The present government has been claiming to squeeze the trade deficit but things are now alarming as according to the data, issued by the Ministry of Commerce, the merchandise trade deficit of Pakistan was $3.058 billion during the month of July as compared to $1.686 billion in the same month last year.
During the fiscal year 2017-18, the trade deficit was $37.7 billion but the government’s appropriate measures brought it down to $31.8 billion in the fiscal year 2018-19 and then $23.183 billion in 2019-20. Now the gap between the level of imports and exports is widening as, during the outgoing fiscal year, the trade deficit was recorded at $30.796 billion.
The imports were worth $5.40 billion in the month of July as compared to $3.687 billion during the same month, last year showing an increase of 46.6%. During the whole outgoing fiscal year, the imports were worth $56.091 billion as compared to $44.574 billion in the previous year, showing an increase of 25.8%.
On a month-on-month basis, the import bill was enhanced by 10.69%. Petroleum, soya beam, machinery, raw material and chemical, mobile phones, fertilizers, tires and antibiotics, and vaccines are mainly responsible for the enhancement of the import bill.
The increase in export on a year-on-year basis was $2.347 billion in last month as compared to $2.001 billion during the month of July last year, showing a growth of 17.3 %. The exports were worth $25.294 billion during the outgoing fiscal year as compared to $21.394 billion in the previous year, showing an increase of 18.2 %.
However, the Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce, Abdul Razzak Dawood has said that the government’s export target for the current fiscal year is $. 38.7 billion.