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Pakistan registers 5.3% economic growth in 2020-21, says minister

This is the second time the GDP rate for 2020-21 has been revised

Pakistan flag

Photo: ANI

Press Trust of India Islamabad
Pakistan on Thursday again revised its economic growth rate for 2020-21, this time from 3.9 per cent to 5.37 per cent.
This is the second time the GDP rate for 2020-21 has been revised, from an initial 2.3 per cent set in the 2020 annual budget to 3.9 per cent later.
Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar took to Twitter to announce the new growth data regarding the 2020-2021 fiscal, which ended on June 30 last year.
He said the National Accounts Committee (NAC), a body that reviews economic indicators, had approved the revised GDP growth estimate.
"NAC approved revised estimates of GDP growth for 2020-21. The growth in 2020-21 was 5.37%, he said.
The minister said the previous estimate was based on July, 2020 to March 2021 numbers, while the new data covers the entire fiscal year from July 2020 to June 2021.
"This is the 2nd highest growth in the last 14 years. Higher growth versus provisional estimates which were based on Jul-Mar numbers, was mainly due to very strong industrial growth in Apr-June, he said.
Separately, the planning ministry said that the statistics bureau shifted its economy's baseline, which further pushed the figure up to 5.57 per cent, and with the new 2015-16 baseline, the total GDP has reached USD 346.76 billion with USD 1,666 per capita income.
The government for the current fiscal 2021-2022 set the target of 4.8 per cent but it hoped to cross 5 per cent.
The rosy number, however, doesn't reflect the ground reality of raging inflation at over 12 per cent, which has made life miserable for ordinary citizens.
Meanwhile, the price of the US dollar could cross rupees 200 in the currency market in Pakistan after the imposition of a withholding tax on exchange companies by the government.
Malik Bostan, chairman of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan, said on Thursday that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has already started sending notices to the exchange companies for the tax payments in some cases even a billion rupees.
The same withholding tax was first introduced on exchange companies in 2014 but withdrawn in 2016 but Bostan said it had been reimposed in the mini-Budget as the government tries to lower its deficits and meet revenue targets.
He made it clear that the exchange companies were not in a position to pay the taxes and the added cost will only push the US dollar past rupees 200 in the currency market and the added cost will be passed on to customers.
We can only pass on the 16pc withholding tax to customers who will have to bear the added cost of up to rupees 20 per dollar. This will result in the exchange rate of rupees 200 or higher, he said.
The dollar on Thursday was trading at rupees 178.08 in the market.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 21 2022 | 2:14 AM IST

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