ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has revised up its economic growth rate for 2020-21 to 5.37% from 3.9%, the minister for planning and development said on Thursday. “The growth in 2020-21 was 5.37%,” minister Asad Umar said in a tweet, adding that the National Accounts Committee (NAC), a government body that reviews the economic indicators, had approved the revised estimate of GDP growth.
This is the second time the GDP rate for 2020-21 has been revised, from an initial 2.3% set in the 2020 annual budget then later to 3.9%. The country’s statistics bureau also shifted its economy’s baseline, which pushed the figure up further to 5.57%, a statement from the planning ministry said.
With the new 2015-16 baseline, it said, Pakistani total GDP has reached at $346.76 billion with a per capita income of $1,666. The Pakistani economy recovered between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, its fiscal year.
The South Asian nation’s GDP contracted in the previous fiscal year due to the global impact of COVID-19 shutdowns. For 2021-22, the country has set a target of 4.8%, but policymakers are hopeful growth will cross 5%. Umar said the revised number showed the second-highest growth in the last 14 years. The higher growth was mainly due to strong industrial growth between April and June, he said.
With inflation at 12.3%, surging food and energy prices have put Prime Minister Imran Khan under increasing pressure from the middle classes, his main base of support.
His government presented a mid-year budget earlier this month to end tax exemptions on a variety of sectors to raise $1.93 billion for the current fiscal year under IMF conditions. The IMF has made further budgetary tightening a condition for the revival of a stalled $6 billion funding programme before the next tranche could be approved in a board review set for Jan 28.