Government struggles to cut trade deficit

Commerce Ministry’s team recently gave a detailed presentation to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on revision of Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2015-18 and further incentives for all sectors including textile. The Commerce Ministry has undertaken an extensive exercise to impose or enhance Regulatory Duty (RD) on import of non-essential/luxury items aimed at reducing trade deficit which has reached an alarming level. Commerce Ministry is opposing surcharge on electricity and GIDC on gas so that industry is provided cheap electricity. The establishment of Exim Bank is pending since long whereas TDAP’s performance is appalling and suggested that TDAP offices should be shifted to Islamabad.