Govt targets 5.8pc growth rate in 12th Five-Year Plan

ISLAMABAD: The 12th Five-Year Plan, drafted by the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), is all set to be launched with a projection of 5.8pc growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) during 2018-23.

According to officials of the Ministry of Planning, the five-year plan with 5.8pc GDP growth has been projected on the basis of 3.6pc average growth in agriculture, 6.1pc in industry and 6.8pc in the services sector. The previous government, when the plan was drafted, had projected the economic growth at an average rate of 6.7pc.

During a meeting at the planning ministry on Monday, it was informed that consolidation period of the plan is expected to be over by next fiscal year and GDP growth would start picking up from the current envisaged at 4.2pc to 7pc during the terminal year of the five-year plan.

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The meeting was apprised that a draft of the plan was ready and would be launched after an approval from the competent forum.

According to the ministry, during the plan period, the emphasis would remain on social sectors, poverty alleviation, job creation and improvement of governance in order to ensure transparency and overcome corruption.

Planning Minister Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar, who chaired the meeting, underlined that the plan should contribute to real economic growth covering all aspects to attain sustained economic growth.

The minister appreciated the macroeconomic framework prepared by the Planning Commission of Pakistan, as, according to him, the framework is based on consultation process involving all stakeholders including civil society, media, private sector, and the provinces.

As per draft of the plan prepared by the previous government, the incumbent government has forecasted that the growth in the money supply would be 15pc by 2022-23 with projected inflation of around 7pc during the period.

The tax-to-GDP ratio has been targeted to increase to only 15pc, the budget deficit has been targeted to be brought down to 4pc from 5.5pc of GDP, while the public debt-to-GDP ratio would be brought down to 60pc by 2023 from the current level of 70.1pc.

The total investment-to-GDP ratio is projected to grow to 19.6pc from current 16.4pc, fixed investment is targeted at 18pc, while national savings are projected to grow to 19.3pc of the GDP.

According to sources, the formulation of 12th five-year plan was delayed for the need of consultation with the provinces, as after the 18th amendment of the constitution, various subjects have been devolved to the provinces.

The five-year plan (2013-18) was completed in June 2018, and the next plan was needed to be launched on July 1, 2018.

Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan, Joint Chief Economist Rai Nasir Ali Khan, Chief Macroeconomist Muhammad Zafar and review committee members attended the meeting.

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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