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Finance Minister Aurangzeb unveils Pakistan Economic Survey for 2023-24

The finance minister said the country started off its journey to undertake reforms under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz.

Finance Minister Aurangzeb unveiled the Pakistan Economic Survey for 2023-24 at a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Aurangzeb accompanied by his economic team said, “There is no plan B, and if there was a plan B, the IMF wouldn’t be called a lender of the last resort,” while presenting the economic survey.

Key findings of the Pakistan Economic Survey for 2023-24:

  • Real GDP grows by 2.38% in FY24.
  • At current market prices, GDP reaches Rs106,045 billion ($375 billion), marking a 26.4% increase from last year’s Rs83,875 billion ($338 billion).
  • Per capita income increases to $1,680 from the previous year’s $1,551.
  • The investment-to-GDP ratio is 13.14%, down from 14.13% in FY23.
  • The agriculture sector shows a growth of 6.25%, while the industrial and services sectors each demonstrate resilience with growth rates of 1.21%.

“Pakistan rupee depreciated by 29% and the foreign exchange reserves went down to two weeks of import cover in fiscal year 2022-23 that is where we started off,” said the finance minister at the start of the presser.

The finance minister said the country started off its journey to undertake reforms under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz.

“I was in the private sector before joining the finance minister but at that time I was clear that Pakistan had to go to IMF because we did not have any option and that’s why it’s called lender of the last resort,” he added.

“If God forbid, we had not been in the IMF programme, we would not have been discussing the targets here and would have been in a very difficult situation.”

The larger-scale manufacturing growth was hampered due to the impacts of the interest rate regime and energy equation, the minister said adding that agriculture was the “saviour” backed by the bumper crops.

“Agriculture is going to remain a huge lever of growth as we go forward,” Aurangzeb added.

“On the fiscal side, as far as revenue is concerned, 30% growth was witnessed in the revenue collection which is almost “unprecedented” from the base where we started,” the finance minister said appreciating the provinces for delivering on their primary surpluses.

The provinces should be given due credit for fulfilling their commitment,” he said.

“Unless the provinces had delivered, we would not have been able to deliver what we committed to with the IMF under the 9-month SBA.”

The finance czar said during the three months of the current fiscal year, the current account remained surplus and added that the value of the rupee remained stable this year.

He said the caretaker government took measures to stop smuggling via Afghan transit trade and stop speculation of currency rates by the exchange companies.

“We are trying to prevent currency speculation from happening again in the country, the finance minister said referring to the reports that local currency will fall to 350 against the US dollar.

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