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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday asked the government to discourage almost all imports due to the rise in the half year trade deficit to $14.5 billion.
President PEW Dr Murtaza Mughal said that the rate of increase in the trade deficit had reached an alarming 17.6 per cent. This meant that that the annual trade deficit would have easily gone above the target of $20.5 billion.
He added that the deficit for whole year may hit the mark of 25 billion dollars due to falling exports and increased imports.
The president further said that in the month of December exports fell by three per cent while imports grew by 17.6 per cent causing concerns. Overall exports fell by 3.82 percent in the first half while imports climbed by 10.2 per cent to $24.4 billion.
He pointed out that the deficit could be controlled by discouraging all imports except those for industrial purposes and for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.