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Govt forecast growth of 4% for next year: Imran Khan

30 May, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said Pakistan faces an ‘unprecedented economic crisis’ as his government forecast growth of 4% for next year ahead of an austerity budget aimed at securing a $6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The new growth forecast for the fiscal year to June 2020 was approved during a meeting of the government’s National Economic Council (NEC) that signed off on measures including a five-year economic plan. “The prime minister during the meeting said that the country is facing unprecedented economic crisis,” his office said in a statement, calling on provincial governments to join forces with the federal government.

The NEC also approved the National Development Outlay 2019-20 amounting to Rs 1.837 trillion including federal public sector development programme (PSDP) and the provincial annual development programmes (ADPs).

The NEC meeting, headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan, reviewed Annual Plan 2018-19 and the proposed Annual Plan 2019-20. The meeting approved Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target of 4% along with sectoral growth of agriculture (3.5%) industry (2.2%) and services sector (4.8%) for financial year 2019-20. The meeting reviewed draft 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23). It was informed that main themes of the 12th Five Year Plan include balanced and equitable regional development; sustainable, inclusive, job-creating export-led growth; resource mobilisation and improving governance; improving social protection; ensuring food and water security, enhancing connectivity, promoting knowledge economy and clean and green Pakistan.

The NEC approved 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23) in principle. It was decided that the plan will be further fine-tuned, especially its implementation mechanism, in consultation with all the stakeholders.

The meeting reviewed Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19 and the proposed PSDP 2019-20. It was informed that PSDP 2019-20 focuses on new initiatives in the field of agriculture, information technology, higher education, science and technology and technical education and training. The meeting was informed that targeted interventions will be made in the less developed districts of the country to bring them at par with other parts of the country for regional equalization.

Ten billion tsunami programme, prime minister’s youth skill development initiative, rehabilitation of affected population residing along Line of Control, construction of Gilgit-Shandur-Chitral road and improvement of sewerage and sanitation in Gilgit, and development of merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are some of the major priority areas of the PSDP.

The progress report of CDWP and ECNEC from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019, was laid before the council. The NEC confirmed extension in powers of special forum for rehabilitation and reconstruction in erstwhile FATA till December 2019. The special forum, under the chairmanship of commander 11 Corps, was established by the NEC in 2016 for a period of two years for fast-track implementation mechanism for rehabilitation and reconstruction in the region.

The meeting approved establishment of Islamabad Development Working Party headed by the chief commissioner ICT and including representatives from ministries of finance, planning and other offices concerned. The IDWP will be allowed to approve development project up to Rs 60 million. The NEC also approved procedure for approval of program for results, development policy credits and financial intermediation programs.

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