ISLAMABAD: The National Economic Council (NEC) has approved an annual plan for the next fiscal year with a growth rate of 4.3% and a national development outlay of Rs873 billion including Federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) of Rs360 billion.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, senior minister Maulana Abdul Wasey and Balochistan Finance Minister Asim Kurd boycotted the meeting which was held at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat on Thursday. The meeting, however, was attended by Federal Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Governor Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Barrister Masood Kausar, Governor Gilgit-Baltistan Pir Syed Karam Ali Shah and Chief Secretary Balochistan Ahmed Bakhsh Lehri.
Raisani had boycotted the NEC meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on grounds that the federal government had not issued Balochistan’s ‘100 percent’ portion in the Federal Development Program for two years.
He also said that with respect to electricity, notifications for the restoration of subsidies to farmers had not been issued either.
Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif was also not present at the NEC meeting and was instead represented by Senator Ishaq Dar.
Gilani, addressing the meeting said that the global economic crisis and floods greatly hindered progress, adding that vital projects for energy and construction of the infrastructure had been initiated.
The meeting emphasised on the completion of ongoing priority projects during 2012-13 and assured that foreign assistance would not be underestimated.
It also stated that inflation during 2012-13 will be further brought down to 9.5%.
During the meeting, the size of the GDP (mp) was estimated at Rs20.7 trillion. The NEC was further informed that the total investment as a percentage of GDP will be at 12.5% during the current fiscal year, slightly lower than the revised estimates of 13% during the last year, mainly due to reduction in the national savings from 13.1% to 10.8% at the corresponding period of last year.
On the external front, exports and imports were estimated at around $25 billion and $40 billion, respectively with current the account balance of -1.7%.
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