ISLAMABAD-The GDP growth rate is likely to go down to 2 percent during the current fiscal year as the government assumes that the flood damage and reconstruction efforts may cost $ 30 billion. 

According to preliminary estimate, the GDP growth rate may remain 2 percent during FY2022-23, which is less than the initial assessment of 2.3 percent, Secretary Ministry for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Syed Zafar Ali Shah said while talking to a selected group of journalists here on Thursday.

He said that as per preliminary assessment, the damage caused by the floods and its reconstruction efforts may cost $30 billion. 

The incumbent government had set GDP growth target of 5pc for the FY 2022-23, however after the recent floods initially it was believed that growth rate would remain 2.3pc. However, now the assumption is that it is likely to go further down to 2pc.

Syed Zafar Ali Shah said that all the assumptions are based on the initial estimates and the exact scope of damages caused by the floods and the estimated cost of reconstruction will be available after the field assessment.

The govt is collecting data of damage assessment for preliminary report and the verification process will be completed till September 30, while the preliminary report will be submitted by October 15, the Secretary informed. The teams of government officials and technical experts from 10 international development partners including World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations (UN) and others are jointly working for preparation of preliminary report for damage assessment of flood in the country, he added. He said that 100 experts from development partners including WB, ADB, UN, EU, Turkey etc are working in 12 to 17 sectors for preparation of preliminary estimates on damage and reconstruction. He said that the govt of Pakistan will lead the relief efforts while the experts will provide technical expertise to assess the damages and reconstruction cost. After the final assessment the government will raise funds for the reconstruction locally and internationally.  

Regarding railway damage assessment, Syed Zafar Ali Shah said that initially it has been estimated that $ 2.3 billion will be required for reconstruction of railway tracks, bridges and others associated infrastructure damaged by floods. He said that total 113 districts across Pakistan have been affected by floods but 83 districts of them are calamity hit and it required 100 percent reconstruction/rehabilitation work. He said that there is estimate of $3 billion for reconstruction of houses only. However, he said that the provinces are continuously working on damage assessment. He said that Sindh government will start work on reassessment in those areas when the water would recede. He said that most of the railway tracks in Sindh have been dipped in water. He said that flood badly affected the crops of cotton, rise and others in Sindh. He said that there is estimated loss of 3 million cotton bales. However, now it seems that the situation is not that bad and the loss may come down to 2.7 million bales, the secretary said and added that it is a bit earlier to give the exact estimates of the losses to cotton crop. He said that cultivation of wheat crop would also get affected in future in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

The secretary planning further informed that they are updating the National Flood Protection Plan 2017 and a Dutch consultant in partnership with NESPAK will do the job. He said that so far the government has redirected $ 303 million of donor funding towards flood relief efforts. This amount include $300 million funds from World Bank and $3 million of Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He said that so far international community have pledged $160 million but the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts will require far higher amount of funds. Secretary Planning said that the government is currently providing Rs 70b through BISP to the flood affected communities.