ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is spending Rs 90 to 100 billion annually on war against terrorism. This was stated by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday while launching of Pakistan Economic Survey 2016-17.
“Pakistan is spending all this money, incurred on war against terrorism within the limitation of own esources. Some 25,000 army personnel have been martyred in the war against terrorism till now.We have suffered a lot but with the launching of Operational Zerbe-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad, peace is returning to the country”, he added.
Ishar Dar further said that economy should be separate from the politics because bad politics damaged country’s economy more than anything else.
While briefing the journalists about economic indicators, he said that Pakistan has achieved 5.3 Gross Domestic Progress (GDP) after the period of 10 year , however the finance minister said that Pakistan’s economy has been under stated 20 percent by World Bank in current year.
Government is conducting a study from WB to know that which sector is not contributing in country’s economy. Finance Minister added.
He said that country’s economy has surpassed 300 billion dollar first time in history and government has set the target of 6 percent growth rate in GDP for the next financial year.
The agriculture sector recorded a positive growth of 3.46 percent against the growth of 0.27 percent in last year meanwhile cotton ginning has witnessed growth of 5.59 percent against the negative growth of 22.12 percent in the previous year.
Wheat production witnessed 0.5 percent increase as production has been reached to 25, 750 thousands tones, Rice production 6849 thousands tones, sugarcane production 6849 thousands tones, Maize 6130 thousands tones in current fiscal year.
During the current year, the industrial sector has contributed 20.88 percent, manufacturing 5.27 percent, large scale manufacturing 5.06 percent, small scale manufacturing 8.18 percent, Electricity generation & distribution and Gas distribution 3.40 percent and Services sector 5.98 percent in GDP. He added.
Finance Minister said that it is grave concern that Pakistan Exports is not increasing, we are optimistic that country export would be remained around 21 billion dollars against the target of 25 billion dollars.
On the other hand he said that imports will remain 45.48 billion dollars and it is good omen that machinery import has been increased to 40 percent in current year.
Dar said that government has allocated Rs 115 billion for Benazir Income Support program in outgoing year, when we reign the government affairs in 2013 the spending on social safety net was Rs 42 billion.
FBR Revenue has reached to Rs 3521 billion in current year and we will cross the limit of Rs 4000 billion in next fiscal year.
Finance minister stated that Gross public debt was Rs 20873 billion as at end March 2017 net public debt was Rs 18893 billion, he said that gross public debt record an increase of Rs 1194 billion during first nine month of current fiscal year.
He stated that debt to GDP recorded 53 percent in 2008 however it has increased to 61 percent in Pakistan People Party era, with the government initiative it has again curtail to 59 percent of GDP.
While replying one question he said that if he would have been Finance Minister in June 2019 then Pakistan would not have any need to go to International Monetary Fund (IMF) for any loan.
He further said that foreign companies are seriously considering making investment in Pakistan because Pakistan has a cheap labor so this thing suits them.
According to international experts if the circular debt is Rs 320 billion than there is no need to worry, I read the news of increasing circular debt so I will surely talk to water and power minister on this issue.