Major discrepancies have reportedly emerged in the trade statistics of Pakistan and Iran, primarily related to the export of rice from Pakistan.
Sources told ProPakistani that Iranian Customs has shared with Pakistan’s commerce ministry that it imported rice worth approximately $700 million from March 2022 to March 2023 from the Zahedan border. However, the data maintained by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) does not depict the same.
Sources said that the commerce ministry, showing great concern, communicated to the FBR chairman to look into this variation in trade data provided by Customs authorities of both countries and take appropriate corrective measures for proper record of exports and subsequent receipt of export proceeds.
Sources said that Pakistan exported rice worth $2.4 billion to different countries in the fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23). Pakistan and Iran cannot officially engage in trade due to US sanctions but sources said that there is no bar on bilateral trade related to food items and medicines.
Recently, the Pakistan Business Council had written to the finance minister, revealing that Pakistani traders reported imports from China, Singapore, Germany, and the United Kingdom at nearly $19 billion in the calendar year 2022. However, the four trading partners reported exports of $26.3 billion to Pakistan in the same year, indicating a disparity of $7.5 billion.