‘Pak achieves 8.4pc growth’

Associated Press

Islamabad, June 5:

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said yesterday that Pakistan achieved robust economic growth of 8.4 per cent in the fiscal year 2004-5, and expressed hope that the economy will continue to expand rapidly. Aziz made his comments while launching the Economic Survey, a government document which is released by the finance ministry before the presentation of the new budget

to highlight the government’s achievements or shortcomings in the previous year. Pakistan’s budget for 2005-6 is due to be presented on Monday. Yesterday, Aziz said the government had forecast a growth rate at 6.4 per cent for the 2004-05 fiscal year, but that was surpassed

largely because of strong agriculture production. “Pakistan is now among the top eight countries in terms of high economic growth,” he told reporters in Islamabad.

Pakistan has seen a swift economic turnaround after the September 11 attacks in the United States when it threw its support behind Washington in the war on terror, and in return America and many other countries gave it financial assistance or rescheduled and wrote off its outstanding loans. Aziz was made the country’s finance minister by president Gen Pervez Musharraf in 1999 after seizing power in a bloodless coup. Musharraf at the time assigned Aziz the task of reviving a near-bankrupt economy.