ISLAMABAD, May 22: The per capita income in Pakistan is marginally up by 0.2 per cent to $1,256.8 in 2011-12, the slowest growth in recent past, which reflects the dismal performance of the economy.
As calculated by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday this could mean a paltry jump of $2.8 per capita for 178.91 million population in 2011-12. The per capita income in 2010-11 was reported at $1,254.
The economists define per capita income as Gross National Product at current market price in dollar terms divided by the country’s population.
Former economic adviser Dr Ashfaq Hassan Khan told Dawn that the marginal increase in per capita income indicates the poor economic situation.“This reflects the state of economy where investment is at a 16-year low and saving is the lowest in the history of this country at 5.8 of GDP,” Mr Khan said.
So with such low investment and dismally low saving rate, Dr Ashfaq said what one could expect in a country like Pakistan.
This paltry growth in per capita is unusual this year, as last years have witnessed substantial growths as per government documents.
The per capita income was $586 in 2002-03, which rose to $926 in 2006-07 and $1,085 in 2007-08 but now jumped to $1,256.8.
However, many economists have widely contested this increment in the per capital income of the people of this country.
In rupee terms, the per capita income grew by 11.9 per cent to Rs114, 370 in 2011-12 as against Rs102, 180 in 2010-11. By taking exchange rate at an average of Rs91 against a dollar the per capita income climbed to $1,256.8 per person this year. Even this marginal growth was mainly driven by the highest ever increase in remittances from the overseas Pakistanis. The trend in growth declined because of small increase in the population.
As per statistics, it was claimed that the growth in population up by 2.1 per cent in 2011-12 to 178.91 million as against 175.31 million in 2010-11. This increase in population is also claimed to have led to decline in growth in per capita income.
The government projected that the economy will grow by 3.7 per cent by end of this fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 against the target of 4.2 per cent and actual growth of 3 per cent in 2010-11.
As a result of stagnation in economic growth in the past three years, the per capita income also did not witness any substantial growth in dollar term. But the real purchasing power of the people also eroded rapidly as inflation entered into double-digit making essential goods dearer.
The per capita income in Pakistan has increased due to large inflow of home remittances from the overseas Pakistanis. This year the remittances were expected to cross the $12 billion-mark, which would be the highest in the country’s history.