ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed by the Ministry of Finance on Friday that the exports of the country had decreased during the current fiscal year.
The written reply submitted to the lower house of parliament reveals that exports during the fiscal year 2018-19 declined to $22.98 billion as against $23.20 billion in FY 2017-18. Similarly, the imports also slumped by 24.7% to $45.80 billion in FY 2018-19 as compared with $60.86 billion in FY18, it added.
Replying to a question during the question hour in the National Assembly, Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce, Industries and Production Aliya Hamza Malik said with the decrease in imports, Pakistan’s trade deficit has also declined considerably in the first half of the current fiscal year.
She said that Pakistan has benefitted by obtaining the GSP Plus status as trade with EU has improved.
“The government is continuing bilateral talks with the EU countries to promote trade while trade exhibitions are also being organised in various countries,” she said. “The GSP Plus status is in our interest for which necessary measures are being taken.”
The PM House, in its written reply to the National Assembly, revealed that collection from auction of the PM House vehicles totalled to Rs217.5 million. On the other side, the finance ministry informed that the country’s current account deficit, which was $8.6 billion in the last fiscal year, had reduced to $2.2 billion.
The finance ministry disclosed that sales tax on sugar has been increased to 17% for the current fiscal year from the previous 8%. The tax impact on sugar price is Rs3 per kilo, while sugar manufacturers are paying taxes as per the price of Rs60 per kilo.
The government has withdrawn the 16% federal excise duty levied on imported edible oil and ghee. To a question regarding suspension of trade with India, she said since unilateral action of India in occupied Kashmir on August 5, 2019, Pakistan has suspended imports from India.
She said products regulated by Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan are excluded from the operations of suspension of trade.
The parliamentary secretary categorically clarified that the Ministry of Commerce had not signed any agreement with India with respect to export of salt.
She said Pakistan has gained immediate market access on 313 items of its prime export interest after China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said the government is not victimising any political worker or party, adding that everyone is allowed to protest and hold sit-ins. The house will now meet again on Monday at 4pm.