ISLAMABAD

Pakistan’s trade deficit has widened by over 34 percent during July 2015 over corresponding month of previous year as country’s imports surpassed the exports.

The country’s trade imbalance, gap between imports and exports, has recorded at $1.77 billion during July 2015 as compare to $1.32 billion of the same period of last year. The fresh data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed that country’s imports have enhanced as against exports.

The country’s imports have enhanced by 4.04 percent to $3.37 billion during July 2015 from $3.24 billion of July 2014. However, exports have recorded negative growth of 16.9 percent, as country exported commodities worth of $1.6 billion during first month of the ongoing fiscal year as compare to $1.92 billion of the same month of last year 2014. Exports are declining from last several months mainly due to the prevailing power shortage, devaluation of rupee and a slowdown in the economies of China, the European Union and United States. The government failed to achieve exports target of $27 billion during previous financial year 2014-15 as country exported goods worth of $24.2 billion.

The Ministry of Commerce is working on Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2015-18 anticipating enhancing the country’s exports. “The government will devise the new policy to increase the exports of engineering sector, rice, leather and surgical instruments”, said an official of the Ministry of Commerce wishing not to be named.

The government in Annual Plan 2015-16 had projected exports to grow by 5.5 percent to $25.5 billion from $24.2 billion estimated for 2014-15. Imports during 2015-16 are projected to increase 6 percent to $43.3 billion from $40.8 billion estimated for 2014-15. Hence, the trade account is projected to be in deficit by $17.7 billion in 2015-16 from $16.6 billion estimated for 2014-15.

According to the PBS figures, the exports have recorded at $1.60 billion during July 2015 as against $1.92 billion of the preceding month of June showing decline of 20.73 percent. Similarly, imports have also gone down by 23.28 percent, as country imported goods worth of $3.37 billion in July 2015 as against $1.32 billion of June 2014. Therefore, trade deficit has recorded $1.77 billion during first month of the current fiscal year as against $2.38 billion of the same month of previous year.