Finance Ministry has created misplaced hype about the Economic Survey 2014-15 yet another year by locking down the Ministry of Finance and the Printing Corporation of Pakistan (PCP) for media to avoid any leakage before the Finance launch of the document by Finance Minister even though ministries have shared most of the macroeconomic data with the press.
A senior official of Finance Ministry said the Economic Survey does not add anything new to the figures widely available as all the economic indicators for the period are already available on the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics websites. He added that economic figures have also been shared with the Planning Commission which enabled it to prepare the working paper, dated 26 May, for the Annual Plan Co-ordination Committee (APCC).
The APCC meeting chaired by Minister for Planning and Development and attended by the Finance and Planning and Development Ministers of the provinces has reviewed the figures and subsequently forwarded them to the National Economic Council (NEC) that was chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by Chief Ministers of the provinces for approval on 1 June 2015.
The government has missed growth target for the current fiscal year by 0.9 percent as growth would remain at 4.2 percent against the target of 5.1 percent on the back of performance below the projected targets for the current fiscal year by all the sector of the economy. Agriculture sector''s growth is now expected at 3.2 percent against the target of 4.9 percent, industrial sectors at 3.6 percent against the target of 6.6 percent and services'' 5 percent against the target of 5.3 percent. Growth in important crops remained 0.4 percent below the projected target while growth in other crops turned out to be below target by 2.2 percent and cotton ginned lower by 1.9 percent. Growth in large scale manufacturing remained 2.4 percent lower against a 7 percent target projected in the budget for the current fiscal year. Electricity generation and gas distribution posted the figures of 1.9 percent against the target of 5 percent.
An official said that although the fiscal deficit figures would not be included it would remain over 5 percent for the current fiscal year against the target of 4.9 percent for a number of reasons, including a shortfall in revenue collection and contraction in the GDP size. Inflation would remain at 4.8 percent against the target of 8 percent.