ISLAMABAD: The government has projected that exports of merchandise would witness a paltry growth of five per cent in the fiscal year 2013-14.
The exports proceeds are projected at $26.592 billion for the current fiscal year as against the estimated export proceeds of $25.298bn for the outgoing fiscal year 2012-13, according to the Planning Commission of Pakistan.
This low export projection has come at a time when the previous government announced in February an export target of $27bn for 2012-13.
Actual export proceeds for 2012-13 would slightly cross $24bn when official figures would be released in the next couple of days.
This clearly reflects poor projection by the Ministry of Commerce while devising its three-year strategic trade policy framework.
At the same time, the ministry announced that export target for 2013-14 would be $31bn. This is again an ambitious and wishful target as the Planning Commission has projected an export target of $26.592bn for the current fiscal year.
In February 2013, the government approved a three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2013-15 which envisaged various steps, including cash subsidies to boost exports from the country.
It seems that the ministry’s projections of increasing exports remain only on paper as exports have remained static at $23bn in the last couple of years.
The ministry was largely run by secretaries as the previous government appointed Amin Fahim as the commerce minister, who did not visit the ministry frequently to monitor export proceeds or other issues related to export sectors.
The ruling PML-N has so far not appointed any minister or advisor to head this important ministry.
As per estimates of the Planning Commission, textile and clothing exports would reach $13.167bn in 2013-14 as against $12.540bn in the outgoing fiscal year, reflecting an increase of five per cent.
The export proceeds of readymade garments are projected at $1.919 billion, knitwear $2.10 billion, bedwear $1.854 billion, towels $839.1 million for the year 2013-14.
Export of cotton yarn and cotton cloth was projected at $2.375bn and $2.869bn, respectively. Export of raw was projected at $154.5m for the current fiscal year.
The export of non-textile products was projected at $13.425bn for 2013-14 as against $12.758 billion in 2012-13, reflecting an increase of 5.22 per cent.
The increase in non-textile products was largely driven by increase in export of food items, followed by cement, jewellary, etc.
Among food items, exports of meat, fish products, and rice is projected to grow in the current fiscal year.