The government has approved a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target of an estimated 3.5 percent for the 2023-24 financial year (FY24), according to the Annual Development Plan for the new financial year.

The plan, which was released by the Planning Commission, outlines the growth targets for various sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, industry, and services.

The government has fixed a target of 3.5 percent for the agriculture sector, which contributes about 18 percent to the GDP. Within this sector, the government expects a 3 percent growth in important crops, such as wheat, rice, sugarcane, and cotton, and a 7.2 percent growth in cotton ginning. The government has also set a growth target of 3.6 percent for livestock, 3 percent for forestry, and another 3 percent for fishing.

The industrial sector, which accounts for about 20 percent of the GDP, has been given a growth target of 3.4 percent for FY24. In this sector, the government expects mining & quarrying to jump by 1.2 percent, overall manufacturing to grow by 4.3 percent, electricity generation & gas distribution by 2.2 percent, and construction by 1.5 percent.

The services sector, which is the largest contributor to the GDP with about 62 percent share, has been given a growth target of 3.6 percent for FY24. Within this sector, the government expects wholesale & retail trade to grow by 2.8 percent; transport, storage & communication by 3.5 percent; accommodation & food services activities by 4.1 percent; information & communication by 5 percent; financial and insurance activities by 3.7 percent; and real estate activities by 3.6 percent.

The government has also approved a growth target of 3 percent for education, another 3 percent for human health and social work activities, 3.2 percent for public administration and social security, and 5 percent for other private services.

The Annual Development Plan states that the growth targets are based on the assumptions of normal weather conditions, stable security situation, improved energy supply, continued structural reforms, and supportive macroeconomic policies.

The plan also highlights the challenges faced by the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on various sectors. The plan states that the government has taken various measures to mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic and support the economic recovery.

The plan also outlines the key development priorities and strategies for FY24, such as enhancing productivity and competitiveness, promoting export-led growth, ensuring inclusive and sustainable development, strengthening human capital development, improving governance and institutional capacity, and fostering regional cooperation and integration.