SBP expects nearly 5% economic growth


KARACHI:

Even so, Pakistan’s central bank remains confident that the country will achieve higher economic growth of nearly 5% in the current fiscal year 2021-2022 and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will soon announce the resumption of a $ 6 billion loan program.

“The economy grew 4% last year (FY21) and is expected to grow nearly 5% this year, which is a welcome challenge for us,” the state bank governor said on Friday. Pakistan (SBP), Reza Baqir, during a speech at the Pakistani Banking Awards 2021.

“The Pakistani government and the financial adviser (Shaukat Tarin) have made it clear that we are very close to reaching an agreement with the IMF for the next review,” he said.

Baqir believed that achieving higher economic growth would not be an easy task since the country has experienced slow growth over the past two years. However, he said, the government and the central bank were ready to implement all measures to support economic growth without compromising the external economy.

“We want to take up the challenge of growth because over the past two years growth has actually slowed down and turned negative (during Covid-19),” he said.

The market discussed the sustainability of growth and “I would like to stress that at the State Bank of Pakistan it is our duty to continue it and we are determined to take whatever action we deem necessary to ensure that growth remains sustainable. . “

The most important point was the determination expressed by the government when it saw the way to go in partnership with the IMF. “It is also a fact that we have confidence in the direction of our policies,” he said.

Second, he said, Pakistan’s partnership with friendly countries would continue to support the country’s foreign economy.

Recently, the Saudi government announced that it will deposit $ 3 billion with the State Bank and provide additional funding of $ 1.2 billion for energy imports after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the State Bank. kingdom.

“This (the support of friendly countries) are the measures that will further support our external development beyond the commitment of the IMF,” he said.

The Pakistani economy performed much better than expected by the IMF last year. GDP growth, the current account deficit, foreign exchange reserves and external debt have all turned out to be in a much better position compared to IMF projections, he said.

The market-based exchange rate mechanism ensures the achievement of a sustainable external economy.

Posted in The Express Tribune, October 30e, 2021.

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