The trade deficit of Pakistan narrowed by 5 percent to $17.7 billion during first half of the fiscal year due to the measures of regulatory duties on imports and various steps were taken to boost the exports.
Ministry of Statistics released the data said that the trade deficit stood at US$ 17.7 Billion in July- December 2017 which is 5% lessened as comparing to corresponding period of last fiscal year.
The overall imports from July-December 2018 have contracted by over 2% from US$ 28.7 Billion in July–December 2017 to US$ 28 Billion in July – December 2018.
This trend is even more pronounced in respect of imports under Regulatory Duty regime, where the import value has declined from US$ 5.2 Billion in July–December 2017 to US$ 4.4 Billion in July – December 2018, showing a contraction of 16% (effective on 1994 tariff lines), said spokesman of Finance Ministry while commenting on the trade data.
The trade balance in December 2018 compared to December 2017 shrunk by 19% from US$ 2.9 Billion to US$ 2.3 Billion.
In December 2018, the imports in US $ term declined to US$ 4.3 billion compared to US$ 4.9 billion in December 2017 which reflects an import compression of over 12%, MoS data scored.
“Data indicates that the import compression measures taken in the supplementary Finance Act, 2018 have firmly taken hold and are now effectively curtailing imports as per policy regime of the government. The data on import of containerized cargo also has shrunk by (9%), said the spokesman.
There is a growth in exports of 5.5% in December 2018 compared to December 2017.
In the first six months from July-December 2018 exports have shown a growth of over 2% compared to the same period last year, according to the data.
While taking credit of this development, the spokesman said that the government’s policy measures have resulted in shrinking of trade deficit, decline in imports and increase in exports which augurs well for overall balance of payment of the country.