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Economic Survey 2017-18

Economic Survey 2017-18

According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2017-18, the services sector has recorded a robust growth of 6.43 percent during the last two years. The next to record a major impetus in the economic volume is the agriculture sector which has grown by 3.81 percent during the outgoing fiscal year. The overall growth momentum of the economy is recorded at 5.79 percent during the last two years, which the government claims is the highest in 13 years on the basis of a strong performance in services, agriculture, and industrial sectors. The economy of Pakistan is the economy of individuals where the government participation is a zero sum game. But it is claiming credit of growth on its so-called focus on the diversification of trade and exports. The government claims it has introduced new products in services sectors and ensured the GDP growth one of the highest in recent years.

The government had allocated education related expenditure at Rs699.2 billion in financial year 2016-17 from Rs663.4 billion in 2015-16. The allocations were mere 2.2 percent in FY2016-17 and 2.3 percent of the GDP in 2015-16. The Economic Survey puts the health services sector expenditures, both on the federal and the provinces levels, at Rs384.57 billion for FY2017-18 which were 31.75 percent more than the expenditures of Rs291.90 billion spend during FY2016-17. The National Highway Authority, which is the part of transport and communication sector, was allocated Rs305, 020.34 million in 2017-18, out of which Rs86,150 million were in foreign currency and Rs218,870 million as local component. The Pakistan International Airlines was given a four-year strategic business plan to improve its performance, but it is yet to be announced what achievements have been secured. The condition of the Pakistan Railways is not different from the national carrier, which is going into losses despite doing promising business. The government claims railway has improved its earning during July-Dec 2017-18 while the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation also earned Rs 902 million. However, experts do not see any visible improvement in the vital communication sector. It is yet to be seen what is in the government’s portfolio in real terms.