Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s economy has grown at the fastest rate among all four provinces of Pakistan, says Dr Hafiz Pasha. Pasha stated this finding in his newly published book ‘Growth and Inequality in Pakistan’.
According to Dr Pasha, former Finance Minister and husband of Punjab’s current Finance Minister, Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Punjab has stood at second place behind KPK in terms of economic growth.
Overall, Punjab contributed the most to Pakistan’s GDP, sharing 54% of it, Sindh stood at second place with 30% contribution in economy while KPK and Balochistan were 3rd and 4th with 13% and 3% contribution to the national GDP respectively.
Growth Rates of Provinces
The above classification was based on economical sizes. In terms of economic growth provinces have grown as follows:
1. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
The province hit with terrorism and instability managed to grow fastest in terms of economy. KPK saw a growth of 5.1% in financial year 2016-17 as compared to 4.9% growth it had in year 2008. Most of the growth was contributed by remittances that people of the province received, the author says.
The transport for trades through the province also contributed to the economic growth of the province. KPK remained close to a 5% growth rate during the past 15 years which is the highest among all four provinces.
Punjab stood second behind KPK with a 4.6% economic growth rate during the last fiscal year. Punjab’s economy grew at an average rate of 2.9% from 2008 to 2013. After 2013, it managed an average of 4.6% growth in economy.
According to the book, Punjab’s economic progress was mainly due to the region’s strong agricultural growth. However, the book also states that structural problems are becoming a hurdle in the way Punjab’s agricultural sector.
Once the fastest economically growing province of Pakistan between 2000 and 2007, Sindh took a step back after People’s Party took over in 2008.
Sindh’s economic growth in the past four years averaged a growth of 4.2%, lower than the national average 4.5%. Main reason behind this reduced growth was poor law and order situation in the biggest industrial city of Pakistan, Karachi.
According to the author, Sindh only managed a growth of 2% after 2008. Before 2008, the province enjoyed a high 6% growth. The province also suffers a loss of around Rs 400 billion annually, Dr Pasha says.
The most mineral rich province of Pakistan saw the least growth in economy. The province was continuously neglected by the government as it only averaged a growth rate of 3.6% in the last four fiscal years.
The unstable security situation was the main reason behind lack of investment in the province. However, the province did manage to become the fastest growing agricultural region of Pakistan. Balochistan enjoyed a great market of fruits and vegetables during the past four years, the author writes.