Falling exports, increasing imports to hit economy: Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said exports are dipping and imports are swelling, which will bring the external sector under pressure.

Exports fell by 4.5 percent during February as compared to the last year from 2.14 billion dollars to 2.044 billion dollars, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that apart from overall exports, the critical textile sector exports also fell by 3.12 percent from 1.27 billion dollars to 1.23 billion dollars, raising concerns.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that fall in exports is due to the increased cost of doing business, including energy prices, delay in repayment of refunds and swelling cost of inputs.

He informed that the value-added sector had recorded a decline due to the cost of yarn which could have been avoided by allowing the import of cotton and yarn from India, the cheapest source of raw material for Pakistan.

If the import of raw material were not allowed from India, it would further hit the textile sector; therefore, a favourable decision should be taken without delay, he warned.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the textile policy had been delayed by three years; therefore, the new policy should be announced without delay, and yarn should be provided to the value-added sector at an affordable price so that it remains competitive in the international market.

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