Published On: Thu, May 11th, 2017

The decline is gradual and stead

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Editorial

Why is the prime minister so surprised about the sorry situation in exports? And why – if the press can be trusted – has he held the poor commerce minister responsible? Crowd out private investment (excess government borrowing from the credit market), jack up input prices (LNG price, for example), keep the rupee inflated and boast about it, and what do you expect? Maybe now that the textile lobby – the biggest of the export earners – has complained to the national assembly standing committee on finance, someone might tell the prime minister that the fault lies more with his man running the finance ministry, not Khurram Dastgir.

The economy’s so broken that the government has been borrowing, just to run the government, for years – the classic crowding out effect. There is no provision in the commerce ministry to affect liquidity made available or denied to private investment. Input costs have run through the roof because someone in government, not long ago, rubbished all concern and went ahead with a dubious LNG deal. And Dar sb likes the strong rupee so much that he once got the Saudis to park a billion dollars in our central bank just so he could win a bet against Sh Rashid.

And now exports are tanking just when imports are higher than usual – only partly due to CPEC – and remittances are under pressure. Perhaps Nawaz Sharif will hold the commerce minister responsible if PML-N can’t quite sell the economy in the next election.

Meanwhile, the country’s exports further declined by 3.21 per cent to $11.685 billion inĀ  current year, while imports touched all time high at $29.113 billion or 13.65 per cent during the period.

According to the data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) here, the country’s export stood at $11.685 billion in last seven months of the current fiscal year compared to $12.073 billion down by $2.55 billion, while imports of the country touched $29.113 billion compared to $25.617 billion in the same period last year.

The trade deficit further swelled up to $17.428 billion in July-Jan 2016-17 up 28.68 per cent compared to $13.544 billion in the same period last year. It surged by 75.17 per cent in January 2017 on MOM basis, while 28.68 per cent up on YOY basis.

On Year on Year basis, the goods exports are stood at $1.780 billion in January 2016 up by 3.07 per cent compared to $1.727 billion in December 2016, meanwhile on Month on Month basis, the goods exports up by 0.59 per cent compared to the exports of $1.767 billion in January 2016, the data said.

The analyst said all economic indicators of the country have been improved in last seven months except the exports and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) while we were looking 2017 ‘the best year of the country’.

 

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