ISLAMABAD: The government needs to draw a broad-based policy to focus on increasing exports rather than curtailing imports, a report released by the Planning Ministry stated, adding that four-fifth of the imports are essential commodities and could not be avoided.
According to the report titled “First Quarterly Economic Review for FY22”, the structure of imports had been changed marginally during the current government’s tenure in a bid to pursue the policy of increasing exports rather than curtailing imports.
However, the report added that the post-pandemic pickup in economic activity has once again fueled import demand and an imperative to preempt any Balance of payments (BoP) crisis in near-term.
As per details, the share of food imports had increased from 9.7 per cent in FY18 to 13.5pc in FY21, while the share of other consumer goods increased from 6.3pc to 8.7pc during the period under review.
The share of intermediate primary goods in imports remained the same while that of intermediate manufacturing goods increased from 13.3pc in FY18 to 14pc in FY21.
The share of petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) and other energy in the country’s total imports, however, went down from 23.4pc in FY18 to 18.1pc in FY21, while that of capital goods also went down from 8.8pc to 6.3pc.
Further, while the share of machinery in the country’s imports also went down from 5pc to 4pc during the period under review, the share of textile imports rose to 10.4pc in FY21 as compared to 8.3pc in FY18, the report added.
The report stated that Pakistan’s economy had a strong correlation between an increase in economic activity and surge in imports.