It is saddening to note that the Ministry of Finance has told the National Assembly that the exports of Pakistan have decreased due to current fiscal year. The written response submitted to the lower house of parliament stated that the exports during the fiscal year 2018-19 reduced to $22.98 billion as against $23.20 billion in FY 2017-18. Similarly, the imports also slumped by 24.7% to 45.80 billion in FY 2018-19 as compared with $60.86 billion in FY18, it showed.
During the question hour in the NA, Aliya Hamza Malik, Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce, Industries and Production stated that with the decrease in imports, Pakistan’s trade deficit has also declined considerably in the first half of the current fiscal year. An advantage in this situation is that Pakistan has benefitted by obtaining the GSP Plus status as trade with EU has improved.
She further commented that the collection from auction of the PM House vehicles totaled to Rupees 217.5million and the country’s current account deficit which was $8.6 billion in the last fiscal year had reduced to $2.2 billion. Similarly, the sales tax on sugar has been increased to 17 per cent for the current fiscal year from the previous 8 per cent. The government has also withdrawn 16 per cent federal excise duty levied on imported edible oil and ghee. Also the Ministry of Commerce has not signed any agreement with India related to the export of salt.