Country’s economic indicators show strong performance: Khusro Bakhtyar

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Khusro Bakhtyar has said that Pakistan’s key economic indicators are showing a strong performance despite challenges posed by the second wave of Covid-19 and depressed economic conditions in many regions globally.

According to the statement issued by the EAD, current account imbalances inherited from the previous government stand firmly addressed while the country’s current economic performance is remarkable in the context of sharp growth contraction worldwide.

The minister said that the government remains confident that GDP will surpass the growth target by June 2021, setting the stage for much higher growth the following year.

He said that the current account balance for 4MFY21 registered a surplus of $1.2 billion against a deficit of $1.4bn in the same period of last year. “This strong performance of current account balance has been achieved after 17 years,” he added. 

Meanwhile, workers’ remittances during the first four months of FY21 stood at $9.4 bn against $7.5 bn of the last year, registering a growth of 26.5pc which the minister said was good for external account stability.

“Such excellent growth in workers remittances has been achieved by a combination of policy measures that include anti-money laundering regulations and incentives for promotion of financial transactions through the formal banking system”, Khusro added.

Speaking about the increase in foreign direct investment (FDI), Khusro said that increase in FDI reflects return confidence of international investors and growing optimism about the economic future of the country.

He said that official external inflows during 4MFY21 stand at $3.2bn against $2.5 bn against the corresponding period last year, showing an increase of 28pc increase which would help strengthen the forex reserves. 

The EAD minister also said that the government’s planned external inflows are more than sufficient to cover upcoming payments. 

Similarly, he said that the Pak rupee also appreciated about 4.9pc in the last five months and has been declared third best performing currency in Asia.

Moreover, Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) continues to rebound, expanding by 4.8pc YoY in Q1FY21, against a contraction of 5.5pc in the corresponding period last year.

He stated that the growth in LSM is largely supported by the premier’s package for the construction industry as well as special measures announced for the industrial sector to fend off additional costs caused by Covid-19.

“Evidence of returning momentum can be seen from growing production of cement, textile, automobile and home appliances,” he said.

It may be mentioned here that the Asian Development Bank (ADB), during a recent meeting of its Board of Directors (BoD), had acknowledged the Pakistani government’s ongoing efforts to ensure stability which have started showing encouraging results despite the Covid-19 challenge.

On December 4, the regional development bank had also disbursed $300 million for budgetary support under the Trade and Competitiveness Programme, reflecting international financial institutions’ confidence in the government’s reform agenda for sustainable growth.



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