The finance minister said the government wanted to control inflation “but prices are still high and affecting the common man”. He said even though the cotton crop did not perform so well, yields of other crops compensated for that, resulting in overall growth in agriculture of 2.77pc. “So the way to solve this is by increasing production and that is why we have focused on agriculture in this budget,” Tarin said.
Pakistan has recorded a provisional growth rate of 3.94pc in the first 9 months (July to March) of the fiscal year. “The government itself had set growth will be 2.1pc and the IMF predicted even lower.
But the decisions by this government such as incentivising manufacturing and textiles, construction, and interventions in agriculture have helped the economy recover.”
Tarin said large-scale manufacturing (LSM) showed growth of 9pc, while the agriculture sector growth clocked in at 2.77pc – against a target of 2.8pc – despite the “cotton crop getting ruined”. Tarin started out by underscoring the impact of Covid-19 in causing the economy to contract last year. But, he said, the decisions of this government under Prime Minister Imran Khan helped the economy stabilise which resulted in improving performance on the growth front.
Tarin, however, emphasised that this growth should not be based on borrowing. “Countries which had sustainable growth, they grew continuously for 20-30 years. What have we done? Every time we grow by borrowing money, which is credit-based growth.” “We will do interventions and take care of the poor. The poor man has been crushed in this stabilisation phase because the dreams we have shown them have been of a trickledown economy. And this can only happen when growth is sustainable and continuous for 20-30 years,” he said.
Tarin said he had told the prime minister it was time to focus on sustainable growth “until we go to 5-8pc GDP growth”. ‘Focus now on growth’
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