Pak will achieve 5 pc GDP in next fiscal: Finance Minister

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Islamabad, May 23 (PTI) Pakistan would achieve 5 per cent GDP growth in the next fiscal year starting from July, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Sunday.

Addressing a virtual press conference, the minister defended the latest official statistics that suggested a provisional economic growth rate of 3.94 per cent in the current fiscal ending on June 30.

“Nearly 4 per cent growth figure has given hope that now we can achieve 5 per cent growth in next fiscal year (2021-22) and over 6 per cent in fiscal year 2022-23,” he said while playing down the criticism about the projected growth this year.

The National Accounts Committee (NAC) on Friday estimated 3.94 per cent GDP growth rate for the year 2020-21 beating all domestic and international predictions that the growth would be below 3 per cent.

It seems too good to be true as Pakistan registered negative growth in the last fiscal year. It prompted various opposition parties and their leaders to accuse that the official data was not realistic but Tarin rejected all such concerns.

“The 3.94 per cent economic growth figure should not be controversial because it has been worked out in a very transparent manner by the Ministry of Planning and the Finance Ministry has nothing to do with it,” said Tarin.

Tarin is the fourth finance minister of the government of Imran Khan who came to power in August 2018. He was appointed in April with the task to tackle inflation and expedite growth.

He said that the policies of Prime Minister Imran Khan about COVID-19 pandemic saved the economy because he opposed a complete lockdown in the country. He also appreciated the targeted approach to uplift housing, agriculture and export industries sectors. PTI SH AMS AMS