Depressing decline in exports
Wbeen HILST the target of enhancing exports to $35b in two years has
set in the new trade policy, it is both depressing and worrisome that the current export patterns are running in the reverse — a situation that demands urgent steps from quarters concerned to put things in the right order. According to the statistics released by All Pakistan Business Forum, there has been a reduction of $2b in the value of country’s exports over the past two and a half years.
As far as we remember the country’s exports had touched $25b mark in 2013 but since then these have been stagnant or witnessed decline. No doubt one of the reasons is falling prices of commodities in the international market that is also often referred to by government functionaries, yet we feel that present political environment is not at all conducive to keep economy and exports on the right track. Take for instance energy shortages as well as new taxes that the authorities imposed haphazardly without realising its effects on the economy. During winter, round the clock power supply was ensured to the industries but with the advent of summer season, the industry is again facing power outages which impacts production and ultimately lead to reduction in exports. Along with this, our markets are flooded with range of foreign consumer items, which has greatly hurt production of local industry. Regrettably, the focus of our political leadership and media is not economy but Panama papers, long marches, sit-ins and so on and so forth. We therefore would urge government and other stakeholders to evolve an export oriented national narrative in order to ensure sustainable development. While appreciating All Pakistan Business Forum for highlighting major economic issues, we urge it to keep a watch on the declining exports and suggest remedial measures to government functionaries to arrest this trend at the earliest.
MOST tales one comes across often are fishy. Some, to be sure, are more fishy than others, but fishy nevertheless. One was looking through the archives of the past few years when one came across a fishy tale of immense proportions revealed by the New York Times and emanating from China of all places. One craves the indulgence of the gentle reader to go over some of the details.
The tale, then, goes something like this. It appears that for years on end marine scientists had been raising the alarm that far too much fish was being caught from the world’s oceans and calling for drastic measures to curb “wide-spread over-fishing”. The reported global yield of marine fisheries continued to rise during the decade of 1990s, mainly due to the statistics provided by China. There appeared to be a catch in this. According to the New York Times, evidence surfacing in the 2000s revealed that there had been “substantial over-reporting” during the 1990s, that too mainly by China.
What happened was that, under the system of matching result with plan, the same set of bureaucrats was responsible for not only counting the catch