ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal has said that due to prudent economic policies and utilization of 100 percent development funds this year, the government has achieved a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 4.7 percent which was the highest in the past eight years.
The Minister stated this while a addressing a crowded press conference here at “P” block auditorium.
The Minister said, the government in the outgoing fiscal year budget 2015-16, fixed the GDP growth target of 5.5 but due to less growth in the agriculture sector and losses in the cotton production the growth rate reduced to 4.7 percent.
Ahsan Iqbal said, when present government came into power in 2013, Pakistan was facing with multiple challenges including security, energy and economy.
He added that energy crisis was so deepen that there was loadshedding of 18-20 hours daily and the industries were not getting electricity and economic situation in the country was in bad shape.
Ahsan Iqbal said, due to shortage of electricity the economic growth rate was stagnant and the conditions of social sector including health and education were in poor condition.
Due to these situation, in 2013, Pakistan was considered as low growth country, he said adding that the budget deficit reached to nine percent of the GDP as a result Pakistan was considered as un-attractive investment destination and the security situation was also very poor.
The Minister said, after coming into power, the government took a number of initiatives to stabilize and reform the economy.
He added that due to the efforts of the government major economic indicators were improving and economy was performing well now.
“Pakistan of today 2016 is far better than the country was in 2013 and now it is gradually progressing”, he remarked.
The economy was now on the take off stage and would further improve, he added.
He said that the National Economic Council (NEC) in its meeting held yesterday has fixed GDP growth rate target of 5.7 percent for the forthcoming budget 2016-17.
He expressed the hope that keeping in view of improving economy, the government would be able to achieve the said target of 5.7 percent.