ISLAMABAD - The deteriorating energy shortage badly affected the country’s exports in the first month (July) of the ongoing financial year 2014-2015.

The country exported goods worth $1.93 billion in the July 2014 as against $2.1 billion of July 2013, showing a decline of 7.88 percent in one year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).  The PBS data showed that country imports had also witnessed massive decline of 11.80 percent in the period under review, as imports stood at $3.364 billion in July 2014 compared to $3.814 billion of the July 2013. Therefore, the country trade deficit had also registered decline of 16.58 percent in one year.

Pakistan’s trade imbalance, gap between exports and imports, was recorded at $1.434 billion in July 2014, which was $1.719 billion in July 2013.

The PML-N government had ambitious target to double the exports to $50 billion. Therefore, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan constituted a committee comprising senior officers of Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to prepare recommendations for doubling the country’s exports to $50 billion.  The Committee, headed by Secretary Commerce, would meet fortnightly and will present its recommendations to the minister for further action.However, independent economists and exporters believed that government could not increase the exports volume until it did not address the energy crisis . A Faisalabad based exporter informed The Nation that country could get maximum benefit from the GSP status granted by European Union if government provides uninterrupted power supply to the industries. Similarly, he added that country could not double its exports without addressing power supply.

Meanwhile, according to the PBS figures, exports went down by 4.79 percent in July 2014 as against exports of its preceding month of June.  Exports were recorded at $1.93 billion in July 2014 compared to $2.027 billion of June 2014. Similarly, the imports have also recorded massive decrease of 22.45 percent, as they (imports) were registered at $3.364 billion in July 2014 against $4.338 billion of June 2014.

Therefore, the trade imbalance was recorded at $1.434 billion in July 2014 compared to $1.311 billion of June 2014, showing an increase of 37.95 percent.

According to the PBS data, exports registered an increase of 2.75 per cent, as country exported goods worth $25.132 billion last financial year 2013-2014 as against $24.46 billion of a year ago. Meanwhile, the imports recorded a minor growth of 0.36 percent, as they stood at $45.113 billion during the period under review as against $44.95 billion of a year ago.