Economic Journey of Pakistan’ released: Govt eyes 6-7pc GDP growth in medium-term

The present government’s priorities are to increase GDP growth to 6-7% in the medium term, improve investment climate to attract domestic and foreign investment, promote tourism and information technology, and set up Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for export promotion.

This was stated by Finance Ministry in the “75 years’ economic journey of Pakistan” released by it on Saturday to commemorate 75th Independence Day.

Finance ministry added that the incumbent government also aims to take proactive measures for import substitution and employment generation, introduce a paperless working environment in offices, and youth skill development.

Finance Ministry’s 75 years economic journey of Pakistan noted that nominal GDP was increased from $3 billion to $383 billion during 1950-2022, GDP growth from 1.8% in 1950, 5.97% in 2022, per capita income was increased from $86 to $1,798 from 1950 to 2022.

In period of 1950-2022, the country’s exports have increased from $163.9 million to $32.5 billion, tax revenues from Rs0.31 billion to Rs 6,126.1 billion, agriculture accounted for 59.9% of the total GDP in 1949-50. Green revolution started during the early 1960s, while at the time of independence, Pakistan inherited only 34 industrial units out of 921 industrial units.

‘Economic recovery continues despite challenges’

The Ministry added that six-lane Lahore to Islamabad Motorway (M-2) was completed in 1999, as well as, network comprising 48 national highways, motorways, and strategic roads. Motorways are a part of Pakistan’s “National Trade Corridor Project” and “China-Pakistan Belt Road Initiative”. In May 1998, Pakistan restored the balance of power in the region by successfully establishing credible minimum nuclear deterrence after conducting five nuclear tests and the first license for Islamic Banking in Pakistan was issued in January 2002.

The first Islamic bank in the country commenced fully-fledged commercial banking operation in March 2002, women’s representation in Pakistani legislatures at both central and provincial levels through reserved seats increased by 17pc in 2002. The Finance Ministry said that Pakistan recently began to increase the mobility, connectivity, and versatility of its digital services and there was a 15pc increase in internet usage after the lockdown was imposed.

Agriculture: Wheat production in 1948 was 3.354 million tonnes, and in 2022 it increased to 26.394 million tonnes, rice production increased from 0.693 million tonnes in 1948 to 9.323 million tonnes in 2022, maize production from 0.359 million tonnes in 1948 to 10.635 million tonnes in 2022, sugarcane production from 5.529 million tonnes in 1948 to 88.651 million tonnes in 2022 while cotton production increased from 1.156 million bales to 8.329 million bales in 2022.

Water availability increased from 63.9 MAF in 1965-66 to 131.0 MAF in 2021-22, agriculture credit disbursement increased from Rs4.3 million in 1952-53 to Rs1,219.3 million in Jul-May 2021-22, fertiliser off-take from 31.4 thousand tonnes in 1960-61 to 5,001 thousand tonnes in 2021-22.

During early 1950s – manufacturing was 80%, construction 16%; mining and quarrying 2%; electricity generation and distribution and gas distribution 2%.In 2022 – the share of manufacturing is 65 %, the share of construction, electricity generation, and distribution and gas distribution reached to 13% and the share of mining and quarrying stood at 9%.

On the fiscal side the size of the federal PSDP increased from Rs45.4 billion to Rs900 billion in 1990-2022, share of direct taxes increased from 22% in the 1960s to 39% in the 2020s, share of indirect taxes has reduced from 78% in the 1960s to 61% in the 2020s.

Monetary: Credit to the private sector; (i) share of manufacturing increased from 16% to 63%; external (ii) FDI increased from $1.2million in fiscal year 1950 to $1,867.8 million in 2022, remittances increased from $0.14 billion in fiscal year 1973 to $31.2 billion in fiscal year 2022; exports increased from $ 162 million in fiscal year 1950 to $ 31.8 billion in fiscal year 2022, and imports increased from $ 276 million in fiscal year 1950 to $80.2 billion in fiscal year 2022.

In fiscal year 2022, finance ministry added that imports comprise consumer goods (21%), industrial raw materials (54%), and capital goods (24 %).

In energy sector, electricity generation increased from 41 GWh in fiscal year 1949 to 123,248 GWh in fiscal year 2022; hydel electricity from 41-GWh in fiscal year 1949 to 38,990-GWh in fiscal year 2022; thermal increased from 3,789 GWh in fiscal year 1971 to 74,862 GWh in fiscal year 2022. Green energy generation has increased from 802 GWh in fiscal year 2015 to 3,709 GWh in fiscal year 2022.

Electricity Consumption; (i) by household was increased from 635 GWh in fiscal year 1972 to 55,722 GWh in fiscal year;(ii) by agriculture from 997 GWh in fiscal year 972 to 10,238 GWh in fiscal year 2022; (iii) industrial from 2,855 GWh in fiscal year 1972 to 29,954 GWh in fiscal year 2022.

Education: (i) literacy rate increased from 16.4% in 1951 to 62.8% in 2020-21 with male literacy rate from 19.8% in 1951 to 73.4% 2020-21, female Literacy rate from 12.6% in 1951 to 51.9% in 2020-21.

According to Finance Ministry, enrolment in Educational Institutes; (i) primary schools increased from 770 thousand in 1947-48 to 25,676 thousand in 2020-21, technical and vocational increased from four thousand in 1947-48 to 500 thousand in 2020-21 and degree colleges increased from 4,368 in 1947-48 to 758 thousand in 2020-21 while universities education enrolment increased from 644 in 1947-48 to 1,964 thousand in 2020-21.

Number of Educational Institutes: (i) primary schools increased from 8.4 thousand in 1947-48 to 187.9 thousand in 2020-21, technical and vocational increased from 46 in 1947-48 to 3,914 in 2020-21 and degree colleges increased from 40 in 1959-60 to 3,872 in 2020-21, while numbers of universities increased from 2 in 1947-48 to 233 in 2020-21.

Health: Number of hospitals (Public) increased from 292 in 1947 to 1,276 in 2021, infant mortality of 150-180 (per thousand) in 1947 decreased to 58.9 (per thousand) in 2021. Health expenditures increased from Rs1 million in 1947-48 to Rs 657,185 million in 2020-21 while life expectancy increased from 50 years in 1970 to 67.4 years by 2020.

Transport and Communication: telephone and mobile users increased from 15,200 in 1947 to 194.2 million in 2021, registered vehicles versus road lengths increased from 31,892 in 1947 to 32.4 million in 2021.

Population and labour-force; (i) population size increased from 65.3 million in 1972 to 207.7 million in 2017; population is estimated at 227.0 million in 2022. Employed labour force increased from 16.24 million in 1964 to 67.25 million in 2020-21, and poverty headcounts decreased from 40.24% in 1969 to 21.9% in 2018-19.

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