ISLAMABAD

The federal government is likely to constitute a commission to examine the economic losses which occurred due to the devastating floods in Punjab that would clear whether the government needs to revise its economic targets for the ongoing fiscal year or not.

Sources informed that government is likely either to constitute a commission or to ask a financial institution to carry out a survey of the economic losses occurred due to the current destructive floods in Punjab province. The findings of the commission would help the government in taking decision to revise the economic targets set for the current financial year 2014-2015 or not.

Sources further informed that government could not decide now to revise its targets without any study. “It’s too early to say whether the government will revise the economic targets after the devastating floods in Punjab”, said Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood while talking to The Nation.

Meanwhile, an official of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research said that ongoing floods have destroyed the crops in Punjab province that could reduce growth of agriculture sector during ongoing fiscal year. The recent floods have destroyed the sugarcane and cotton crops. The country’s overall growth would decline if agriculture sector did not perform well. The government had set GDP growth target for 2014-15 at 5.1%, with contributions from agriculture (3.3 per cent), industry (6.8per cent) and services (5.2 per cent).

“The government was not in position to achieve the agriculture sector growth target during fiscal year even before the floods and rains. However, the ongoing floods have further deteriorated the situation”, said Agri Forum Pakistan Chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal. He added that government has not taken any serious step to boost the agriculture sector of the country.

“The recent floods and rains have destroyed the rice and cotton crops, which are our main exportable items”, he informed and added that government would not achieve the agriculture sector target of 3.3 percent by the end of the ongoing fiscal year.

It is worth mentioning here that the floods have partially damaged 1242 houses while completely sweeping away 191 houses. 1053 villages have been affected by the rains and floods while standing crops on 325,000 acres have also been damaged. The floods have affected a population of about 436,000. Over 18200 people have been evacuated. 2000 people are living in relief camps, while over 450 health centers have been established for the flood affectees.