KARACHI: Pakistan Customs saw duty collection fell 7.4% to Rs453 billion during the last fiscal year of 2019-20, as regulatory and administrative measures helped cut imports during the year.
Three collectorates, namely Customs Collectorate Appraisement East, West and Port Qasim collected Rs489.3 billion in the preceding fiscal year.
Sources said falling duty collection might be attributed to the slowdown in economic activities early in the fiscal year and the adverse impact of the lockdown during the last four months of the fiscal year.
Since the start of 2019-20, the government made efforts to reduce import bills by imposing restriction on non-essential and luxury items. This also helped the government to curtail the current account deficit for the year. Rupee also lost value against the US dollar to make imports expensive.
Total import bill of the country fell 18.6% to $44.57 billion during the last fiscal year. That was compared with $54.76 billion in the preceding fiscal year.
The trade deficit also significantly shrank 27% to $23.18 billion. That was compared with the deficit of $31.8 billion in the preceding fiscal year.
Furthermore, the three-month lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak adversely hurt the trade and Pakistan’s import bill was also reduced significantly during the last four months of the fiscal year. The lockdown brought economic activities to halt. The partial easing of lockdown is expected to lead to recovery.
Current account deficit of the country was reduced by 74% during the first 11 months of 2019-20. The current account deficit fell to $3.2 billion during July-May from $12.4 billion in the corresponding period of the preceding fiscal year.
The breakup of duty collection by the Collectorates revealed that only Port Qasim posted 7.88 per cent growth during the fiscal year. The collection of MCC Port Qasim increased to Rs197 billion during 2019-20 from Rs182.6 billion in the preceding fiscal year.
The collection of Appraisement East witnessed an 11% decline to Rs157 billion during the year under review. It was compared with Rs176.58 billion in the preceding fiscal year.
The collection of Appraisement West posted a 24% decline to Rs99 billion, compared to Rs130 billion in the preceding fiscal year.
The duty collection of the three collectorates fell 5.54% to Rs45 billion in June. That was compared with Rs47.64 billion in the same month of the last fiscal year.