Jun 19 - 25, 2000
Economy depicts mixed trend
The performance of the
economy during 1999-2000 remained somewhat mixed with 4.5 per cent GDP growth rate and a
budget deficit of 6pc, thus making the job of the planners difficult in 2000-2001.
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz launched the Economic Survey 1999-2000 on
Thursday, claiming that signs of "modest turnaround" in the economy were
visible. "The budget deficit of 6 per cent (Rs180 billion), achieving economic
stability and restoring the confidence of the investors are the major challenges the
government is now facing," he conceded.
According to the survey, the GDP grew by 4.5pc as against 3.2pc last
year but fell short of the 5pc target. The achievement of 4.5pc growth was mainly
attributed to a better performance of the agriculture sector which registered 5.5pc
The overall major crops are estimated to grow by 9.6pc during 1999-2000
as against the target of 5.4pc, which has helped the government have a better growth rate.
The survey conceded that growth in the large-scale manufacturing was
almost zero due to 24pc decline in the sugar production. Moreover, the growth estimates of
small-scale manufacturing have also been downwardly revised to 5.3pc as against 8.4pc
It said that large fiscal deficit continued to pose a serious threat to
macro-economic stability. External resources to finance fiscal deficit have been brought
down from Rsl46 billion in 1998-99 to Rs79.3 billion in 1999-2000. However, domestic
borrowing rose from Rs31.6 billion to Rs104 billion which brought up the deficit to 6pc of
The domestic debt, as per the revised estimates, has been estimated at
Rsl,622.4 billion compared to Rsl,452.7 billion in 1998-99. On average the domestic debt
as percentage of GDP has been 44pc during the first seven years of the 90s which rose to
49.3pc during 1997-99. It further went up to 51.1pc in 1999-2000.
43.9 million below poverty line
The proportion of population below the poverty line in Pakistan has
spiralled from 17.8 per cent in 1987-88 to 32.6 per cent in 1998-99, states the economic
survey for 1999-2000 released on Thursday.
According to the document, the number of people below poverty line has
increased from 17.8 million to 43.9 million, signifying an increase of 146 per cent in 11
According to the basic needs approach, the poverty has assumed even
graver proportions. It increased from 28.6 per cent in 1986-87 to 35.7 per cent in
1993-94, but at a greater pace in the rural areas than in the urban areas.
Income distribution too has deteriorated, with the Gini coefficient
rising from 0.369 in 1984-85 to 0.40 in 1996-97. Another indicator of income inequality is
the share of the lowest 20 per cent and the highest 20 per cent of households in the
income which increased from 5.5 in 1986-87 to 7.1 in 1996-97, showing the worsening
situation of income distribution.
Manufacturing grows at 1.6pc
The manufacturing sector registered a growth rate of only 1.6% during
the first nine months of '99-2000 as against 4.7% in the corresponding period of last
Giving these figures, the Economic Survey, a pre-budget document of the
Finance Ministry which outlines the performance of economic and social sectors for the
outgoing year, described the performance of the manufacturing sector as
The state of manufacturing sector, which accounts for 17% of the Gross
Domestic Product, typically reflects the general economic recession characterised by the
lowest inflation rate (3.44%) in Pakistan's history due obviously to the sluggishness of
demand. Nevertheless, Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz tried to give a monetarist explanation
After growing at the rate of 8.2% in '80s, large-scale manufacturing
slowed to an average of 4.7% in the first half and further to 2.5% in the second half of
Revival of seven units approved
The Committee for revival of sick units has approved the revival of
seven such industrial units at its Wednesday's meeting.
Chairman of Committee Tariq Hameed said after the meeting that 14 units
were taken up by the committee which approved the revival of seven units, deferred
decision on five units while rejected two.
Hameed said among approved units, three are textile mills, other three
included paper and board units while one is chemical factory.
He said two of them were selected from previous deferred list while
five from the new one.
Rohri Cement bids
Privatization Commission will auction Associated Cement Rohri Ltd
through an open bidding process on July 15, a press release said.
Information Memorandum containing details about plant, machinery, land
and other assets being offered will be available from June 22 on payment of Rs300.
Serena diesel pick up, produced by China Gold Ox, has been launched and
is on display at a showroom of A.S. Group, says a press release. The pick up with 1,800cc
engine can sustain three ton load and can accommodate 16 persons.
Industry to be shifted on gas
The government has decided to shift the furnace oil fired industry on
gas within coming two years.
Petroleum Ministry sources told that Chief Executive General Pervez
Musharraf has directed the ministry to prepare feasibility report for shifting all
industry including IPPs on gas and reducing the POL import to two third within coming two
The decision has been taken with a view that Pakistan has substantial
gas reserves and after the development of recent seven gas discoveries, gas reserves would
5pc more value addition achieved
The eight state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under production wing of the
industries ministry produced value-addition at factor cost to the tune of Rs 10.7 billion
during 1998-99 which was 5 per cent more than in the previous year, according to the
annual report of the Experts Advisory Cell made available.