Pakistan. The wheat output is estimated to remain in the range of 26 million tons


Despite that growth rate of 7.5pc in production of cotton as it has gone up to 11.4 million bales in the current fiscal year, Pakistan’s overall growth rate is going to miss its desired target of 6pc and will touch GDP growth rate of 5.5pc for 2017-18.

“The cotton production has gone up from 10.6 million bales in last fiscal year 2016-17 to 11.4 million bales in the current fiscal year 2017-18, indicating a growth of 7.5pc. It is going to impact the agriculture growth rate as well as overall growth trajectory of the country,” official sources confirmed to The News here on Sunday but conceded that the country could touch 5.5pc GDP growth against the fixed target of 6pc for the current fiscal year 2017-18.

The production of cotton, according to the sources, achieved impressive growth in Sindh to the tune of 12.3pc, while in Punjab it stood at 4.8pc.

The wheat output is estimated to remain in the range of 26 million tons against the envisaged target of 26.5 million tons.

The Suparco monthly crop situation survey states that there was shortage of irrigation water supply for wheat crop during Oct-Jan period in Punjab and Sindh by 10.54 and 17.08pc respectively as compared to same period of last year. Thus farmers will have to rely on sub- surface irrigation water supply to meet wheat irrigation requirements, causing increase in cost of production.

The situation has been further aggravated with consistently increasing fuel prices in last few months. Similarly, off-take of nitrogen and phosphate in October-December period was decreased by 16.4 and 20pc respectively as compared to the same period of the last year. “This may affect wheat crop productivity” Suparco’s monthly crop situation, survey states.

After witnessing dip in last two months mainly because of delayed sugar production, the Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) posted highest growth of over 9pc in January 2018 and overall its growth in July-January period stood at 6.33pc.

Some questions have arisen after analysing data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) and Acting Member National Accounts of PBS Dr Behrawar Jan has claimed last week that he was thoroughly professional and would be able to give satisfactory replies to questions raised on national accounts figures presented during his tenure.

For instance, the growth of jute stood at 50pc in first seven months of the current fiscal year. The growth in cigarettes went up by 131pc in January 2018 and question arises that whether majority of people had started smoking or what happened to this effect. At a time when the Pakistan Steel Mills is closed down, the growth of billets stood at 42pc. The electric transformers and electric motors had achieved growth of 46.7pc and 155.9pc respectively.

Now the National Accounts Committee (NAC) is expected to meet within first two weeks of next month prior to announcement of upcoming budget 2018-19 in order to approve the GDP growth figures for the outgoing fiscal year. On the basis of these figure, the whole budget exercise will be accomplished.

However, in financial and banking sector, the currency in circulation stands at Rs142.278 billion from July to March 2, 2018, against Rs196.135 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year. The bank deposits stood at Rs119.018 up to March 2018 in the current fiscal year compared to Rs344.778 billion in the same period of last fiscal year.

The credit to private sector in current fiscal year up to March 2018 stood at Rs320.746 billion against Rs331.854 billion in the same period of last financial year.

The money growth (M2) remained at 1.79pc from July 1 to March 3, 2018, against 4.22pc in the same period of the last fiscal year.

Readers choice: TOP-5 articles of the month by UkrAgroConsult