Pakistan’s per capita income in US dollars has fallen to $1,568 in the outgoing fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23), down by 11.38 percent from $1,766 in FY22).
In dollar terms, the economy contracted as well, falling to $341.6 billion in FY23 from $375 billion in the same period last year. The staggering exchange rate depreciation and drop in real GDP growth rate culminated in a $33.4 billion reduction in the size of the economy in dollar terms in just one year, reported a national daily.
In rupee terms, the economy was worth Rs. 38.927 trillion in the current fiscal year, up from Rs. 38.814 trillion in FY22.
The National Accounts Committee (NAC) this week met for the first time without presenting a working paper, most likely owing to a rush in figuring out the desired growth figure. Changes were definitely made to the data, and the working paper could not be finalized at the last minute.
Several inconsistencies were detected in the NAC revelations this week, indicating that officials were unable to agree on correct valuations.
Despite negative growth of 3.2 percent in important crops, a negative growth of 7.9 percent in large-scale manufacturing, and a massive contraction in imports, wholesale and trade experienced negative growth of 4.46 percent.
The services sector allegedly experienced significant irregularities, meanwhile, another anomaly came to light when the government estimated that 1.8 million animals died in the severe floods, but the livestock sector grew by 3.78 percent.
Resultantly, the GDP growth figure for the previous fiscal year was reduced to 6.1 percent, while the number of services and others was increased for the current fiscal year to report a positive range. With this going on in the midst of everything, the working paper was unable to be tabled at the NAC meeting. According to the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) model, growth should be around 0.5 percent of GDP, but when the actual numbers were processed through it, gaps emerged.
Finance Ministry officials allegedly informed NAC that the growth figure had to be positive. Some sources even said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had no role in tempering growth estimates as he wasn’t party to meetings on matters concerning growth projections.