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Economic Survey 2015-16

Economic Survey 2015-16


The Economic Survey 2015-16 highlights the government achievements during the previous financial year, estimating the GDP growth at 4.71 percent, but missing various economic targets.The growth target of 5.1 percent is also missed. The finance minister has blamed the war on terror for the loss of the money as it cost the nation over $118 billion during the year. However, the Industrial sector recorded a growth of 6.8 percent against a target of 6.4 percent and the industrial growth remained 4.8 percent during the previous financial year. The services sector achieved a growth rate of 5.7 percent as compared to 4.37 percent last year.The growth in the agriculture sector stood at -0.19 percent in 2015-16 against the target of 3.9 percent mostly due to poor cotton crop. The sector recorded a growth of 2.5 percent last year. The bleak performance of the sector brought a shocking set back which pulled the overall GDP down to 4.71 percent. The government is planning a subsidy package for the sector this year.

However, the government successfully reduced the fiscal deficit to its gross domestic product from 3.8 percent last year to 3.4 percent during the first nine months of the current fiscal year. This was made possible due to 20.2 percent increase in tax collections and 10.4 percent growth in total revenue during the year. According to the survey, a healthy provincial surplus of Rs 221.2 billion helped maintain the fiscal deficit at 3.4 percent of the GDP with hope that the budget deficit will further be brought down to 3.5 percent during the next financial year. The total revenue stand at Rs 2,961.9 billion,showing a growth of 10.4 percent during nine months of the outgoing fiscal year as compared to Rs 2,682.6 billion during the same period last year. The total tax collections marked a growth of 20.2 percent during the first nine months of the current fiscal year. The collections reached Rs 2,481 billion from July to March this year as compared to Rs 2,063.2 billion recorded in the same period last year.

There is no independent source of information to confirm the government claims or testify the figures in the survey. The Pakistani economy is regulated largely by independent forces of demand and supply and apparently the government participation in the entire economic process is minimal. The government policies and plans always face hindrances at the implementation stage, but the developed nations have formed a mechanism to set aside the bureaucratic hurdles. Pakistan also needs to establish a mechanical administrative system to streamline the affairs. The situation gets worse in the absence of a strong judicial system and strong administrative set up.