Pakistan emerges as 24th largest economy in its 75-year journey
The structure of Pakistan’s economy has drastically changed since its inception in 1947 with industry and then services sectors dominating the economy, says a finance ministry report released on Saturday.
The report gives a glimpse of the country’s 75-year economic journey, with all major economic indicators seeing massive changes over the period.
At the time of independence in 1947, Pakistan inherited only 34 industrial units out of the 921 in undivided India.
The nominal GDP rose from $3 billion in 1950 to $383 billion in 2022, while GDP growth was recorded at 5.97 per cent in 2022 compared to 1.8 per cent in 1950. Per capita income jumped from $86 in 1950 to $1,798 in 2022.
Tax revenues rose from 31 million rupees to 6,126.1 billion rupees from 1950-2022, while agriculture accounted for 59.9 per cent of the total GDP in 1949-50.
In the agriculture sector, the production of wheat increased from 3.35 million tonnes in 1958 to 29.4 million tonnes in 2022, rice from 0.69 million tonnes to 9.32 million tonnes, maize from 0.36 million tonnes to 10.64 million tonnes, sugarcane from 5.53 million tonnes to 88.65 million tonnes, cotton from 1.16 million bales to 8.33 million bales and water availability from 63.9 million acre-feet to 131 million acre-feet.
On the external side, remittances sent by Pakistanis working abroad jumped from $0.14 billion in the fiscal year 1973 to $31.2 billion in fiscal 2022, exports from $162 million in fiscal 1950 to $31.8 billion in fiscal 2022, and imports from $276 million in fiscal 1950 to $80.2 billion in fiscal 2022.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said the dearth of resources to meet local needs after independence was not a secret as India refused to give due share of its wealth to Pakistan soon after its birth.
The severely disrupted country’s economic system along with the settlement of refugees were major challenges faced by the newly born country, he said but added that Pakistan’s economy quickly revitalised with the hard work and determination of its people.
He said a country with a population of 30 million in 1947 could not feed its population and had to import most of its food requirements, adding that local agriculture production has risen significantly today.
Ismail said Pakistan constructed both large and small dams like Tarbela and Mangla, which increased the water storage and availability to 131 million acre-feet in 2022 from 63.9 million acre-feet in 1965-66, adding that it helped in achieving sustainable agriculture sector growth.
He said Pakistan emerged as one of the leading exporters of textiles, pharmaceutical goods and food-related items and economic policies of the successive governments have promoted industry, agriculture and services sectors.
The perseverance of its people made Pakistan the world’s 24th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity and 44th in terms of nominal GDP, the finance minister said.
Federal Secretary Ministry of Finance Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh said the 75-year journey of Pakistan was a story of economic, political, social and regional events that have shaped the country that we live in today.
He said several boom-bust cycles, political crises and geo-strategic challenges have guided the country’s policies and programmes.
He said Pakistan was ranked among the 50 leading economies of the world with a GDP amounting to $383 billion, adding that it also established its vibrant banking system that supported economic development over the years.
Asia News Network
Asia News Network: The Nation (Thailand), The Korea Herald, The Straits Times (Singapore), China Daily, Jakarta Post, The Star and Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia), The Statesman (India), Philippine Daily Inquirer, Yomiuri Shimbun and The Japan News, Gogo Mongolia, Dawn (Pakistan), The Island (Sri Lanka), Kuensel (Bhutan), Kathmandu Post (Nepal), Daily Star (Bangladesh), Eleven Media (Myanmar), The Phnom Penh Post and Rasmei Kampuchea (Cambodia), The Borneo Bulletin (Brunei), Vietnam News, and Vientiane Times (Laos).