Shaukat Tarin will be presenting Pakistan’s economic survey 2021

The minister opened his briefing in the press with a strong reference to the coronavirus pandemic policy of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

However, due to the Prime Minister’s policy of not imposing a full lockdown across the country, millions of unemployed were recruited due to his visionary policy. He said that many were lost when the pandemic hit Pakistan.

“It’s recovering from the economy,” he said.

Tarin said remittances in Pakistan had broken records, adding that $26bn had been crossed. He said imports recently rose with Pakistan’s economic growth, in particular food in the form of wheat and sugar.

“We’ve been a net food exporter, but we have now become a net importer,” he said. “We have recorded growth in our exports but have multiplied our transfers,” he added.

The Minister of Finance criticized the government’s debt growth. He said the debt increase in view of the fiscal deficit in the country was inevitable. 

He said, “From 2020-21 total debts have only risen by 1.7 trillion,” adding that compared to previous years it has declined enormously.

“I don’t say that our debt is growing is commendable,” he said. “You can see [the economics] slowly returning to stability,” he added. “I am not speaking.

He said both mobile and broadband subscribers in Pakistan have greatly increased, adding that the penetration of these services on the market has increased.

Tarin highly talked about the Ehsaas programme, saying it was described by the World Bank as “one of the world’s biggest and most successful” initiatives to alleviate poorness. 

He said, “Full credit goes to Sania Nishtar, but it’s not a small achievement to distribute cash to 15 minutes.”

The Minister of Finance told the Prime Minister that he had talked about moving Pakistan towards growth. “When is the country going to stabilize? If we do not move towards a 5% growth target” It won’t get jobs from our young people,” he added.

Tarin said that Turkey, China and India have experienced sustainable economic growth in the last 20-30 years. He says that the government will move towards policies to target growth. “When did it not grow?” “We have obtained loans and credits for the last few decades.”

He said the man in Pakistan was struggling, since commercial banks did not meet and give them loans.

“The poor are going to be ‘number one priority’ to us in this growth and this growth will trick them down,” he said.

Tarín talked about the IT sector and said they had recorded an increase of 40%, but he planned to increase by 100% by the next budget. 

“India earned $1 billion in IT exports in 2010, now it earns $100bn. Can we not grow our IT industry by 40 or 50 times if they can grow 100 times?” he asked.

Tarin spoke about the electricity sector. He said Pakistan’s economy had been over capacitated because of its power sector overcapacity, saying that for Pakistan it was ‘a very big problem and a black hole.’

“As a result, we must continue paying for capacity,” he said.

Pakistan has invited Chinese businessmen to operate in Pakistan’s Special Economic Zones and added that the government is making every effort to secure the arrival and installation of Chinese manufacturers in the SEZs.

“We also want to earn dollars as well,” he said.

Earlier, the finance minister called on PM Imran Khan where he spoke to him about the survey. The meeting was also attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister Waqar Masood on Revenue.

What is shown by Pakistan’s economic survey?

The 2021-21 Economic Survey will highlight the key economic performance characteristics in the financial year ahead. It will claim TDL at Rs45 billion by the end of March 2021 compared with Rs44.6 trillion by the end of June 2020. The TDL is expected by the end of March 2021.

This means a 2% growth for nine months, the lowest growth ever for TDL in 15 years in a single year. In this period, total government debt grew by 1.5%.

Multilateral and bilateral sources have played a major role within external sources. In comparison with GDP 103 percent in the same period last year, total debt and liabilities amounted to 95.3 percent of GDP at the end of the third quarter 2020-21. Thus, overall debt and liabilities fell by nearly 8% over a year.

Zainab Murtaza

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