Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum's (PBIF) president Mian Zahid Hussain has said that the country's economy despite many challenges performed better in the current fiscal year as compared to last financial year. "The economy braved challenges like energy crisis, natural calamities, political instability, law and order, war on terror, global slowdown and conflicting policies at home," he added.
Commenting on the Economic Survey unveiled by Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday, the PBIF chief said that three critical sectors of the economy - agriculture, industry and services - could not meet targets, while Federal Bureau Revenue (FBR) was set to miss the revenue collection target of the current financial year to the tune of hundreds of billions of rupees.
He was critical of low annual power generation which despite increasing by 1.94pc was well below the target and hence compromised business activities as well as the standard of living of almost all citizens. He said that imports outmatched exports in the current fiscal, while targets for investment and power generation could not be achieved.
Pointing out that current account deficit decreased to $1.36bn compared to last year's $2.93bn, he attributed it to low oil prices and 16pc hike in remittances, saying such a positive development also helped in containing inflation and providing opportunity to the central bank to bring policy rate to 42-year low at 7pc. Moreover, it was encouraging to note that finance, insurance, small-scale manufacturing, cotton ginning, livestock, fisheries and forestry showed good results in the current fiscal year, he added.