ISLAMABAD

Pakistan’s exports had tumbled by around 14 percent during first quarter (July-September) of the ongoing financial year 2015-16.

The country had exported goods worth of $5.2 billion during July-September 2015-16 as against $6 billion of the corresponding period last year depicting decline of 13.93 percent, according to the latest data of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics released on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the country’s imports had also gone down by 14.39 percent to $10.7 billion in the first quarter of current fiscal year from $12.5 billion of the same months of the previous financial year. Therefore, Pakistan’s trade deficit, gap between exports and imports, had shrunk by 14.8 percent to $5.5 billion in July-September period of the year 2015-16 from $6.5 billion of the corresponding period of the last year.

The PML-N government had failed to enhance the country’s exports in last two and half years, as the country’s exports have been stagnant at $24-25 billion for the last few years. “Exports have been declining due to lower global commodity prices, weakening external demand, ongoing power shortages, security and business climate challenges, and real exchange rate appreciation (by around 10 percent in FY 2014/15)”, according to the recent IMF report about Pakistan.

On the other hand, the government has yet to announce an incentive package to boost the country’s exports as claimed by the Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan last month. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in September held a meeting with the heads of chambers of commerce and industries and exporters to take their recommendations for unveiling exports promotion package. However, the government has neither announced any incentive package nor introduced Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2015-18, which led the exporters to go on strike.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has announced that it will observe a ‘black day’ today (Wednesday) by shutting down factories across Pakistan. Aptma said they cannot move forward in the current circumstances because the rising cost of production is unbearable and stressed the government for early announcement of the incentive package.

According to the PBS data, Pakistan’s exports had decreased by 5.6 percent in the month of September 2015, as country exported goods worth of $1.7 billion as against $1.8 billion of August 2015. Similarly, imports had reduced by 8.8 percent to $3.5 billion in September 2015 from $3.8 billion of August 2015. Therefore, Pakistan’s trade imbalance had registered at $1.8 billion in September 2015 as against $2 billion of the August showing decline of 11.82 percent.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics suggested that exports went down by 20.37 percent in September 2015 as against exports of the same month of the previous year. Exports were recorded at $1.7 billion in September 2015 as compared to $2.2 billion of September 2014. However, the imports recorded massive decrease of 23.27 percent, as imports were registered at $3.5 billion in September 2015 against $4.5 billion of September 2014. Therefore, the trade imbalance was recorded at $1.75 billion in September 2015 as compared to $2.4 billion of September 2013, showing a decrease of 25.94 percent.