Unveiled by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Pakistan Economic Survey for the year 2016-17 shows the government has missed some vital economic targets but growth has finally returned to the country after years of recession and the total volume of the gross domestic product has crossed $300 billion. The overall economic growth of the country has been recorded at 5.28 percent, which is the highest in nine years.The industrial sector growth has been recorded at 5.05 percent as compared to 5.8 percent last year and growth of overall manufacturing is registered at 5.27 percent as compared to 3.66 percent last year.The total investment in the country has reached Rs 5,026 billion as compared to the Rs 4,526 billion last year, showing a growth of 11.05 percent in one year. However, the country registered a minor growth in the foreign direct investment this year which stands at $1.733 billion as compared to $1.537 billion last year.
Among the major investors, China has invested $ 744.4 million, Netherland $478.6 million, France $171million, Turkey $137.7 million, US $103.2 million, U.A.E $ 48.4 million, UK $47.6 million, Italy $47.4 million, Japan $42.1 million and Germany $ 40.5 million in Pakistan. The data shows that all the investment has come from top 20 economies of the world and the investment size is not more than a handful of peanuts. As compared to Pakistan, the size of annual investment in India is over $50 billion and this should be a point to ponder for the government policymakers. On the saving side, the government should encourage citizens to put their money in business rather than in saving schemes and waiting for years to get any benefit. It is good omen the people are already taking less interest in the saving schemes. The national savings remained 13.1 percent of the GDP during the outgoing fiscal year against 14.3 percent last year. The domestic savings have been recorded at 7.5 percent as compared to 8.2 percent of the GDP last year.
It is heartening to note that the large scale manufacturing sector has recorded a growth rate of 4.93 percent as compared to 2.94 percent last year.The construction sector has shown satisfactory performance and has registered a growth of 9.05 percent against 14.6 percent growth last year.The agriculture sector, which accounts for 19.53 percent of the GDP, has recorded a growth of 3.46 percentagainst 0.27 percent growth last year.The tax exemptions have been recorded at Rs415.8 billionas the exemptions were declined by almost Rs 300 billion during the two successive years. Despite tax exemptions worth billions of rupees, the overall performance of the country remained satisfactory. It is hoped the government will pay special attention to the weak areas of the economy during the incoming fiscal year.