ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives is all set to share "disappointing" economic performance of financial year 2019-20 as compared to 2018-19 with the federal Cabinet which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday (August 4).
According to statistics to be shared with the cabinet, Current Account Deficit (CAD) declined by 78 per cent to 3 per cent in 2019-20 as compared to 13.4 per cent in 2018-19. The target of CAD as percentage of GDP for FY 2019-20 had been estimated at 8.3 per cent.
The data shows that exports were 7.2 per cent less during the outgoing fiscal year at $ 22.9 billion against $ 24.3 billion in 2018-19. The target for FY 2019 -20 was 26.2 billion. Imports posted a negative growth of 18 per cent at $ 42.4 billion in 2019-20 as compared to $ 51.9 billion in 2018-19. Target for 2019-20 was $ 53.7 billion. The figures show a reduction in the trade balance (goods) by 28 per cent - to $ 19.9 billion in 2019-20 as compared to $ 27.6 billion in 2018-19. Trade balance in services reduced by 43 per cent to negative 2.8 per cent in 2019-20 from negative 5.0 per cent in 2018-19.
The country's remittances registered a growth of 6.3 per cent - to $ 23.1 billion in 2019-20 as compared to $ 21.7 billion in 2018-19. The target of remittances for 2019-20 was projected at $ 24 billion, which implies that the target has not been achieved. Forex reserves increased by 29.8 per cent to $ 23.1 billion as compared to $ 21.7 billion. The value of dollar increased on average by 6 percent: to $ 1= Rs 165.1 from $ 1= 155.2 in June 2018.
On fiscal sector, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms has stated that tax collection (FBR) increased by 6 per cent to Rs 3.990 trillion in 2019-20 from Rs 3.829 trillion in 2018-19. However, FBR's target of Rs 5.555 trillion agreed with the IMF was unmet.
PSDP (RE) increased by 12 per cent to Rs 565 billion in 2019-20 as compared to Rs 502 billion the year before. The PSDP target for 2019-20 was Rs 701 billion. However, a reduction of 25 per cent has been witnessed in provincial ADP (RE). The releases of provincial ADP were Rs 382 billion in 2019-20 as compared to Rs 506 billion the year and the target for was Rs 912 billion.
However, the final figures of fiscal balance of July-June) and primary balance (July-June) have not been shared with the cabinet.
Planning, Development and Special Initiatives further states that the production of cotton bales declined by 6.9 per cent to 9.2 million bales in 2019-20 from 9.9 million bales in 2018-19. The target was 15 million bales.
The production of rice posted a growth of 2.7 per cent - to 7.4 million from 7.2 million tons. Sugarcane production declined by -0.4 per cent to 66.9 million tons in 2019-20 as compared to 67.2 million tons.
Large Scale Manufacturing stood at - 10.3 per cent in 2019-20 from 2.4 per cent in 2018-19. The target for 2019-20 was 1.3 per cent. Inflation (CPI) increased to 10.7 per cent in 2019-20 from 6.8 per cent in 2018-19. The target for CPI inflation was 8.5 per cent for 2019-20. Core inflation (June) in 2019 was 14.4 per cent as compared to 7.8 per cent in June 2018.
Credit to private businesses reduced by 87 per cent to Rs 77 billion in 2019-20 from Rs 583 billion in 2018-19. However, trade finance increased by 9 per cent to Rs 123 billion from Rs 113 billion 2018-19.
The cabinet will consider a summary of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA) for renewal of regular and charter licences of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) despite the fact the airline flouted ECC direction about clearing of current applicable charges.
Cabinet Division will seek cabinet's permission for preparation/dissemination of Pakistan's official map. CEO, National Information Technology Board (NITB) will make a presentation on performance of the organization.
Other items of the Cabinet agenda are as follows ; presentation/update on outstanding media dues, appointment of Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, implementation of gas development schemes under Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Program (SAP), re-constitution of Board of Directors of Korangi Fisheries Harbor Authority, Karachi, Islamabad Capital Territory Home-Based Workers Protection Bill, 2020, appointment of Chairman PCRWR, appointment of CEO, Universal Service Fund Company under Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunication. Prime Minister Advisor on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain will give presentation on institutional reforms.
The Cabinet will also show solidarity with the Kashmiri people who are facing a siege for the last one year.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020