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January 8, 2019

PTI targets average GDP growth of 5.8pc in Five Year Plan

Business

January 8, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The PTI-led government has prepared a draft of 12th Five Year Plan by envisaging average GDP growth rate of 5.8 percent in the next five years from 2018 to 2023, a minister said on Monday.

Federal Planning Minister Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar was informed during a meeting that consolidation period was expected to be over by the next fiscal year, and GDP growth would start picking up from the envisaged 4.2 percent in current fiscal year 2018/19 to 7 percent during the terminal year of the five year plan in 2023.

Bakhtyar, who chaired the meeting, underlined that the 12th Five Year Plan should contribute to real economic growth covering all aspects of sustainability. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, Joint Chief Economist Rai Nasir Ali Khan, Chief Macroeconomics Muhammad Zafar and review committee members attended the meeting.

The minister appreciated the macroeconomic framework prepared by the Planning Commission of Pakistan. The framework was based on consultations involving all stakeholders including civil society, media, private sector, and above all the provinces.

The minister was apprised that the plan aimed at achieving 5.8 percent GDP growth on average during 2018-23.

This has been projected on the basis of 3.6 percent growth in agriculture, 6.1 percent in industry, and 6.8 percent in the services sector on average.

In line with the government’s vision, emphasis would remain on social sectors, poverty alleviation, job creation and improvement of governance for ensuring transparency and overcoming corruption. The meeting was apprised that draft of the plan was ready, which would be launched after the approval from the competent forum.

In a separate meeting, Khusro Bakhtyar directed the Statistics Division to collect data of essential food items every Monday rather than Thursday to have a clear picture of prices of key items in the beginning of the week.

Noting that poor market information leads to profiteering and hoarding, the minister called for close collaboration between all the stakeholders, including market committees and district administrations across the country to curb profiteering.

The minister said that the government was committed to providing relief to the marginalised sections of the society by checking profiteering and hoarding, and effectively monitoring and implementing price control of essential food items. It is pertinent to mention that the prime minister had assigned the additional portfolio of Ministry of Statistics to Khusro Bakhtyar on December 12, 2018.

The minister was informed that inflation for essential kitchen items has been less than one percent since August 2018. The minister directed that the mechanism should be devised to educate the public on economic statistics especially the trends in consumer price index (CPI) and inflation.

He underscored the need to disseminate the information to the general public through media so consumers could stay vigilant and informed about prices of essential kitchen items. He said he would soon have a meeting with federal minister for information in this regard.

Statistics Division Secretary Shaista Sohail gave the presentation to the minister, in which she informed that Pakistan Bureau of statistics was following international standards while collecting data.

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