ESP endorses govt’s success in FY 2022-23, foresees turnaround in economy: Experts

ESP endorses govt's success in FY 2022-23, foresees turnaround in economy: Experts

PESHAWAR, Jun 09 (APP): Economics and financial experts here Friday said that the Economic Survey of Pakistan (ESP) 2022-23 has endorsed the government’s success in different sectors during current fiscal year and said that a strong foundation was laid to turnaround the national economy and increase exports in days to come.

Professor Dr Muhammad Naeem of the Swabi University told APP on Friday that ESP has signified that the present elected government despite inherited economic and financial challenges, achieved significant progress and growth in various sectors including Information Technology, Tax, Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture sectors during fiscal year 2022-23.

He said it means that the national economy has started moving towards the right direction and continuity of economic and fiscal policies of the present Govt was imperative for repayment of all foreign loans and decrease dependencies on the international monetary institutions.

Citing ESP report, he said the IT sector has posted a trade surplus of $1.72 billion in July-March FY 2023, which showed an increase of 16.7 percent compared to the last year.

Dr Naeem said the collection of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) grew by 16.1 percent to Rs. 6,210 billion as compared to Rs5,348.2 billion last year, which was a positive sign for the economy.

He said the current account deficit during July-April FY2023 narrowed down by 76 per cent to $3.3 billion as compared to $13.7 billion last year that showed better policies of the government.

Dr Naeem commended the government’s financial team that managed to contain the trade deficit during July-May FY2023 by 40.4 percent to $25.8 billion as compared to $43.4 billion last year.

He said the Govt.’s tight economic and fiscal policies helped it to repay international commercial loans to the tune of $5,541 million, out of which $4,541 million were bank loans and $ 1,000 million was international Sukuk maturity.

Yousaf Sarwar, former president Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the ESP reflected the resilience and strength of the government to bring the national economy back on track in the face of unprecedented challenges posed by the Russia-Ukraine war, climate change and political-economic challenges.

He said the fiscal and external imbalances, high inflation and heavy loans burdens due to the past government’s poor economic policies, floods damage to agricultural land, livestock, roads, communication, energy and other infrastructure, affecting the output of crops and livestock have made an adverse effects on the national economy.

Dr Naeem said the government in order to maintain the foreign exchange reserves, have restricted imports during July-May FY2023 to $51.2 billion as compared to $72.3 billion last year, which reflected a decline of 29.2 per cent.

The Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment registered 8,29,549 workers for overseas employment in CY2022 as compared to 2,86,648 in CY2021 showing an increase of 542,901 workers.

The country’s agriculture sector witnessed overall 1.55 per cent growth as wheat production increased by 27.63 million tons (MT) by 5.4 percentage, maize production stood at 10.18 MT with 6.9 per cent surge, sugarcane production reached 91.1 MT with 2.8 percent increase, cotton production clocked at 4.91 MT with 41.0 percent increase, rice production remained at 7.32 MT with 21.5 percent increase and livestock sector grew by 3.78 percent increase during the said period.

Gulzar Rehman, former Conservator KP Forest Deaprtment praised Govt policies towards promotion of green sector, adding forestry sector having a share of 2.23% in agriculture value addition and 0.51% in GDP grew at 3.93% due to increase in Timber production compared to 4.07% last year.

He said the Federal Govt continued to provide funds to the billion trees afforestation project that helped the department to continue the plantations to plant additional one billion plants in KP.

He said the fishing sector, having a share of 1.39% in agriculture value addition and 0.32% in GDP, achieved growth at 1.44 percent compared to 0.35% last year.

Khyber Pakthunkhwa has plenty of natural sites for electricity hydel power generation and if properly taped the country could achieve economic, industrial and agricultural prosperity.

According to the survey report, the total installed capacity of electricity in the country is 41,000 megawatt, out of which hydel contributes about 25.8% whereas installed capacity of thermal, nuclear and renewables energy is about 58.8%, 8.6% and 6.8%, respectively.

During July-March FY2023, total electricity generation remains 94,121 GWh whereas hydel, thermal, nuclear and renewables generated 28.6%, 46.2%, 21% and 4.2%, respectively while total electricity consumption remains 84,034 GWh during Jul-Mar FY2023 whereas household sector consumes 46.6% of total electricity.

The experts underlined the need for expediting work on under construction Mohmand, Kurram-Tangi dam and Dasu Kohistan dams projects to cater to people’s growing energy demands and achieve self-sufficiency in food and agriculture productivity.


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