ISLAMABAD - The government’s decision of depreciating currency failed to boost the country’s exports which went down by 1.54 percent in April 2019.

Pakistani currency had depreciated by around 35 percent since November 2017 but it failed to enhance the country’s exports. The government had also provided cash assistance to major sectors, mainly textile and clothing for increasing the overall exports. Similarly, the government had also announced to reduce the gas and electricity prices for the exports oriented sectors. However, Pakistan’s exports reduced by 1.54 percent to $2.09 billion in April this year, which is alarming sign for the economy.

The incumbent government earlier had believed that exports would start increasing following the depreciation in currency. Former finance minister Asad Umar and Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile Abdul Razzak Dawood had claimed that impact of the devaluation in terms of increasing exports would be visible in March 2019. However, exports had decreased by 11.13 percent in March and 1.54 percent in April this year.

According to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the country’s exports had come down by 0.12 percent to $19.17 billion in ten months (July to April) of the ongoing fiscal year over the same period last year. Similarly, the imports had also decreased by 7.88 percent to $45.47 billion in July-April period of the year 2018-19 as compared to $49.36 billion in the same period of previous year. The government had controlled the pace of soaring imports during ongoing fiscal year. The imports have decreased by imposing Regulatory Duties (RD) on the imports of furnace oil and other luxury items of food and automobile.

Exports went down by 1.54pc in April

The reduction in exports and imports had narrowed the trade deficit of the country. The trade deficit had reduced by 12.82 percent to $26.3 billion in ten months of the current financial year from $30.17 billion in the same months of last year. The reduction in trade deficit would help in controlling current account deficit of the country, which had touched historic $18 billion last year. The reduction in trade deficit is easing the pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves. The reserves are under pressure due to massive repayment on previous loans and interest payment. The country’s reserves held by the central bank are around $9 billion, which is enough to cover only one and half month’s imports bill of the country. The country’s foreign exchange reserves would remain under pressure during remaining months (May and June) of the ongoing fiscal year due to repayment on previous loan and interest payment.

According to the fresh PBS data, Pakistan’s exports had recorded a negative growth by 1.54 percent and down to $2.09 billion in the month of April 2019 from $2.13 billion of April 2018. Similarly, the imports had recorded decline of 6.42 percent to and reached $4.75 billion in April 2019 from $5.08 billion in the same period of the last year. The trade deficit was recorded at $2.66 billion in April 2019 as against $2.95 billion of April 2018, showing a reduction of 9.93 percent in last one year.