Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Pakistan spent $10 billion on imports if Food and Cotton last year ; Finance Advisor.

Pakistan, according to Shaukat Tarin, the Prime Minister’s financial and revenue adviser, has become a food-deficit country. It spent over $10 billion on food and cotton imports alone last year.

Despite the massive import cost, Tarin looked confident about the country’s economic progress. “We are expanding at a little faster than 5% GDP because our agriculture is performing well presently, exports are growing, crops, LSM, and revenues are all growing nicely,” he remarked.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) scheme, he claims, will not stymie our economy. The Fund wants Pakistan to achieve long-term growth, and we want the same thing. For 2021-22, the GDP growth rate would remain between 5% and 5.2 percent, he said, adding that he does not want to see GDP growth of 6% this year since it will be harmful to the economy.

Tarin, who shared the government’s aim, said the country is taking a bottom-up strategy and has devised a Rs1.3 trillion three-year economic package for the 4 million underprivileged households.

“Our tagline is “inclusive and long-term growth.” To do so, we must first achieve some fundamentals. First, we must increase our revenues; the current tax rate of 9% of GDP is insufficient. This year, we hope to increase by 5%, and next year, we want to grow by 6%. This year, our revenue has increased by 23%.”

We provide them with zero-interest agriculture loans, business loans, and housing loans, as well as technical training and insurance.

The initiative has been begun, and the good news is that it has been launched in KPK, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and five cities in Panjab and Sindh in less than a month. 8,20,000 persons have expressed interest, and 2,20,000 of them are now eligible.

These four million homes have been waiting for the trickle-down effects for the past 70 years, according to Tarin, but to no avail. Because trickle down reaches its lowest point if growth is sustained for at least 15 to 20 years in a succession.

“Unfortunately, we have become a food-deficit country,” Tarin declared Friday night as the chief guest at the CFA Society Pakistan’s 18th Annual Excellence Awards celebration at a local hotel. Wheat, sugar, and palladium are among the items we import.

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