Pakistan’s Economy is Seeing Growth: VP ICAP

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Pakistan’s economy is witnessing a positive trend of growth, with the GDP likely to increase by 3.1 percent considering the improved performance of agriculture and industrial sectors, this was stated by Ashfaq Tola, Vice President Institute of Chartered Accountant of Pakistan (ICAP).

He made these remarks while speaking as a chief guest at the pre-budget seminar at Karachi Press Club organized by the Council of Economic and Energy Journalists on Saturday.

The seminar informed about the initiatives introduced by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to minimize job cuts during the pandemic, subsidies to farmers on input cost, the launch of various schemes to support business, including export financing scheme and Long-Term Financing Facility (LTFF), which eventually worked to shore up the economic growth which ended up at recession last year.

Ashfaq said that the present growth number is based on estimations at the level of 2015 factor price. However, in terms of real GDP, the economic growth has been negative for the past three years.

He said that ICAP is working with the government to develop a mechanism based on assets and liabilities, which presents a maximum level of the accurate balance sheet of the country’s economic performance.

The real GDP should reflect the GDP growth, inflation, and employment rate, he said, adding that the target of taxation is highly ambitious considering the prevailing economic growth.

The government should avoid considering the tax amnesty scheme over and again, but the tax rate should be reduced in selected sectors, and FTA’s should be reviewed to support the local industries, he said.

He further said that the GDP-to-investment rate has been very low in the government, adding that the exports’ contribution to the economy should be enhanced from 8 percent of GDP.

The government, in collaboration with the private sector, should enhance the financial inclusion of the economy, which grew from 17 percent to 25 percent in the last five years. However, an average of 3 percent should be grown every year, he noted.

He added that the size of the parallel and black economy of the country is being ballooned, which should be addressed through administrative measures or strict enforcement of law in business practices.

President CEEJ, Raja Kamran, said the reporting of the budget and the economy is highly challenging and diversified in the media because of various views point of experts and economic managers.

He added that conflict of opinions among the experts and their views do not represent the true picture of Pakistan’s economy, which should be addressed by the working journalists through their capacity building and understanding of the issues.

Source: Pro Pakistani