’5.5% growth rate target for current year is unattainable’

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said 5.5 percent growth rate target for the current year is unattainable in the current set of circumstances.

The government will have to revise it down like the targets of investment, exports and revenue and economic managers will come up with excuses as usual. Government has improved growth rate, forex reserves and current account deficit but it has failed to widen tax base and reform bleeding public sector enterprises, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that manufacturing has improved due to additional gas provision to fertiliser sector, reduced prices of raw material and revival of construction industry while agriculture sector is braving heavy losses, notably that of cotton crop which has increased problems for textile industry.

Government has said that merger of stock exchanges will have very positive impact but opposite is happening on ground. However the international situation has also an impact which has pushed investors to pull back 735 billion dollars from emerging markets.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal expressed grave concern over increasing dependence over loans and feared that country would not be able to service debt in five years and it will have to dance on the tunes of western powers to survive. The solution of all ills lies in reforms which seems low on the priority list of the government, said Dr. Mughal.

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