ISLAMABAD: Trade deficit fell by more than nine per cent in the first four months (July-October) of the current fiscal year compared with the same period of the previous fiscal year. The deficit fell to $5.883 billion in July-October 2013 from $6.484bn during the same period of last year, reflecting a decline of 9.27pc.

The decline is because of a slight increase in export proceeds while imports witnessed a paltry decline of less than 2pc, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics issued on Wednesday.

The trade deficit was $20.432bn in FY13 compared with $21.288bn in FY12, a decline of 4.02pc.The most disturbing aspect of the trade figure will be the drop of 7.49pc in export proceeds in October 2013 as it fell to $1.864bn from $2.015bn over the corresponding month of last year. This decline will be a major challenge because rupee witnessed massive depreciation.

In July-October, export proceeds witnessed an increase of 5.11pc to $8.576bn as against $8.159bn over the corresponding months of last year.

Imports have been declining steadily since October 2012, while exports rebounded because of a slight improvement in demand in European markets because of the preferential market access on more than 70 products, mostly related to textile.

The rupee’s free fall also facilitated exports in the previous months.

In terms of rupee, export proceeds grew 15.16pc in July-October 2013 compared with the same months of last year.

Contrary to this, imports witnessed a decline of 1.26pc to $14.459bn in July-October period 2013 as against $14.643bn over the corresponding period of last year.

On monthly basis, imports dropped by 13.43pc to $3.281bn in October 2013 as against $3.790bn over the corresponding month of last year.

The government has constituted a committee to propose measures for exploring avenues for increasing exports from the country. The committee was tasked to prepare an action plan within a period of one month.

No report has been made so far despite a lapse of two months.

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