The government needs to reconsider its policies and figure out the factors that have constrained growth in the agriculture sector in the last four years, a recently launched report on province’s economy recommends.
In 2007-11, the average annual growth rate of agriculture sector in the province has been 2.5 per cent. The figure for rest of the country in this period is 2.7 per cent.
The report prepared by the Institute of Public Policy (IPP) at Beaconhouse National University says services has been the only sector in which the province has performed (slightly) better than rest of the country.
The average annual growth rate of services sector in the province was 5.1 per cent (over 2007-2011).
The figure for rest of the country is 5 per cent.
The report attributes poor performance in industry at least partially to electricity and gas shortages.
Overall, it says, the economic performance of the province during most of the current government’s tenure (2007-11) has remained poor in comparison to the rest of the country as well as the province over the previous five-year term (2002-07).
The average annual growth rate in the Punjab has fallen by more than half – the growth rate for 2007-11 period is 2.5 per cent and for 2002-07 is 5.6 per cent.
The growth rate for 2007-11 (2.5 per cent) is about 25 per cent less than the figure for rest of the country – 3.4 per cent. The report says public investment in the province during this period has been inadequate. This, it says, is reflected in the fall in the overall standards of physical infrastructure.
The province’s share in the national economy has declined to 54.9 per cent from 55.7 per cent share in year 2006-2007.
The per capita gross regional product (gross economic output of the province) for 2010-11 is estimated at $1,140. This, the report says, is two per cent lower than the average GRPs of other provinces for the year.
The report says slow economic growth in the province (in 2007-11) has been accompanied with a decline in its contribution to the federal revenue.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.