Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday expressed hope at the upward trajectory of the economy and said the country has passed its difficult economic phase and is now on the path to prosperity with almost 4pc growth rate predicted.
“This country is now on the path to progress,” the premier said while addressing a ceremony for the commercial launch of Rashakai Prioritized Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Nowshera, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.”The economy of the entire country has started to grow,” he said and added that, “large scale manufacturing is growing rapidly, which is the biggest indicator of growth”.
“The economic growth rate has amazed even our rivals who previously accused us of destroying the country.”
Now, the premier added, they accuse us of lying. “I want to tell them, I didn’t come to power through the rigging. Unlike you, I’m the captain who brought a neutral umpire,” he quipped. “We achieved record growth in agriculture and made sure that the farmers are given their due share. We made sure that the sugar mills pay the farmers in full. “Pakistan, the prime minister maintained, also witnessed record increase in the production of wheat, corn, and rice and in the sale of fertilizer.” He further said the initiatives taken brought prosperity to farmers and those living in the rural areas were able to buy tractors, motorcycles, and vehicles. Imran further stated that Pakistan’s future is in industrialization. “Without industrial growth, a country cannot increase its wealth. “Regarding collaboration with China, he said, “It is a good omen for Pakistan to learn from a country with the fastest growth”.
He observed that the industrialization of western countries is built around the old model and Pakistan cannot learn much from them. “Our priority should be to facilitate the investors as much as possible, as it will bring more investment in the country.” Imran recalled that the current account, earlier in a deficit of $20 billion, was now in surplus. “But as our economy grows, pressure on the current account may increase and that will be a challenge.””Through such industrial zones, we can elevate our exports and that will help us avoid a current account deficit, ultimately avoiding a dependence on the IMF,” the prime minister said referring to the Rashakai SEZ.”We are now planning sustainable growth so that we never have to go to the IMF again,” he maintained. On the pandemic, the premier said, “Pakistan is among the four or five few countries in the world that managed to escape a difficult situation.” “The credit goes to the NCOC [National Command and Operation Centre] and our think tanks,” he added.
He further stated that the biggest decision was to avoid a lockdown as it would only cause an increase in poverty.The Rashakai SEZ is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), aimed at boosting investment and generating large-scale employment opportunities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.