Pakistan economy grows 3.94 per cent in 2020-21 on recovery in service sector
STRONG ‘V – shaped’ recoveries in the services and manufacturing sectors helped Pakistan’s economy to grow 3.94 per cent in the first nine months of fiscal year 2020-21, finance minister Shaukat Tarin said on Thursday (10).
Tarin presented the Economic Survey of Pakistan Thursday (10), a day before presenting the budget for 2021-22.
The government had projected economic growth of 2.1 per cent this year, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank released even more conservative estimates.
Pakistan’s economy grew 3.94 per cent “due to the far-sighted policies adopted by the government, which included incentivising manufacturing, subsidising electricity and providing assistance to the agriculture sector,” Tarin said.
The agriculture sector posted decent gains, but slightly missed the growth target due to loss of cotton crop, he said.
“Large scale manufacturing grew by nearly nine per cent,” he noted, supported by growth in a large basket of industries.
However, imports, especially of food, increased sharply this year, putting a significant burden on the balance of trade, he added
Global price shocks and Pakistan’s increased exposure to international food markets this year made the country a net importer.
“We were net exporters of food, but now have become net importers,” he said.
Tarin praised prime minister Imran Khan’s “visionary policy” of not imposing a complete lockdown across the country that helped millions of people to find jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.