Islamabad [Pakistan], May 6 (ANI): Pakistan’s trade deficit widened to USD 23.8 billion, exceeding the annual target by USD 4.1 billion in 10 months of the current fiscal year.
According to Dawn, the country’s trade deficit witnessed a double-digit rise as it is widened by 21.6 per cent in the 10 months of 2020-21, posing a problem to the country’s COVID-19 battered economy.
The trade gap has been widening since December 2020. The surge in trade deficit is mainly led by exponential growth in imports with comparative slow growth in exports proceeds from the country, Dawn reported.
In April 2021, the trade deficit ballooned by 33.24 per cent to USD 2.99 bn as against USD 2.24 bn over the corresponding month of last year.
The import bill is rising mainly due to the increase in imports of petroleum, wheat, sugar, soybean, machinery, raw material and chemicals, mobiles, fertilisers, tyres and antibiotics and vaccines.
The import bill is constantly on the rise for the past few months. This comes as a blow to Pakistan’s economy which is reeling under the impact of coronavirus. The country is witnessing the second wave of the pandemic which has forced the government to impose lockdown in several cities.
“Export sector is not competitive and is still a family business that often leads to the division of assets after every two generations,” said Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin. He said that there was a need to consolidate the export sector to bring foreign direct investment to the sector.
Inflation in Pakistan too skyrocketed to over 11 per cent amid a surge in food prices amid the Ministry of Finance’s failure to give a realistic and professional assessment of the increasing prices in its monthly reports.
The Consumer Price Index jumped to 11.1 per cent in April over the same month a year ago. It was the highest rate of inflation in the past 13 months.
In February 2020, inflation had jumped to 12.4 per cent, reported The Express Tribune. (ANI)