ISLAMABAD: There was a decline of 78 percent in total investment in the country during the first seven months of the current fiscal year (July-January 2021), decline growth of 3.5 percent in exports, and an increase of 6.1 percent in imports, according to the Finance Ministry.
As per monthly “economic update and outlook” of the Finance Ministry for the month of February 2021, portfolio investment declined to $153.5 million during July-January 2020-21 from $1.839 billion for the same period a year before (July-January 2019-20) and the foreign direct investment (FDI) decreased to $1.145 billion from $1.577 billion, reflecting a squeeze of 27.4 percent.
As a result total foreign investment (portfolio and the FDI) was down by 78 percent to $755 million in July-January 2020-21 from $3.438 billion for the same period a year before.
According to a State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) source, exports after a slide of 3.5 percent during July-January 2020-21 declined to $13.9 billion in the current fiscal year from $14.4 billion for the same period a year before, while imports increased by 6.1 percent to $27.6 billion from $26 billion.
However, as per the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), exports during Jul-January 2021 increased by 5.6 percent to $14.3 billion ($13.5 billion last year).
Pakistan’s exports grew by 8.8 percent ($2.1 billion) in January 2021 ($1.9 billion last year).
There was a slide of 3.1 percent in consolidated non-tax revenue during the first six months of the current fiscal year with non-tax revenue decreased to Rs895.3 billion in the first six months of the current fiscal year from Rs924.1 billion for the same period a year before.
There was a growth of 24.1 percent in remittances July-January 2020-21 compared to the same period of the last year following an increase in remittances to $16.5 billion in the current fiscal year from $13.3 billion for the same period a year before.
The fiscal deficit was recorded at 2.5 percent of the GDP in the first half of the current fiscal year (Rs1,137 billion) against 2.3 percent of the GDP recorded (Rs994 billion) for the same period of last fiscal year; however, primary balance was surplus by Rs337.2 billion during the period under review as opposed to Rs286.5 billion for the same period of the last fiscal year.
The Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR’s) tax collection stood at Rs2,572 billion in Jul-January 2021 as opposed to Rs2,426 billion for the same period of last year, showing a growth of 6.0 percent.
The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) authorisation was Rs476 billion till February 12, 2021 against Rs444.3 billion for the same period a year before (February 14, 2020), reflecting an increase of 7.3 percent.
The Finance Ministry stated that the key economic indicators are showing better performance, and the production of wheat crop is expected to be better this year due to the fact that it is now under cultivation as compared to previous year.
As per preliminary estimates, recorded area was sown at 9.2 million hectares against 8.8 million hectares last year.
This, with timely rain spells as well as favourable weather conditions and better farm management practices is expected to help achieve the wheat production target. Farm tractors production and sales rose by 54.7 percent and 54.6 percent, respectively, during Jul-January 2021, according to the Pakistan Automotive and Manufacturing Association (PAMA).
Credit to private sector witnessed a growth of 63 percent during July-February 12, 2020-21 to Rs291 billion from Rs179.2 billion in July-February 14, 2019-20.
Current account posted a surplus of 0.6 percent of GDP during July-January 2021 as opposed to negative 1.6 percent for the same period a year before.
According to economic outlook, prospects of economic growth are showing visible signs of improvement during Jul-Jan fiscal year 2021, which strengthen expectations about economic recovery.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021