Hopes international commodity prices will come down
Staff Reporter Islamabad
Advisor to Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin moved to pacify the public, saying that the country’s economy is moving in the right direction and the widening trade gap would narrow in the coming months, a statement that comes after Pakistan reported a historic high import bill in November.
Speaking to the media on Friday alongside Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Tarin said the public needs to be patient, adding that there is hope that international commodity prices will come down, which would reduce the import bill.
“Economic indicators are moving in the right direction,” said Tarin.
Talking about fundamentals, the advisor said that the tax revenue has increased by 36% year-on-year, a development, he said points to a growing economy.
“The revenue is growing, electricity consumption has increased, and agricultural output has also improved,” he said.
“What we need to see is that all the economic indicators are moving in the right direction. This is a temporary phenomenon (spike in global prices), which is prevalent across the globe including India, US, and UK. We too, will get out of it.”
Referring to the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) sell-off the previous day, the advisor said that the media gives “more coverage to negative developments”. “We need to be a little patient, commodity prices in the international market will decline soon.”
Tarin asks provinces to ensure availability of flour in market Meanwhile, talking about inflation that hit a 21-month high at 11.5% in November, Tarin called it ‘imported inflation’.
Tarin said that the positive development is that Pakistan’s exports are increasing, and “hopefully, our remittances and exports together would shrink our trade gap”.
Speaking on the hike in commodity prices, the advisor said that the government is seeing a return of stability in coal and oil prices.
Dawood, the advisor on commerce, said Pakistan’s high import bill was mainly on account of energy and raw-materials.