FAISALABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Thursday said "record economic growth" has put the country on the road to progress and prosperity despite COVID-19 and global inflation.
Addressing a press conference, the minister revealed that the National Accounts Committee (NAC) during its meeting took two major decisions and fixed the financial base year from 2005-06 to 2015-16.
“This proposal was floated around three years ago and today we explicitly discussed the GDP growth for the financial year 2020-21,” he said.
Umar added that during the first three-quarters of 2020-21, GDP growth clocked in at 3.94% which jumped to 5.37% during the last quarter.
"This is the fastest growth recorded for the second time during the last 14 years in the country," he said, adding that COVID-19 has affected the global economies, but in Pakistan, national economy showed tremendous progress because of the "prudent policies" adopted by the government.
Citing findings of three surveys conducted by renowned UK periodical, The Economist, he said that Pakistan ranked third in the first survey, then it jumped to the first position in the second survey and now it secured second position in the third survey.
“This indicates an excellent performance of the national economy as Pakistan remained among the top three economies of the world, which showed phenomenal progress during the pandemic,” he said.
Shedding light on the auto sector, he said that the industry showed record sales of vehicles during the first nine months of the last fiscal year.
The sector grew by 9.29% in the nine-month period while in the last quarter the growth rate jumped to 15.27%. "The auto sector contributed 1.12% in total GDP growth rate," the minister said.
Umar highlighted a bumper crop during the period. He revealed that the country harvested 27.5 million tons of wheat against a set target of 27.3 million tons. Similarly, the production of potatoes stood at 5.9 million tons against a target of 4.5 million tons.
Umar said that during the period under review, production of natural gas also jumped to 1.279 trillion cubic feet from 1.255 trillion cubic feet. Similarly, the production of crude oil surpassed the target as it remained at 27.6 million barrels instead of 26.2 million barrels. The production of coal also increased from 8.5 million tons to 8.95 million tons.
He said that the per capita income in Pakistan stood at around $1,457 which has now jumped to $1,666, which indicates that the purchasing power of people has also increased considerably.
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