ISLAMABAD - The cash-starved government spent $17.67 billion on oil and food imports during eleven months (July to May of 2012-13) of the outgoing financial year 2012-2013. The spending is 4.5 per cent lower if compared with spending of $18.522 billion of the corresponding period last year.

The break-up of $17.67 billion revealed that country has imported food commodities worth of $3.93 billion and oil worth of $13.74 billion in July-May period of the outgoing fiscal year 2012-2013. In oil import bill, the country has spent $8.72 billion on petroleum products and $5.02 billion on import of petroleum crude during the first eleven months of the ongoing financial year 2012-2013.

Petroleum import has occupied more than double of the country’s total imports of $41.01 billion during July to May.

The PBS figures revealed that country imported foodstuff worth of $3.93 billion during July-May period of the year 2012-13. The break-up of $3.93 billion revealed that import bill of milk products went down by 18.19 per cent, dry fruits and nuts import down by 8.74 percent, import of tea increased by 6.59 per cent, import of spices decreased by 34.52 per cent, soybean oil’s imports enhanced by 75.39 per cent, palm oil import declined by 13.90 per cent, sugar import decreased by 67.32 per cent, import of pulses went down by 19.95 per cent and import of all other food items decreased by 19.62 per cent during the period under review.

Meanwhile, according to PBS figures, the country imported machinery worth of $5.19 billion, transport group imports stood at $1.97 billion, textile group $2.424 billion, agricultural and other chemicals $5.759 billion, metal group $3.024 billion, miscellaneous group imports were recorded at $761 million and all other items imports remained $4.211 billion during July-May period of 2012-13 against July-May period of 2011-12.

It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan imports stood at $41.01 billion in July-May period of outgoing financial year as compared to the exports worth $22.32 billion, leaving trade deficit at $18.69 billion in first eleven months of the current financial year.