• Nominal GDP grows to $383bn from $3bn in 1950
• Per capita income to $1,798 from $86
ISLAMABAD: The structure of economy has drastically changed since Pakistan’s inception in 1947 with industry and then services sectors dominated 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 the 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 $383bn in 2022, while GDP growth was recorded at 5.97pc in 2022 compared to 1.8pc in 1950. Per capita income jumped from $86 in 1950 to $1,798 in 2022.
The tax revenues rose from Rs0.31bn to Rs6,126.1bn from 1950-2022, while agriculture accounted for 59.9pc of the total GDP in 1949-50.
In the agriculture sector, the production of wheat increased from 3.35 million tonnes in 1958 to 29.4m tonnes in 2022, rice from 0.69m tonnes to 9.32m tonnes, maize from 0.36m tonnes to 10.64m tonnes, sugarcane from 5.53m tonnes to 88.65m tonnes, cotton from 1.16m bales to 8.33m bales and water availability from 63.9 million acre-feet to 131 MAF.
On the external side, remittances sent by Pakistanis working abroad jumped from $0.14bn in FY73 to $31.2bn in FY22, exports from $162m in FY50 to $31.8bn in FY22, and imports from $276m in FY50 to $80.2bn in FY22.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said the dearth of resources to meet the 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 settlement of the 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 30 million population in 1947 could not feed its population and had to import most of its food requirements from abroad, adding that local agriculture production has risen significantly today.
Mr Ismail said Pakistan constructed both large and small dams like Tarbela and Mangla, which increased the water storage and availability to 131 MAF in 2022 from 63.9 MAF in 1965-66, adding that it helped in achieving sustain 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 years journey of Pakistan was a story of economic, political, social and regional events that has shaped the country that we live 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 50 leading economies of the world with GDP amounting $383bn, adding that it also established its vibrant banking system that supported economic development over the years.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2022