We may exceed our growth target: Aziz
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said that all the economic indicators suggest that the growth target set for the current fiscal year might be exceeded.
He was talking to a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with Dr Mohsin Khan, area director, Abbas Merakhor, executive director and others who called on him at the PM’s House on Monday, said an official statement.
The prime minister highlighted the high economic growth that Pakistan achieved last year as well as a substantial increase in rural income as a result of better prices for various crops. As a result, he said, rural poverty would start to decline gradually.
“The fiscal deficit has improved and external balance of payments was comfortable. The momentum generated last year is showing signs of strengthening of economy,” he said. “The current fiscal year has started on a positive note as tax collection, exports, remittances, FDI have registered growth over the corresponding month of last year. Water shortage notwithstanding cotton and rice crops are in a good shape and expected to perform better than last year. Construction sector is witnessing enormous activity, which is a healthy sign for the economy.” Mr Aziz informed the IMF delegation that the private sector investment was expected to rise substantially. “Accordingly, we expect that growth targets for the current year are not only likely to be achieved but we may exceed the target,” he said.
The prime minister said that it was the government’s objective to improve the standard of living in Pakistan. He said that the government would maintain continuity and consistency of policy to ensure continued economic growth and the consequent benefits to the people.
Mr Aziz also informed the IMF delegation about Pakistan’s exit from the IMF programme. He thanked the IMF and its staff for their support in Pakistan’s efforts to not only stabilise the economy but also take it to a higher growth level.
Mohsin Khan and Abbas Merakhor appreciated Pakistan’s economic turnaround during the last five years and hoped that prudent economic management would enable the country to achieve sustainable higher economic growth.