Revised target of 2.5 percent missed
By Sajid Chaudhry
ISLAMABAD: The economy during current fiscal year 2008-09 registered a growth of just 2 percent against the budgetary target of 5.5 percent and downward revised target of 2.5 percent and only agriculture sector posted a positive growth of 4.7 percent against the target of 3.7 percent, according to the revised figures after the National Accounts Committee (NAC) meeting.
The country have been pushed back to decade of nineties with low growth, unemployment, higher inflation and higher interest rate regime leaving all the sectors of economy to suffer, official sources told daily Times on Wednesday. Almost all other indicators were found in red zone due to the world financial crisis, government’s policy to pacify the economy to curtail demand.
According to the officials at Ministry of Finance, Pakistan’s economic performance in 2008-09 must be judged against the policy objectives of the government, international developments and domestic constraints. Faced with tenable balance of payments situation and rapidly declining foreign exchange reserves, the government took decisive actions to restore macroeconomic stability. This entailed curtailing domestic demand through contractionary fiscal and monetary policies and rationalised planned public sector development expenditures. According to the revised figures, commodity producing sectors growth, which was targeted at 4.8 percent, have been recorded at 2 percent only in ongoing fiscal year. Agriculture sector surpassed its target of 3.5 percent and posted a growth of 4.7 percent.
Within the agriculture major crops posted a growth of 7.7 percent against the target of 4.5 percent, minor crops 3.6 percent growth against the target of 2 percent, livestock 3.7 percent growth against the target of 3.2 percent, fishery posted a low growth of 2.3 percent against the target of 3.4 percent, forestry negative 15.7 percent against the target of 1.5 percent growth.
Industry: Industrial sector posted a negative growth of 3.6 percent against the growth target of 6 percent fixed for current fiscal year 2008-09. Mining and quarrying posted a growth of 1.3 percent against the target of 5 percent.
Manufacturing: Manufac-turing sector also missed its growth target of 6.1 percent as its growth has been recorded at negative 3.3 percent for ongoing fiscal year. Within manufacturing sector LSM posted a decline of 7.7 percent against the target of 5.5 percent, small scale and house hold posted a growth of 7.5 percent against the target of 8 percent, other sectors within industry were also under pressure and posted a growth of 4.2 percent against the target of 5.2 percent, construction sector’s growth declined to 10.8 percent against the growth target of 8 percent, electricity, gas and water supply sector also declined by 3.7 percent against the target of 3 percent.
Services: Services sector, which was targeted to growth by 6.1 percent, has recorded a growth of 3.6 percent in ongoing fiscal year 2008-09. Within this sector transport, storage and communication posted a growth of 2.9 percent against the target of 4.5 percent, wholesale and retail trade declined to 3.1 percent against the target of 5.4 percent, finance and insurance also witnessed a negative growth of 1.2 percent against the target of 12 percent, ownership of dwellings stood at 3.5 percent against the same target. Public administration and defence recorded 5 percent against the target of 4 percent.