Country’s economy grew by nearly 5% in 2020-21: Asad Umar

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ISLAMABAD, (APP): Minister for Planning Commission Asad Umar on Tuesday said that the government was going to release final Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate figures of the fiscal year 2020-21 later this month, according to which the economy grew by nearly 5% instead of the 4% showed in the provisional data.

“The provisional figures of the fiscal year 2020-21 were based on the data recorded during the period July-March, but the last quarter of the year witnessed a rapid growth especially in Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) sector due to which the final growth rate ended on the higher side”, he said while participating in the debate on Money Bill in National Assembly.

Responding to the speech delivered by the opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif, the minister expressed the hope that the GDP growth by end of the current fiscal year would also surpass the 4.8% target and would be recorded at higher than 5%.

He said that the exports of the country recorded an increase of 28% during the first six months of the current fiscal year.

“Under the PTI government, the country is witnessing record exports, record remittances, record agricultural production, and record IT exports,” he said.

Asad Umar said the Information Technology sector’s export had achieved about 47% growth during the last financial year and the exports during the first six months of the current fiscal year had further increased by 38%.

The minister said despite the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government collected over Rs 4700 billion taxes during the year 2020-21 while it was going to collect more than Rs 6000 billion by end of the current fiscal year which would be 60% higher than the tax collected during last year of the previous government of PML-N.

He said that circular debt during the PML-N government was increased by 450 billion in one year whereas the PTI government brought the increasing ratio of the debt to only Rs 130 billion in a year.

He said that the revenue of the country’s farmers had increased drastically due to measures taken by the incumbent government while in the past governments; the poor farmer was in dilapidated condition.

He said that during the current year, the country would achieve record production of rice, wheat, sugarcane and maze.

He said that the support price of the crops had been increased by the government.

The minister said that the previous government of PML-N did not fully utilize the development budget in any of the five years while the current government surpassed the allocated development budget during the previous fiscal year.

He disagreed with the statement of the opposition leader who said around 6 million people were unemployed during the current government, saying that so far the final employment data of the country had come till the year 2018-19-the first year of the current government, according to which 2.3 million new jobs were created in that year.

He said that cheaper agreements were signed by the Prime Minister Imran Khan government.

He said that Pakistan was put under the FATF list during the PML-N government. He disagreed with the PML-N leader claims of supporting the government on the FATF bill, saying that he was 100% sure that the PML-N had opposed the FATF bill.

The minister recalled that during the last year of the previous government, the finance minister of the PML-N government Miftah Ismail had agreed on the flour of the house, to his claim that Pakistan’s economy was on the verge of collapse.

Responding to Shahbaz Sharif’s proposal of signing a charter of the economy with the opposition party, the minister asked that they ruled the country three times but did not sign any such charter of the economy and now on what basis they were advising the government.

He recalled that how the three-time Prime Minister had uttered such derogatory words about his political opponents especially about Shaheed Benazir Bhutto that could not be expressed on the floor of the house.

He said the current government was taking historical measures for the betterment of the poor segment of society.

Ehsaas Nashonuma Programme worth hundreds of billions of rupees, Kamyab Kissan Programme, Kamyab Hunarmand Programme, Rozgar schemes, and above all Sehat Sahoolat Card are few of those initiatives which are historical, he added.

Asad Umar said if the people would vote on the basis of merit, eligibility and honesty, the PTI government would win again in the next general election in 2023 and Imran Khan would be the Prime Minister in the next tenure as well.

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