Govt misses export target by a wide margin

Updated July 14, 2019


Exports failed to pick despite massive devaluation of the rupee.
Exports failed to pick despite massive devaluation of the rupee.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan missed export target set for the outgoing fiscal year by a wide margin of $5.03 billion, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics reported on Saturday.

Exports dropped one per cent during the fiscal year ended June to $22.97bn from corresponding period falling massively short of the $28bn-target set by the government.

The bleak trade numbers come despite government extending tax incentives to the export-oriented sectors to help increase earnings.

The Commerce Division said the slowdown in economic growth in the EU along with spill over from US-China trade tensions led to the decline in exports.

On a month-on-month basis, export proceeds during June dipped by 8.77pc to $1.71bn, from $1.88bn in same month last year.

On the other hand, the government was successful in meeting its imports target during the fiscal year under review.

Imports fell by 9.86pc to $54.79bn from $60.79bn during the same period last year whereas on a month-on-month basis, import bill dipped by 22.8pc to $4.36bn as against $5.65bn over the corresponding month last year.

The reduction in imports of furnace oil, machinery and electric equipment, palm oil and textiles imports helped contract overall imports.

Consequently, the country’s trade deficit during the period under review fell by 15.33pc to $31.82bn compared to $37.58bn during the same period last year.

The decline in deficit comes on the back of significant fall in the country’s imports as the exports have shown no improvement from the previous fiscal year despite massive devaluation of the rupee and a range of ­subsidies and incentives offered by the government to the export-oriented sectors.

The government has taken several measures including the imposition of regulatory duties on almost 1,900 tariff lines mostly luxury items and restricting imports of used cars in order to reverse the rising import bill to narrow the trade deficit which had risen to over $38bn during the last fiscal year.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2019