Pakistan’s economy improved since PML-N came into power, Abbasi claims


— PM says core inflation decreased significantly over the past five years

— Says exports brought to same level as in 2013, imports increased from $33.4bn to $45.6bn


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday said that foreign direct investment (FDI), per capita income, total investments and capital markets have all grown since the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government came into power in 2013.

He said this while presenting figures for economic indicators from 2013 and compared them with 2018, in a press conference in the federal capital. He was accompanied by the newly appointed Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb.

Abbasi said that agricultural credit has increased from Rs259 billion in 2013 to Rs756bn in 2018, production of major crops including wheat, maize, sugarcane and rice has also increased over this period while efforts are being made to revive cotton production. He added that the inflation in 2013 was 7.75 per cent while the consumer price index today stands at 3.77 per cent. The PM said that food, non-food and core inflation have decreased significantly over the past five years.

He said that the government has been able to bring exports to the same levels as they were in 2013, despite the challenges it faced. Imports have increased from $33.4bn to $45.6bn, he said, attributing the rise to machinery imports and the recent spike in oil prices.

Remittances have grown over 40 per cent while FDI is three times its value in 2013, PM Abbasi said, adding that the per capita income has experienced a 23 per cent increase since the PML-N took power. Both public and private investment have increased over this period, he said.

According to the PM, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) stood at Rs46.5bn while Rs121bn have been disbursed this year. The beneficiaries have increased from 3.75 million to 5.63m and the monthly amount has been increased to Rs5,000, he said.

The prime minister said that the capital markets suffered because of political events after reaching a historic high but still managed to improve vastly. FBR collection was Rs1.505 trillion and is now at Rs2.919tr, he added.

The prime minister also said that the credit to the private sector was in the negative when the incumbent government took over but has now been brought to Rs527bn.

He said that domestic debt has increased from 42.5 per cent to 46.5 per cent and the external debt has fallen from 21.4 per cent to 20.5 per cent.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that Pakistan’s ability to repay the debt was also increasing with the increase in its debt.