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The Express Tribune

Published Date: May 15, 2015

Social, Economic Survey UN report praises govt. for economic upturn

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, says UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) 2015 survey.

“There is an 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,” said former chief of ESCAP Macroeconomic, Policy and Analysis Section Dr Hussain Malik while addressing the launch of the ESCAP Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015 on Thursday.

Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, NUST School of Social Sciences Dean Professor Ashfaque Hasan Khan also addressed the ceremony.

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% in 2015 from 5.8% last year.

According to the survey, economic growth in Pakistan picked up to 4.1% in 2014 from an average of 3.7% in the previous three years and growth was expected to rise to 5.1% in 2015.

The report said that inflation was on the decline and budget deficit was being contained and foreign exchange reserves have significantly improved and market confidence in Pakistan’s outlook seems to have improved.

Dr Suleri said that for growth to catalyse sustainable development, it was crucial to achieve macro-economic stability and to distribute its benefits at micro level. Renowned scholar Professor Ashfaque Hasan Khan emphasised the need to readjust the country’s fiscal and monetary policy to revive inclusive growth.

Launching the Survey in Bangkok, Dr Shamshad Akhtar, UN ESCAP Executive Secretary emphasised the need to promote quality growth and shared prosperity in the region.