Prudent strategy for chemical industry sought
Pakistan has been importing chemicals worth $14 billion, which is 18 percent of total imports and the second biggest after fuel imports.
A prudent policy for the chemical industry could help substitute imports through domestic production and save foreign exchange, suggested speakers at a panel discussion at Pakistan’s first chemical expo on Wednesday.
The panel representing industrialists from the chemical and other relevant fields included Zafar Mehmood, Jahangir Piracha, Taimur Dawood, Mian M Adrees, Arshaduddin Ahmed, National Tariff Commission Chairperson Robina Ather and others.
Textile exports surge to $19.3 bn in fy2022
Pakistan’s textile sector witnessed robust exports that reached $19.3 billion in financial year 2021-22, showing 26 percent surge over previous year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). In June alone, the exports were up 3 percent year-on-year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Exports grew owing to increased volumetric growth of 16 percent YoY in the value-added segment, steep rise in global demand and record high cotton prices, said Topline Research textile analyst Saad Ziker. In terms of value, they reached Rs3.4 trillion, up 40 percent YoY. However, a slowdown is expected in textile demand amid burgeoning inflationary pressures in the exporting destinations, especially in the US and European countries, which may aggravate the situation for Pakistan by increasing the trade imbalance, he predicted.
Exports to Italy touch record $1.1bn
Export receipts and remittances from Italy crossed $2 billion in the highest-ever annual growth in financial year 2021-22, revealed Pakistan
’s Ambassador to Italy Jauhar Saleem. Talking to source, the ambassador said Italy “has become the seventh billion-dollar export market” for Pakistan with record high export volume of $1.146 billion, while remittances from the European nation were also on their way towards a billion dollars with total inflows of $857 million during FY22. “Pakistan’s earnings from Italy in the form of exports and remittances crossed $2 billion in financial year 2021-22. Similarly, a substantial growth in FDI (foreign direct investment) from Italy was also witnessed during the year,”he said. June 2022 set a record in exports to Italy, which crossed $144 million in a month, he said.
ECC okays urea, wheat import
Pakistan on Wednesday decided to import $221.5 million, or Rs50 billion, worth of wheat and fertiliser to meet its food security needs, as it faced a hard choice either to protect the shrinking foreign exchange reserves or ensure food supplies.
The decision was taken by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail-led Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, which also agreed to raise electricity prices for K-Electric consumers by Rs1.55 per unit for three months. The ECC approved import of 300,000 tons of wheat at $404.86 per ton, according to the Ministry of Finance. It added that wheat would be imported on a cost and freight (C&F) basis through the Letter of Credit (LC). It will cost the national exchequer $121.5 million, or Rs27.4 billion at Wednesday
’s exchange rate. The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) invited bids on both cash and deferred payment basis due to the depleting foreign exchange reserves. But bidders gave bids of $420 to $493.5 per ton on deferred payment, which was not feasible. At the price of $404.86 per ton, the per-kg price will come to Rs89, which is better than the previous rates the country paid for import of 500,000 tons of wheat.
Rupee extends decline, depreciates 1.3pc
Pakistani currency remained highly volatile for the third consecutive working day, as it slumped 1.30 percent (or Rs2.93) to a new all-time low at Rs224.92 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Wednesday. The default-like situation is worsening due to an elevated demand for dollar. On the other hand, its supply has continued to shrink as inflows on account of export earnings and workers’ remittances have slowed down in recent weeks and months. Consequently, the country’s foreign exchange reserves have depleted to critically low levels at $9.72 billion, covering less than six weeks of import.
Leather exports raise 10pc
Pakistan’s exports of leather-made products jumped 10.43 percent during financial year 2021-22 as compared to the previous year. During the period July-June 2021-22, leather goods worth $621,081 were exported as compared to shipments worth $562,248 last year. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the exports of leather garments were up 10.15 percent worth $315,200 as compared to exports of $286,153 during last year. Meanwhile, exports of leather gloves increased 10.60 percent to $287,227 as compared to exports of $259,710 in the previous year. During the period under review, exports of other leather goods increased 12.61 percent and reached $18,654 as compared to exports valuing at $16,565 last year.
Shariah rules in banking discussed
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail on Tuesday held a meeting with renowned Islamic scholars and exchanged views on implementation of Shariah-compliant banking system and elimination of Riba from Pakistan.
Meeting participants reviewed the current state of Islamic finance operations in the country, the Supreme Court’s order and the Federal Shariat Court’s decision on the Shariah petition, a statement issued by the finance ministry read.
They discussed and sought guidance in certain financial areas requiring more clarity for the implementation of Shariah principles in the financial system.
Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani and other religious scholars threw light on different aspects of the Islamic financial system and gave suggestions on designing a framework for the handling of public debt through Shariah-compliant financing/debt structure.