- Rs150 billion earmarked for Public-Private Partnership
ISLAMABAD: The Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) approved a total of Rs1,100 billion, including Rs150 billion under Public-Private Partnership, for the development budget and to achieve the target of 3.5% growth rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the next financial year 2023-24.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal announced this while addressing a news conference.
The minister said that Rs950 billion of that budget has to be spent under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2023-24, while Rs150 billion have been earmarked for Public-Private Partnership.
Talking about targets for the next fiscal year, he said that GDP growth will remain at about 3.5%, agriculture 3.5%, manufacturing 4.3%, and services sector 3.6%. He said inflation is expected to come down from 29.2% to 21%, while the ratio of national savings is expected to rise from 12.5% to 13.4%.
He said that it was the previous government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that had earmarked a budget of Rs1,000 billion for the development project, while this amount was slashed to half by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, which shows that development had never been their priority.
He said that the exports of the country are expected to reach $ 28 billion this year, which may go up to $ 30 billion next year. He said that the imports are excepted to reach $ 54.5 billion during the current fiscal year while it may go up to $58.7 billion in the next financial year.
The planning minister said the PTI government, unwisely, allowed the import of luxury items worth $84 billion, which resulted in an enhanced trade deficit of $ 50 billion. He said that it was the turning point that brought Pakistan to the macro-economic crisis. He said the coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is striving hard to maintain and enhance the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
The planning minister further said now the country is heading toward stabilisation as a result of the prudent economic policies of the government, restoring confidence of the foreign investors, as well.
Highlighting the framework of the development budget, the minister said it consists of five Es, including exports, e-Pakistan, energy, environment and equity. He said the government is working hard to achieve desired results in these domains.
He said that the government would take measures to improve the agriculture sector, manufacturing and information technology to increase export of the country. About e-Pakistan, he said that the government would pay attention to digital technology.
About environment, the minister said that the government would also take steps and would spend on food security and water security and green smart technology to overcome the future challenges of the country. He said that the government would also launch projects about renewable energy including wind, hydel power, nuclear, and Thar power projects. He said that the government would also take measures for the employment of the youth and the empowerment of women.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023