According to newspaper reports, the World Bank has revised the projected growth of Pakistan from 4.5 percent to 5.2 percent for Fiscal Year 2017 and further 5.5 percent for 2018.
Earlier, the bank had projected the growth in Gross Domestic Product at 4.5 percent for 2016-17 after slashing half a percent of its earlier assessment. But now it has estimated the growth at 5.2 percent for the current financial year, thanks to the business and investment activities spurred by rising spending in infrastructure sector. The government’s reforms programme has not only lifted domestic demands but also improved the business climate. Pakistan’s expected growth is projected at 5.5 percent for 2018 and 5.8 percent for 2019-20, due to possible improvements in agriculture, energy and infrastructure sectors. The country is facing various challenges, including energy crisis, security issues and very low foreign investment. At a time the countries in the region are blaming Pakistan for everything going wrong on their lands and are tarnishing the economic image of the country, the latest World Bank report is a blow of fresh air.
Pakistan has completed billions of dollars’ three years’ extended facility programme last year which covered reforms and reduced the pressure of fiscal vulnerabilities. It also raised the confidence of consumers and investors in the country. The latest World Bank report, Global Economic Prospects; weak investment in uncertain times, is not final words as the government will have to focus on various hostile factors haunting the national economy. Another problem facing the nation is corruption. If the government sincerely wants to develop the country, it has to end corruption which is the mother of all evils. If corruption is minimized, there will be no dearth of funds for health, education and electricity generation.
The Chinese investment in the corridor project is boosting the investors’ confidence in the government policies, and it will work as an engine of growth for the national economy. If the world financial institutions discuss positive indicators of Pakistan, they will also point out the challenges facing the economy. As far as the GDP of the country is concerned, the share of industrial output as well as exports cannot be denied. It is hoped that the government will concentrate on attracting the foreign direct investment to avoid fiscal risks to its economy. The World Bank report should not be taken as a letter of appreciation about the economic performance of the government but as an inspiration to do more for the development of the nation.