Economy on rise

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AT long last, there are clear indicators that the economy has not only stabilized but is moving up due to a number of initiatives undertaken by the incumbent Government and it is all the more encouraging that this is happening despite challenges thrown by the Covid-19.

Giving details of positive economic indicators Minister for Planning, Asad Umar, who joined the Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in briefing media about proceedings of the Federal Cabinet, said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s policy of protecting lives and livelihoods during Covid-19 has saved our economy from an expected loss contrary to the neighbouring economies.

He said according to the figures provided by the National Accounts Committee, the country was expecting more than 3.5pc growth rate.

There can hardly be two opinions that the clear-cut approach adopted by Prime Minister Imran Khan to deal with the situation arising out of Coronavirus was one of the major factors positively affecting the national economy and protecting vulnerable segments of the society.

It is also worth-mentioning that the country witnessed record production of wheat, sugar, rice and maize that helped increase wholesale trade which is directly linked to positive growth of the economy.

Agriculture, indeed, plays a crucial role in determining the GDP growth rate and its true potential can be gauged by the fact that Punjab, this year, has record production of twenty million tonnes of wheat, which is a historic achievement as this helped inject Rs. 1,100 billion in the agricultural economy that would, in turn, lead to improvement in cost of living in rural areas.

The PTI Government genuinely deserves credit for reviving stalled water reservoir and hydro-power projects as construction of ten dams including two mega ones has started in right earnest and their completion would not only complement efforts aimed at achieving food security but also availability of electricity on cheaper rates, which is now one of the big concerns of the people and the industry.

Pakistan also recorded the highest rate of large-scale manufacturing (LSM) growth up to 9.29 per cent since 2011, which is yet another indication of broad-based economic recovery despite the pandemic.

The construction sector is also booming due the stimulus package given by the Government as projects worth Rs. 340 billion have so far been registered under the Prime Minister’s package for the construction industry.

Remittances from overseas Pakistanis also reached a record level of $2.8 billion in April 2021 as a consequence of measures taken by the Government to discourage hundi and hawala and encourage people to remit their money through official channels.

The improvement in the economy is quite visible and it is now time for the Government to ensure its trickle-down effect on the masses, who are hard-pressed due to price-hike.