World Bank does not verify growth – The Express Tribune

Ghost schools in Sindh
Taxes on seeds to disincentivise farmers
Home
Latest
Pakistan
Business
Sci-Tech
Mobile
World
Opinion
Life & Style
Sports
Blogs
Archive
Other
Only provides technical assistance on reviewing methodology for rebasing economy
Contrary to the claims made by Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet ministers, the World Bank has not verified the 5.6% provisional economic growth rate for Pakistan for the previous fiscal year.
Pakistani authorities are misstating the facts by repeatedly claiming that the World Bank has endorsed the provisional gross domestic product (GDP) growth number of 5.37% on the basis of old methodology and 5.6% on the basis of new methodology.
PM Khan in his televised address on Tuesday said that the World Bank had verified the 5.6% GDP growth number for fiscal year 2021-22.
“The World Bank does not directly comment on any member government’s published statistics, nor has the prerogative to verify them,” said a spokeswoman for the World Bank while responding to a question whether it has validated Pakistan’s revised GDP growth figures or not.
Questions had been sent to the World Bank after a similar claim was made by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry last month.
The spokeswoman stated that “the World Bank indeed provided technical assistance on reviewing the methodology for the important rebasing exercise.”
The same position has been communicated by Planning Minister Asad Umar to the prime minister and his cabinet colleagues.
Umar said that the Washington-based lender endorsed the methodology applied to rebase the economy from the year 2005-06 to 2015-16. The government approved the rebasing of economy in January this year.
However, instead of telling the truth to the people, the government has started making claims that the 5.6% GDP growth figure has actually been verified by the World Bank.
Even the governing council of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has not yet formally endorsed the rebasing of economy.
The World Bank spokeswoman said that as part of regular biannual publications, the lender would update Pakistan’s growth estimates using the newly available data for FY21 and beyond.
The new World Bank report is expected to be released in late April.
For the last few years, the World Bank has not been endorsing the GDP growth figures approved by the government of Pakistan and is publishing its own separate numbers.
The working paper of the National Accounts Committee that approved the rebasing of economy also mentioned the fact that the World Bank only reviewed the methodology.
“In order to make the rebasing methodology in line with international standards, methodology of rebasing of national accounts was reviewed by World Bank experts (through remote connection) during November 9, 2021 to December 9, 2021,” said the working paper.
It added that the World Bank remarked that “overall the World Bank team is of the view that the compilation methods used in the rebasing exercise are well aligned with the 2008 SNA recommendations”.
The government incorporated some of the industry-specific suggestions of the World Bank into the new base results.
The government last month promulgated an ordinance to plug a legal lacuna that was obstructing the convening of governing council meeting and the endorsement of new base year of the economy.
On February 21, President Arif Alvi approved the General Statistics (Re-organisation) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022 to make the planning minister ex-officio chairman of the governing council, provided that the subject is not allocated to the member of the cabinet.
The prime minister may also nominate a minister as the chairman of the governing council. Planning Commission deputy chairman has been made vice chairman of the council.
Earlier, finance minister was the chairman of the governor council when the PBS was under the finance minister. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government abolished the Statistics Division and placed the PBS under the Ministry of Planning.
The rebasing exercise of the government broadened the coverage to emerging sectors. As a result, the real GDP increased by Rs3.1 trillion against the base of 2005-06.
The share of agriculture was slightly adjusted downwards, however, the proportion of services increased and the share of industry went up marginally.
The claim that the World Bank verified the GDP growth number was not the only misstatement made by the premier. He also claimed that the FBR collected Rs6 trillion in taxes.
As a matter of fact, the FBR has so far collected Rs3.8 trillion while the target for the current fiscal year is Rs6.1 trillion.
The prime minister on Wednesday congratulated the FBR for achieving around Rs442 billion tax collection target for February, ignoring reports that the FBR resorted to delaying taxpayer refunds to cross the benchmark by a narrow margin of about Rs2 billion.
The FBR paid Rs8.2 billion, or 35%, less refunds in February after the tax department saw that it was going to miss the monthly target for the third consecutive month.
According to the provisional results, the FBR paid Rs15.3 billion in tax refunds in February 2022, against Rs23.5 billion in the same month a year ago. It helped the tax machinery to show Rs443.5 billion collection in February, hardly Rs1.5 billion higher than the target.
The FBR has also not yet officially revised the target to Rs6.1 trillion, though the government has already adjusted it in line with an agreement with the IMF.
The revision in target would immediately deny FBR’s claim of exceeding the eight-month target by a margin of Rs268 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2022.
Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.
COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
Double whammy for consumers as fuel, power prices jacked up
Updated Jun 02, 2022
Country may break into three pieces if ‘right decisions’ not taken: Imran
Updated Jun 02, 2022
President-elect is a Pakistani: 'The Kashmir Files' director threatens to sue Oxford University
Updated Jun 02, 2022
IMF outlines guidelines to revive loan programme
Updated Jun 01, 2022
PTI ‘Azadi March’: SC orders ISI, IB to file report on D-Chowk violence
Updated Jun 01, 2022
IMF outlines guidelines to revive loan programme
Updated Jun 01, 2022
Double whammy for consumers as fuel, power prices jacked up
Updated Jun 02, 2022
Country may break into three pieces if ‘right decisions’ not taken: Imran
Updated Jun 02, 2022
IHC says complaint against Imaan Mazari should have been withdrawn after statement
Updated Jun 01, 2022
President-elect is a Pakistani: 'The Kashmir Files' director threatens to sue Oxford University
Updated Jun 02, 2022
Saudi women move from behind wheel to under the hood
Govt confirms peace talks with TTP, welcomes 'indefinite ceasefire'
Biden confirms 'possibility' of Saudi Arabia trip
Employee seeks permission to bring 'donkey cart' to airport amid POL price hike
ISI notified as SVA for screening of all public office holders
Tough decisions taken to avoid bankruptcy, says petroleum minister
Style Anatomy: Rida Qaiser Mirza
TEdit X KUKI Concepts
Style 101: LNIN
Double whammy for consumers as fuel, power prices jacked up
Country may break into three pieces if ‘right decisions’ not taken: Imran
President-elect is a Pakistani: 'The Kashmir Files' director threatens to sue Oxford University
IMF outlines guidelines to revive loan programme
PTI ‘Azadi March’: SC orders ISI, IB to file report on D-Chowk violence
Johnny Depp wins defamation case against Amber Heard
Politics in the post-truth world
The tale of two Pakistans
A missing element in Maryam’s discourse
Sharifs’ Doctrine
Pakistan, politics and PTI
The rise of the hated
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, redistributed or derived from. Unless otherwise stated, all content is copyrighted © 2022 The Express Tribune.

source

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *