MARKET ANALYSIS

INVESTMENT IN AGRICULTURE TO BOOST PAKISTAN’S GDP: ASAD UMAR

Planning minister predicts GDP growth to hit 4.8 percent in the next fiscal, citing government policies in I.T., agriculture and industry Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, he said that the government’s investments in the agricultural sector which would greatly benefit the national economy. Noting that the country’s cotton crop had been badly impacted in the past two years, he said the government had purchased high-quality seeds for next year’s crop, adding that the use of pesticides had also been encouraged, as there had been a great increase in international demand for cotton. “After consultations with all the provinces, we have concluded that Pakistan can produce Sindh, 6 million from Punjab, and the rest from other provinces,” he said. The minister noted that the livestock industry had been adversely impacted by the coronavirus, but trends indicated it would move toward normalization in the next fiscal year, and there would be visible growth in the sector. According to Umar, the government expects electricity consumption to grow by 6 percent in the next fiscal, adding that since a special package had been announced for industries, their power consumption had gone up 15 percent in the current fiscal. Growth is also expected in the gas, coal, and construction sectors, he claimed. “Exports are predicted to go up. This year they stood at $25.2 billion, and in the next year, they will move up to $26.8 billion,” he predicted.