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AM
Ashraf Malkham
November 22, 2017

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Fiscal deficit stands at 1.1pc, can touch 3.3pc

Fiscal deficit stands at 1.1pc, can touch 3.3pc

ISLAMABAD: In first four months of current financial year, Pakistan’s economy recorded fiscal deficit at 1.1 percent, which economic experts say is likely to go higher when final figures are compiled, whereas in previous year fiscal deficit had been recorded 1.3 percent, The News has learnt reliably. Finance Ministry officials told this correspondent that according to provisional figures, fiscal deficit has been recorded at 0.9 percent which is likely to rise 1.1 percent when final figures are finalised.
According to available figures available with The News, if trend continues, fiscal deficit would be 3.3 percent but government has to make huge payment in remaining period of current financial year, which may widen gap in between income and expenditures to higher levels. Though Finance Ministry officials are very happy over growth, inflation, remittances and FDI figures but trade deficit remained a problem as it recorded 41.2 percent, which is very high.
The News learnt that according to final figures compiled by different departments, Pakistan’s export in first four months remained $7.656 billion showing a growth of 11.3 percent as compared to correspondence period of previous year whereas import touch the figure of $ 17.395 billion with a growth of 26.7 percent. Overall trade deficit in first four months of current financial years remained $9.73 or 41.2 percent which is very high.
Sources in Finance Ministry told The News that remittances remained at $6.44 billion which were $6.30 in previous year’s correspondence period. This recorded a growth of 2.7 percent despite a crisis in Middle East. Then Federal Board of Revenue’s tax collection also showed growth of 19.1 percent. FBR collected Rs1034.4 billion, which previous year were Rs868.4 billion.
FDI, though vary, recorded a positive growth of 74.4 percent as compared to last year’s correspondence period. During last year’s first four months FDI remained $538.6 million and this year it went to 939.7 million US dollar. Large scale manufacturing recorded a growth of 8.4 percent as compared to previous year’s growth of 1.82 percent in same period. Number of registered new companies with the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan is encouraging which showed positive trend in coming days. In first four month 2432 companies were registered with SECP whereas in previous year’s same period 1485 companies were registered with SECP. It showed economic activity is increasing in country. The private sector was granted a load of Rs 20.5 billion in first four months of current financial year. In first four months previous year private sector had retired a loan of Rs 18 billion which was considered a negative development at that time. Agriculture growth is expected to be positive as import of textile machinery and textile machinery is increasing. In four months of current financial year a loan of Rs 155.9 billion was issued to agriculture sector which had been 104 in last year’s correspondence period. Inflation figures showed government remained successful in containing inflation figures at 3.5 percent which was recorded 3.9 percent in previous year’s first four months, The News has learnt.
When contacted finance ministry spokesman said these figures are encouraging. In coming days situation will further improve as new deposits will be received. He further stated that the only worry is trade deficit. It will reduce as result of PM’s export package will trickle down.  

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