ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s exports tumbled by 14 per cent in five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year amid delay in the Strategic Trade Policy Framework which could devise strategy to enhance country’s exports.

Country’s exports came down to $8.5 billion in July-November of the year 2015-2016 from $9.9 billion of the same period of previous year, showed the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Thursday. Pakistan’s exports are continuously declining from last several months. The Ministry of Commerce attributed the decline in exports to adverse terms of trade triggered by massive reduction in commodity prices and weak global demand.

On the other hand, the government has yet to formulate the STPF, which was supposed to be implemented from July this year, as the previous policy expired on June 30. The Ministry of Commerce had claimed that they are awaiting the approval of the prime minister before its submission to the cabinet for formal approval.

The private sector has pinned high hopes on the government to announce a policy to boost exports that had stagnated at $24 billion over the past three years. The experts believed that government could not enhance exports until resolving the issues of the exporters. The government should resolve exporters issues including tax refunds, high cost of energy, and tariff rationalization and private sector access to credit, besides providing power supply to the industries, said an economic expert while talking to The Nation.

The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce on Thursday also showed concerns over the delay in the trade policy . Committee chairman Senator Shibli Faraz said that proposed policy is not based on facts. He summoned the Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan in its meeting for discussion on the proposed trade policy . “The government should take steps to boost the exports, which are continuously declining,” he added. In the proposed trade policy , the government has proposed to enhance the exports to $30 billion during ongoing financial year 2015-16, $35 billion in next fiscal year 2016-17 and $40 billion by the end of year 2017-18. The overall volume of the exports in STPF 2015-18 is estimated at $105 billion.

Meanwhile, imports decreased by 9 percent to $18.5 billion in July-November 2015-2016 from $20.3 billion of the same period last year. Pakistan’s trade deficit, gap between exports and imports, narrowed to $9.9 billion during five months of the current financial year from $10.4 billion of the corresponding period of previous year with reduction of 4.15 percent.

According to the PBS data, exports decreased by 3.9 per cent in the month of November 2015, as country exported goods worth $1.66 billion as against $1.72 billion of October 2015. Similarly, the imports went down by 0.23 per cent to $3.91 billion in November 2015 from $3.92 billion of October 2015.

Therefore, trade imbalance was registered at $2.26 billion in November 2015 as against $2.2 billion of the October, showing an increase of 2.64 percent.