The Government remained focused on maintaining macroeconomic stability, growth, mobilizing domestic resources and increasing exports, balanced regional development and providing safety nets for the vulnerable groups. Despite numerous challenges, the economy performed better in 2011-12 than many developed and Developing economies. These included sharp increase in fuel and commodity prices, recessionary trend globally and weak inflows. Domestically, economy was struck by heavy rains in Sindh and parts of Balochistan costing $ 3.7 billion. Notwithstanding these challenges, the Gross Domestic Product growth this year is estimated at 3.7 percent as compared to 3.0 percent last year.

In comparison, the global recovery is threatened by intensifying strains in the euro area and fragilities elsewhere. International Monetary Fund has maintained its growth forecast of 2.1 percent for United States in the year 2012, negative 0.3 percent for Euro area, 0.8 percent for United Kingdom, 5.7 percent for Emerging and Developing Economies after factoring China (8.2 percent) and India (6.9 percent) and 2.0 percent for Japan.

Despite global slowdown, Pakistan has managed to maintain its exports during July-April 2012 to last year’s level which saw a phenomenal growth. Remittances remained buoyant and estimated at close to $ 13 billion, an increase of 16 percent. Recessionary trend globally have, however, impacted capital flows to Pakistan. Current account balance was affected due to sharp increase in oil prices and import of 1.2 million metric tons of fertilizer.

Tax measures enforced by the Government in April 2011 has yielded dividend. July-April 2012 growth in FBR tax revenues demonstrated a growth of 24 percent with Rs. 1445 billion as compared to 1250 billion last year. Efforts are underway to reach the ambitious target of 1952 billion. Non-tax receipts have been less due to non disbursement of anticipated coalition support funds and delaying the expected auction of 3 G license to a later part of summer.

Growth and Stabilization

The economy is now showing signs of modest recovery. GDP growth for 2011-12 has been estimated 3.7 percent as compared to 3.0 percent in the previous fiscal year 2011. The Agriculture sector recorded a growth of 3.1 percent against 2.4 percent last year. The Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) growth is 1.1 percent during July-March 2011-12 against 1.0 percent last year. Overall, the commodity producing sectors and especially the Agriculture sector have performed better. The Services sector recorded growth of 4.0 percent in 2011-12.

Flood Impact Assessment

This performance has been achieved despite severe monsoon rains triggered floods of an unprecedented scale in Southern Pakistan,engulfing 23 districts of Sindh Province and adjoining areas of northern Balochistan causing damages to crops, infrastructure and human settlements, thus adversely affecting national economy.According to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Damage and Needs Assessment (DNA) Report, approximately, 9.6 million people were affected in Sindh and Balochistan as a result of these rains. The total damages estimated to Agriculture, Energy,Transport and Communication, Health,Environment as well as the Forestry, Water Supply and Sanitation amount to Rs. 324.5 billion (US$3.7 billion).The rehabilitation and Cost of recovery is estimated at Rs. 239 billion (US$ 2.8 billion).This is in addition to damages of $ 10 billion to the economy during 2010 floods.

Commodity Producing Sector: The commodity producing sector has performed better in the outgoing fiscal year as compared to last year. Its growth rate this year was 3.3 percent against 1.5 percent during last year.

Agriculture Sector is a key sector of the economy and accounts for 21 percent of GDP. The supportive policies of the government resulted in a growth of 3.1 percent against 2.4 percent last year.Major Crops registered an accelerating growth of 3.2 percent compared to a negative growth of 0.2 percent last year. The major crops including Cotton, Sugarcane and Rice witnessed growth in
production of 18.6 percent, 4.9 percent and 27.7 percent respectively. However, preliminary estimates of wheat production showed a negative growth due to late receding of flood waters in lower Sindh which hampered the timely cultivation of the wheat crop. Livestock has witnessed a marginally higher growth of 4.0 percent against the growth of 3.97 percent last year. Fisheries sector showed a growth of 1.8 percent. Forestry recorded a growth of 0.95 percent as compared to the contraction of 0.40 percent last year.

Manufacturing Sector: The growth of the manufacturing sector is estimated at 3.6 percent compared to 3.1 percent last year. Small scale manufacturing maintained its growth of last year at 7.5 percent and slaughtering growth is estimated at 4.5 percent against 4.4 percent last year. Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) has shown a growth of 1.1 percent during July-March 2011-12 against 1.0 percent last year. The Construction Sector has shown 6.5 percent growth as compared to negative growth of 7.1 percent last year. Mining and
Quarrying sector recorded a positive growth of 4.4 percent during July-March of the fiscal year 2011 12 against negative growth of 1.3 percent last year.Electricity and gas distribution witnessed anegative growth of 1.6 percent against – 7.3 percent last year.

Services Sector: The Services sector has registered a growth rate of 4.0 percent during July-March of the fiscal year 2011-12 against 4.4 percent last year. It is dominated by Finance and Insurance at 6.5 percent, Social and Community Services 6.8 percent and Wholesale and Retail Trade 3.6 percent.

Consumption: Real private consumption grew at 11.6 percent in fiscal year 2011-12 as compared to 3.7 percent growth last year and real government consumption grew at 8.2 percent as compared to 5.2 percent last year. Private consumption expenditure has reached 75 percent of GDP; whereas public consumption expenditures are 13 percent of GDP. Private consumption has increased on the back of sustained growth in remittances. Total consumption has reached 88.4 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2011-12 as compared
to 83 percent last fiscal year. Furthermore, increase in rural income due to higher production of crops and sharp increase in commodity prices also supported the consumption demand.

Per capita real income grew at 2.3 percent in 2011-12 as compared to 1.3 percent growth last year. In dollar terms, it increased from $ 1258 in 2010-11 to $ 1372 in 2011-12.

Real Investment has declined from 13.1 percent of GDP last year to 12.5 percent of GDP in 2011- 12; fixed investment has declined to 10.9 percent of GDP in 2011-12 from 11.5 percent of GDP last year. Similarly Private investment also contracted to 7.9 percent of GDP in 2011-12 as compared to 8.6 percent of GDP last year. Public investment as a percent of GDP is 3.0 percent in 2011-12 against
the 2.9 percent last year. National savings are 10.7 percent of GDP in 2011-12 as compared to 13.2 percent in 2010-11.

Foreign Direct Investment stood at $ 668 million during July-April 2011-12 as against $ 1293 million last year. The capital flows were affected because of global financial crunch and euro zone crisis. Oil and Gas Exploration remained the major sector for foreign investors. The share of Oil and Gas Exploration in total FDI during July-April 2011-12 stood at 70 percent.

Workers’s Remittances witnessed a strong growth of 25.8 percent in 2011 over the previous year 2010. During July-April 2011-12, worker’s remittances grew by 20.2 percent at $ 10.9 billion. The buoyancy in remittances is largely attributed to the government’s efforts to divert remittances from informal to formal channel. Data on remittances suggests that the monthly average for the period of July-April 2011-12 stood at $ 1.09 billion compared to $ 0.90 billion during the corresponding period last year. The upsurge in the
remittances is attributed to the government’s efforts of redirecting these flows from informal to formal channels.

Fiscal Development: The Medium Term Budgetary Framework has improved the budget preparation process. Medium-term fiscal
framework and budget policies have been incorporated into a medium-term Budget Strategy Paper on rolling basis, which include medium-term indicative budget ceilings for the recurrent and development budgets, and provides an opportunity to discuss the budget between technical and political levels prior to the presentation of the annual budget. The political level involvement includes Cabinet, Standing Committees on Finance & Revenue, and political parties. The Output Based Budget (OBB) has also been institutionalized in the federal government which presents policies of the ministries in the shape of goals, outcomes, outputs and medium-term budgets. The OBB also presents key performance indicators for the outputs to introduce government wide monitoring system.

18th amendment in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was an historic step forward abolishing the concurrent list transferring additional functions to the Provinces. It was combined with a path breaking 7th National Finance Commission Award in 2010. In addition, the Government resolved long standing demands of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa relating to Net Hydel Profit and Royalty and Gas Development Surcharge of Sindh and Balochistan. The award also acknowledged multiple criteria for transfer of resources. Share of Balochistan has increased from 5.1 to 9.0 percent. Likewise, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been assigned 1 percent of the total divisible pool to mitigate the impact of campaign against extremism. This has allowed transfer of 70 percent of the divisible pool to the provinces and FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan. During the last two years, Federal Government has transferred over Rs. 800
billion additional over 2009-10 resource transfer of Rs. 633 billion. This should help the provinces to earmark more resources to social sectors and development of infrastructure.

Government continued its efforts to broaden the tax base and simplifying the tax structure. Efforts are underway to move towards two main taxes, i.e. income tax and sales tax. As a result, Special Excise Duties and Regulatory Duties have been abolished. A three years plan to phase out Federal Excise Duties is under implementation. Capital Gain Tax has been levied on sales of securities in the stock exchange. Sales tax exemptions and zero ratings have been withdrawn on all items including textile, leather, fertilizer, pesticides, sports goods and tractors except food items, health, education and agriculture produce. The Government has strengthened automated e-filing and electronic payment and refund system to ensure expeditious settlement of refund claims expeditiously. For this, a centralized sales tax refund cheque issuance system is now operational in the Federal Board of Revenue. Broadening the tax base identifying potential taxpayers has remained a key focus for which a dedicated unit has been established in the FBR. These efforts are now paying dividend. Federal Board of Revenue target for 2011-12 was set at Rs. 1952 billion. During first ten months, tax collection stood at Rs. 1,426.0 billion against Rs. 1,149.8 billion in the comparable period of last year, showing an increase of 24 percent. It does not include Rs. 19 billion collected by Sindh province on GST on services.

Efforts are being made to manage the fiscal deficit within acceptable level through an expenditure management strategy, austerity measures and reforms in public sector enterprises. The government is committed to simplification of tax regime, broadening the tax and mobilizing domestic resources. The operational expenditure of the federal ministries was reduced by 20 percent. A general ban was placed on recruitment and purchase of durable goods. Official transport assigned to entitled officers of BPS-20 to 22 was monetized to reduce expenditure on POL and repair and maintenance as well as drivers. Subsidy expenditure was rationalized. As a result of these efforts, overall fiscal deficit was at 5.0 percent of GDP in July-April 2012 against 5.5 percent of GDP of the comparable period of last year. It is noteworthy that containing the deficit during the period under review was quite challenging as the burden of financing fell directly on domestic sources due to the non materialization of external inflows.

Unlike the past, it was for the first time in many years that Public Sector Development Program did not face any cut. Despite huge financial constraints, the Government made a special effort to fully fund the PSDP. Accordingly, Rs. 304 billion were released that facilitated in completion of 200 projects. The Government efforts can be gauged from the fact that Rs. 2.2 trillion were provided during the last four years for PSDP.

Money and Credit: The SBP lowered the discount rate by cumulative 200 bps points to 12 percent during the first half of fiscal year 2011-12 in line with inflationary trend in the country. During the first eleven months of the current fiscal year (June 2011-11th May 2012) broad money (M2) witnessed an expansion of 9.1 percent as compared to 11.47 percent as compared to last year. The deceleration in money supply is primarily driven by the significant fall in the Net Foreign Assets of the banking system along with increased government borrowing and a one-off settlement of circular debt. Net Domestic Assets (NDA) during July 2011 – 11th May 2012 stood at Rs. 880.9 billion against Rs. 481.6 billion during the same period last year. The expansion in NDA is mainly contributed by a rise in demand for private sector credit and government borrowings. Conversely, Net Foreign Assets (NFA) witnessed a contraction. During July2011-11th May, 2012, credit to the private sector witnessed a net increase of Rs. 234.8 billion compared to Rs. 107.8 billion in the same period last year. Year-on-year growth in private sector credit was up 7.5 percent by 11th May, 2012.

The weighted average lending rate (including zero mark-up) on outstanding loans stood at 12.8 percent while the weighted average deposit rate (including zero mark-up) stood at 6.98 percent in March 2012. This resulted in a spread of 5.8 percent. The decline in the weighted average lending rate is due to the lag involved in contracting fresh loans in the new declining interest rate environment and the decline in banks return on government securities. It is pertinent to mention that since the SBP was following a tight monetary policy till August 2011 and the interest rates were moving up, the banking spread remained high.

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