The National Economic Council (NEC) on Wednesday approved the annual targets for the upcoming fiscal year 2022-23, including the economic growth target set at 5 percent, along with efforts to raise it to 6 percent. The NEC, presided over by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, also approved various sectors’ growth targets for the new fiscal year, including agriculture 3.9%, industries 5.9% and services 5.1 %. The council also approved the Macro-Economic Framework for Annual Plan 2022-23. The proposed allocation of Rs 800 billion for the Public Sector Development Plan (PSDP) for the next fiscal was also approved by the council. It unanimously decided that 60% of the development budget would be spent on the ongoing projects, while the remaining 40% would be spent on the new development schemes. The NEC, which was presented with a review of development budget 2021-22, was told that only Rs 550 billion out of the total allocated amount of Rs 900 billion in the PSDP 2021-22 could be spent during the outgoing fiscal year due to less economic and development activities caused by the coronavirus pandemic The prime minister said since the forum of NEC reflected national unity, its basic objective was to boost national harmony for strengthening the federation through coordinated efforts. He said the NEC should keep in view the inequality and it was the joint responsibility of the center and provinces to play their role for balanced regional development. The prime minister said owing to the past imprudent policy measures, the country was facing such a situation where the internal and external challenges had put the economic stability in danger. He said the present government inherited an economy faced with unstable fiscal situation as well as the severe challenges of external sector, inflation, unemployment, poverty and instability. The prime minister said his government was fully cognizant of the internal unusual economic instability and the external challenges. The government not only put the economy on right track. but besides reformation of energy sector, took reforms measures to correct imbalance in the internal and external sectors.