Missed tar­gets

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Ac­cord­ing to a report of the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, the PML-N govern­ment has failed to meet all ma­jor macroe­co­nomic and so­cial tar­gets it set in the 11th Five-Year Plan, al­though some progress has been made in var­i­ous sec­tors. The rul­ing party failed to achieve tar­gets even in ar­eas that were its fore­most pri­or­ity like elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion and con­struc­tion of roads. The Plan­ning Com­mis­sion eval­u­ated the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2013-18) as part of its prepa­ra­tions for the next strat­egy (2018-2023).

Av­er­age gross do­mes­tic prod­uct growth rate dur­ing the first four years re­mained at 4.4% as against the tar­get of 5.4%. Av­er­age growth in the agri­cul­ture sec­tor was 2.1% against the tar­get of 3.5%. The av­er­age in­dus­trial out­put was 5.1% dur­ing the first four years as against the re­quire­ment of 6.3%. The large-scale man­u­fac­tur­ing grew at an av­er­age pace of 4.3% against the tar­get of 6%. Sim­i­larly, the ser­vices sec­tor grew at an av­er­age pace of 5% against the Five-Year Plan tar­get of 5.8%.

The PML-N govern­ment's poor­est per­for­mance has been in ar­eas that re­quired struc­tural im­prove­ments to cor­rect past im­bal­ances. Un­der the Five-Year Plan, the PML-N govern­ment had set a tar­get to en­hance In­vest­ment-to-GDP ra­tio to 22.8% by 2017-18. How­ever, the ra­tio was only 15.8% by the end of the last fis­cal year and for this year the govern­ment has set a tar­get of 17.2%.Pri­vate in­vest­ment also fell far below the tar­get of 16.7% de­spite the bo­nanza of the Chi­naPak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor.

There was a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion in yet an­other crit­i­cal area of na­tional sav­ings to GDP. Against the Five-Year tar­get of 21.3%, na­tional sav­ings stood at 13.1% by the end of the last fis­cal year, which was even worse than the 2013 ra­tio of 13.9%.

Ex­ports had been tar­geted to in­crease to $29.5 bil­lion by the fis­cal year 2017-18 un­der the plan. At the end of the fourth year, ex­ports grew to only $20.4 bil­lion and for this fis­cal year the govern­ment has set a $23.1-bil­lion tar­get. Sim­i­larly, im­ports re­mained far higher than the tar­get of re­strict­ing them to $51.1 bil­lion. The govern­ment closed last fis­cal year at an im­port bill of $53.5 bil­lion. The govern­ment had tar­geted to re­strict the cur­rent ac­count deficit to 1.2% at the end of the fifth year of the Plan, but es­ti­mates sug­gest that this year again the cur­rent ac­count deficit will be more than 4% of GDP. Un­der the FiveYear Plan, fis­cal deficit had to be brought down to 3.5% of GDP - an area where the govern­ment also failed. Even con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mates put this year's es­ti­mated budget deficit at 5.5% of GDP, which will re­quire the govern­ment to bor­row more.

Un­der the Five-Year Plan, the govern­ment had tar­geted to in­crease over­all power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity to 37,272 megawatts. But the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion's as­sess­ment showed that the to­tal power gen­er­a­tion would be 33,000MW by June 2018. How­ever, this gen­er­a­tion will be suf­fi­cient to meet the cur­rent en­ergy needs of the coun­try. The share of green en­ergy in to­tal power gen­er­a­tion in­creased from 0.5% to 5%. But it was below the tar­get of 7%.

The plan sought to in­crease ex­pen­di­ture un­der the pub­lic sec­tor de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme (PSDP) from 3.9% of GDP in 2012-13 to 4.6% by 2017-18. In re­al­ity, the PSDP al­lo­ca­tion for this fis­cal year is equal to only 2.8% of GDP.Ac­cess to clean drink­ing wa­ter was 91% of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion, up from 2013 level but lower than the 93% tar­get. The net pri­mary en­roll­ment ra­tio was sup­posed to be 100% un­der the Five-Year Plan, which also re­mained below tar­get. The lit­er­acy rate had to be 88% but the last sur­vey re­sults showed it at 58%. In­deed, tar­gets missed in the so­cial sec­tors are the ones most likely hurt the com­mon man most.

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