President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said remittances and exports are increased with the beginning of the new fiscal year which is a healthy sign.
However, the trend of excessive imports continues which is to damage all the hard earned gains which call for more measures to restrict unnecessary imports, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that imports should be curtailed otherwise it would be difficult for the government to manage things as the external financing requirements for the current fiscal would not be less than 20 billion dollars.
He said that last year the remittances went down by three percent to 19.3 billion dollars while the fall was recorded at 11.2 percent in the last month of the last fiscal. However, it jumped by 16.1 percent to 1.54 billion dollars in July which is encouraging.
Exports in the month of July increased by 10.6 percent but imports worth 4.8 billion dollars laid waste to all the gains.
The trade deficit in the month of July went up by 55.5 percent to 3.2 billion dollars as compared to the last year’s month of July which indicates that the trend will persist, he added.
He noted that the last year’s trade deficit remained 32.5 billion dollars which is enough to shake the foundations of the economy.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that last year current account deficit was recorded at 12.1 billion dollars which is to swell to 14 billion dollars in the current fiscal.
The business leaders said that government has set the target of exports at 23.1 billion dollars, the target of current account deficit to 8.9 billion dollars while the import target has been fixed at 48.8 billion dollars while achievement of these targets seems unlikely in the current environment.