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2018-19: All Key Economic Targets Missed – from Industries to Agriculture

ISLAMABAD: The PTI government has failed to meet targets in nearly all sectors and the economic growth in the financial year ending in June is expected to hit 3.3 per cent, well below the target of 6.3 per cent set by the previous government.

It is revealed in a report published by DAWN which, citing some details of the Economic Survey 2018-19, says a sharp decline was witnessed in the industrial sector that registered a growth of 1.4 per cent against the target of 7.6 per cent despite the fact that power generation witnessed an increase as several power plants and other power sector projects were completed.

Also, the manufacturing sector slid by 0.3 per cent and the large-scale manufacturing (LSM) showed a negative growth of 2 per cent against the target 8.1 per cent.

The service sector grew by 4.7 per cent against the target of 6.5 per cent, while the construction sector achieved the growth of 7.6 per cent against a 10 per cent target.

Delays in making key policy decisions by the government, including the one about going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package and those related to the construction and industrial sectors, created confusions among investors, experts believed.

The only achievement made by the government during this period was in the livestock sector that grew by four per cent against the target of 3.8 per cent though policies of the previous government at Centre and in the provinces played a key role in this regard.

As the agriculture sector grew by only 0.8 per cent against a 3.8 per cent target, the massive decline was mainly attributed to unfavourable weather conditions.

“Pakistan will miss the target of 25.8 million tonnes of wheat produce this year because of untimely rains and storms. Similarly, the drought-like situation in some areas of Sindh and Balochistan, too, had an impact on the overall agriculture sector,” said an official.

Cotton output dropped by 12.7 per cent against 9.86 million bales in 2018-19 due to shortage of irrigation water, use of low quality inputs such as inferior seed and fertilisers at the early stage of the crop and reduction of 12 per cent in sown area.

Rice crop, too, decreased by 3.3 per cent, sugarcane by 19.4 per cent against the last year’s production, while low water availability led to 3.1 per cent and 17.9 per cent reduction in the sown area for rice and sugarcane, respectively.


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