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Muhammad Saleh Zaafir

The News

Published Date: May 15, 2015

Economic growth to improve: report

ISLAMABAD: The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015 has predicted that the economic growth of Pakistan is expected to improve in the coming years, partly due to government’s major efforts to address electricity shortages and other infrastructural bottlenecks.

However, there is urgent need to make this growth more inclusive and broad-based by spreading its benefits to all parts of the country and segments of society. The report was submitted by Dr Muhammad Hussain Malik, former Chief ESCAP Macroeconomic, Policy and Analysis Section, who presented the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015 in Islamabad Thursday at the UN Information Centre together with Professor Ashfaque Hasan Khan, Dean School of Social Sciences at NUST, and Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

The survey titled Making Growth More Inclusive for Sustainable Development shows that growth in the region’s developing nations will increase only slightly, to 5.9 percent in 2015 from 5.8 per cent last year, with no significant change expected in 2016. In Pakistan, economic growth picked up to 4.1% in 2014 from average of 3.7% in the previous 3 years. Growth is expected to rise to 5.1% in 2015. Inflation is on the decline and budget deficit is being contained.

Professor Ashfaque Hasan Khan noted that Pakistan’s economic growth has slowed down considerably over the last several years, giving rise to youth unemployment. He emphasised the need to readjust the country’s fiscal and monetary policy to revive inclusive growth.

Dr Suleri said that for growth to catalyse sustainable development it is crucial to achieve macro-economic stability and to distribute its benefits at micro level.