ISLAMABAD, Jun 9 (APP): The government has envisaged Pakistan’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow by 3.5 percent in the upcoming fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24) with projections of 3.5 percent for agriculture sector, 3.4 percent for industrial sector, and 3.6 percent for services sector.
The services sector is also expected to accelerate its growth to 3.6 percent in the period under review while investment to GDP ratio is expected to increase from 13.6 percent in 2022-23 to 15.1 percent in 2023-24.
The agriculture sector is expected to grow by 3.5 percent with expected contributions of important crops (3 percent), other crops (3.5 percent), cotton ginning (7.2 percent), livestock (3.6 percent), forestry (3 percent) and fishing (3 percent).
According to the Annual Plan 2023-24, a budgetary document released by the Planning Ministry on Friday, the Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) would grow by 3.2 percent, mining and quarrying by 1.2 percent, small and household manufacturing by 8.8 percent, slaughtering by 3.8 percent, electricity generation and gas distribution by 2.2 percent and construction by 1.5 percent.
Likewise the investment to GDP ratio is expected to increase from 13.6 percent in FY23 to 15.1 percent in FY24 while fixed investment is anticipated to grow from 11.9 percent to GDP in FY23 to 13.4 percent in FY24 while national savings rate is targeted at 13.4 percent of GDP.
The wholesale and retail trade is targeted to increase by 2.8 percent, transport, accommodation and food services activities by 3.5 percent, information and communication by 5 percent, and financial and insurance activities by 3.7 percent.
Similarly the growth of real estate activities is expected to grow by 3.6 percent, public administration and social security by 3.2 percent, education by 3.0 percent, and human health and social work activities by 3.0 percent.
The country’s inflation is targeted to go down from 25 percent in FY23 to 21 percent in FY24 while the per capita income in rupee term would increase from Rs 388,766 in FY23 to Rs 478,040 in FY24.
The annual plan envisaged the country’s exports to grow up to $30.03 billion from $28 billion in FY23 while the imports would also rise to $58.7 bn from $54 billion with the overall current account deficit to expand to $6.012 billion in FY24 compared to $3.7 bn in the outgoing fiscal year. Workers’ remittances are also anticipated to grow from $28.1 billion to $30.5 bn in FY24.
According to the document, the government has also proposed trade reforms and initiatives to boost export and minimize the current account deficit. The initiatives include the process for enabling market access for many agro-products, duty drawback of local taxes scheme to be revised to enhance market and product diversification. Furthermore, the negotiations are also in progress with GCC, UAE, Eastern African countries, Korea, Vietnam and CARs to conclude Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
The government has fixed Rs 950 billion for the development projects under federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2023-24 besides an amount of Rs 200 billion would be spent through Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The national development outlay of Rs 1.7 trillion has been proposed for the upcoming fiscal year 2023-24 including Rs 1.559 trillion for the provinces and the rest of Rs 1.15 trillion for the federal government.
According to the Annual Plan 2023-24, the fiscal year 2023-24 is challenging and the revival of growth will depend on political and macroeconomic stability, external account improvement, supportive monetary and fiscal policies and expected fall in global oil and commodity prices.
In the PSDP 2023-34, the infrastructure sector, being the primary responsibility of the federal government, has been priority with over 52 percent share of Rs 950 billion followed by the social sector having 25 percent share, balanced regional development (AJK, GB and merged districts of KP) with 12.4 percent share.
The government has planned to undertake new important initiatives under the PSDP 2023-24. Prime Minister’s initiatives mainly include solarization of agricultural tubewells, the programme for small loans, Pakistan fund for education, support for IT start-ups, women empowerment, laptop scheme, green revolution 2.0, youth skill development, the establishment of institutes for sports, hepatitis-C Control Programme.
Other initiatives include women on wheels, the national multi-sectoral nutrition programme, one-stop service center for SEZs, flood protection sector programme and national centers for quantum computing, manufacturing and brand development.