ISLAMABAD: On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that at a time when the global economy was being hit by the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan’s economy was recovering at a rate none-comparable in the country.
Chairing a meeting to examine the economic situation, Prime Minister Khan echoed the government’s commitment to strengthen the country’s macroeconomic status, in addition to maintaining its trickle-down impact on the population’s well-being at the grassroots level.
The prime minister also pointed to the extraordinary measures taken by the government for ease of doing business, according to a Prime Minister Office press release, and stressed going more in the direction of boosting exports.
Economic Affairs Minister Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiyar announced that the key measures, including the 1QFY21 current account balance of the country, had a surplus of $792 million against a deficit of $1,492 billion in the same quarter last year.
After 15 years, he said the high result of the current account balance had been reached.
He said the trade deficit for 1QFY21 declined from $5.791bn compared to $6.146bn in the first quarter of last year, reflecting a six percent improvement.
During the time, he said, despite the difficulties, exports retained their positive momentum, while imports were dramatically reduced.
In addition, remittances from employees were $9.4bn during the first four months of the current fiscal year which augured well for the resilience of the foreign account, he said.
During 1QFY21, unveiling the official foreign inflows, he told the meeting that $2.919bn was the same as $2.18bn the same quarter last year. That translated into a rise of 25pc.
He further reported that during 1QFY21, the foreign public debt servicing amounted to $1,752 billion compared to $2,519 billion in the same period last year. This resulted in a 44pc decline in external debt servicing, which was largely due to the government’s policy to effectively use debt relief from the G-20.
Khusru Bakhtiyar said the reserves retained by Pakistan’s State Bank had crossed $12,154 billion in the first quarter of last year, compared to $7,937 billion. The rise of 35pc was illustrated by foreign exchange reserves.
The prime minister commended the policy team’s attempts to boost the economic metrics.