammil Aslam, says his claim regarding 5-6% GDP growth has been reiterated by the government.

His remarks come after the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics revealed that Large-scale manufacturing (LSM) industries grew 10.4% during the first nine months (July-March) of the ongoing fiscal year over the same period a year ago.

The development has strengthened the chances of achieving around 5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in this fiscal year ending in June.

Taking to Twitter, Aslam congratulated former prime minister Imran Khan and former finance minister Shaukat Tarin for ‘achieving 5.5 growth for a second consecutive year.’

Read more: Pakistan’s economic growth to pick up pace in FY23?

Addressing the current Finance Minister, Miftah Ismail, Aslam said he hopes that he’ll ‘correct his growth estimates’ while urging International Monetary Fund (IMF) to improve its research.

He further said that the global energy crisis is hitting Pakistan, but it has exposed the PMLN government’s lack of policy.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistic’s (PBS) report

PBS data suggested that the increase largely came from the food sector, which has over one-tenth weight in the LSM index, and apparel wear, which has 6.1% weight.

The other factor contributing to the healthy momentum was the low base, as the index was at 126 in March last year, which jumped to nearly 154 this year.

The past year’s trend suggests that the LSM will post higher growth in April and May due to the low base effect.

The 10.4% growth during the first nine months of the current fiscal year has strengthened the chances of achieving around 5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in this fiscal year ending in June.

The increase in sugarcane and sugar production will offset the 1.5 million tons’ decline in wheat production.

Read more: PTI government economic achievements

The economic advisory wing of the finance ministry, which till March had been predicting around a 5% overall growth rate, has suddenly cut the forecast to 4% in its latest publication.

Contrary to that, the Planning Commission expects a growth rate of 5% to 5.4%, which will be higher than the last PTI government’s target for the current fiscal year.

Miftah Ismail blames Imran Khan for inflation

In a statement on Friday, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said Khan’s deal with the IMF and its violation are the reason behind the rising dollar and high inflation, The News reported.

He said, “There has been a loss of Rs120 billion this month, and no government can bear such a huge deficit,” he said, adding that the “subsidy on petrol has put a strain on Pakistan’s economy.”

“Khan borrowed Rs20,000 billion,” he said, adding that Khan left Rs10.4 billion in the foreign exchange reserves equivalent to 45 days of imports.

Read more: IMF confirms PTI govt achieved 3.9% GDP growth

“We left the growth rate at 5.8% during the Nawaz Sharif-led government and inflation at a low of 3.4%. We will get out of this mess, and the stock exchange will go up once again,” he assured the masses, adding that Khan would have to answer the nation for his crimes.

New government seeks to revive IMF programme

The new government has decided to revive the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, which may also result in fiscal and monetary tightening to bring economic stability.

It could hurt growth prospects for the fiscal year 2022-23.

The previous government had targeted 4.8% economic growth for the current fiscal year. The IMF and other financial institutions have projected Pakistan’s economic growth at 4% to 4.3%, a decent rate but nearly half of what is required to create jobs for all new entrants in the market.