Pakistan’s trade deficit has reached $30 Billion. This is the highest it has ever been and it is set to rise given the rising import bill and stagnating exports. Year on year the deficit has gone up 42.1% according to the Bureau of Statists. Since the PMLN government came to power our net exports have gone down $4 Billion.
The 11 month import bill was 260% higher than exports of the country. It will be the fourth consecutive year that the PMLN government will miss its annual export target. Though Pakistan enjoy duty free status for exports to the EU, the exports were only 6% of the GDP.
Exporters are facing many problems but government doesn’t seems too serious about their situation. Textile is our biggest export yet Pakistan Textile Exporters’ Association Chairman Ajmal Farooq, in a statement, denounced the government for failing to address the structural problems faced by the exporters of the country.
There is little or no effective support for industrial progress, reducing the cost of production and enhancing the competitive edge of Pakistan’s goods in the international markets in the 2017-2018 budget.
PM announces packages wherever he goes and this is true in case of exporters. PM announced an “Export-led Growth Package.” Under this package the government were to spend Rs 10 Billion per month facilitating exporters but five months have gone by and only Rs 2 Billion has been released and Zero Rupees have been allocated to this program in the FY 17/18 budget.
Tax rebates, another major headache, sanctioned for exporters have been delayed for the last couple of years with several exporters facing issues of cash flow and working capital management. Exporters have appealed numerous times to the FBR to sort this out but nothing has changed.
In order to enhance Pakistan’s competitive edge in the international market, the textile industry has demanded numerous times subsidised energy supply to export units at competitive rates but no progress has been made on this front as well.