ISLAMABAD: Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla has lambasted the government’s trade policy which destroyed the country’s exports resulting in record trade deficit of $24.99 billion in the outgoing fiscal year.
“This is the highest trade deficit in 35 years and at a time when the government is making claims of economic growth,” he said in a statement on Monday, adding, “This (deficit) exists because of the absence of a comprehensive plan to open direct channels between exporters and trade bodies in the rest of the world.
He said that the government has failed to capture the abundant neighbouring markets of Afghanistan, Iran and India.
Latest figures show alarming news for the economy, bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan is receding drastically while trade with Iran hasn’t made significant progress either, he added.
He maintained that during the last three years the PML-N led government has continuously missed export targets; and is now on the brink of disaster, “All this is happening because of the absence of a stable trade policy, and not implementing the three year policy announced by the government.”
Mr Mandviwalla said it is worrisome that despite the diminishing trend in exports, the government is targeting an impossible $35bn in export revenue for the next two years.
The chairman said that the government of Pakistan is misleading the nation by comparing Pakistan’s exports with the exports of countries that are experiencing an economic slowdown, to justify their failures.
He said that the PML-N should focus on countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Africa, Brazil and Australia.
“The situation demands urgent measures to be undertaken by the groups concerned to put things in order,” he added.
Courtesy : Dawn News