The country’s trade deficit widened to $25.5 billion during July-December 2021 according to the data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The higher deficit is attributed to an increase in imports.
The current fiscal year experienced a sharp rise in imports, subsequently increasing the trade deficit. Compared to the trade deficit last fiscal year, the current deficit is $13.2 billion higher. In the first half of the fiscal year, the imports increased to $40.6 billion.
To tackle the import-induced pressure on the economy, the State Bank of Pakistan introduced a cash margin requirement (CMR). However, the reform made no real impact.
Despite multiple meetings conducted by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on controlling imports, desired results are yet to be achieved. The exports have increased to $15.1bn. The annual target for exports is $26.3bn. The Ministry of Commerce has predicted that by the full fiscal year the exports would grow to $31 billion.