The figures from PBS indicates that import bill of Food, Oil, and Machinery increased by more than 17 percent during the first quarter of the financial year 2017-18 (July-September). The overall imports bill of the country also increased due to this increment.
Collectively, the import bill of these 3 major groups accounted for &7.57 billion during the first quarter of FY2018, up by 17 percent as compared to the previous period which accounted for $6.45 billion.
The overall imports are also on the rise and touched $14.26 billion, the major role of Food, Oil and Machinery imports was evident in the overall increase, the previous year’s imports for the corresponding period was $11.67 billion.
A major problem of Pakistan’s economy is the imbalance of trade, the imports are increasing and the exports are continuously falling, this keeps widen the trade deficit which is not good for the economy. The trade deficit has reached $9.01 billion during the first quarter of FY2018 as compared to the corresponding period which was $7 billion in FY2017. There is a 29.75 percent increase in the trade deficit.
However, the government of Pakistan has introduced regulatory duties on imported Goods, including restrictions on 581 food items through the statutory regulatory order (SRO), this would reflect in imports reduction during the current fiscal year.
Government plans to control the increasing import bill, and soaring imports, the regulatory duties should play an important role in controlling the imports bill, these restrictions must reflect during the second quarter of the current financial year 2018.
Not only on Food, Oil, and Machinery, the country has also spent $3.17 billion on imports of petroleum group products which is 34.45 percent higher than the previous year.
The government seriously needs to shrink the inflating bubble of trade deficit, Pakistan is the country blessed by natural resources, the manufacturing and industrial capacity in Pakistan is decreasing continuously. The country must focus on industrialization and manufacturing rather than indulging in trade and imports.