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Trade deficit widens to Rs 289.62 billion

Trade deficit ballooned to Rs 289.62 billion in the first half of current fiscal year 2013-14.
The country imported goods worth Rs 334.83 billion, whereas exported only Rs 45.21 billion, according to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC) figures.
Though, the overall trade volume stood at Rs 380.04 billion – that is an increment of 14.2 per cent compared to the same period a year ago – the exports increased by 17 per cent and imports grew 13.8 per cent, the TEPC data revealed.
Due to the government’s failure in boosting exports, it could neither arrest the ballooning trade deficit not boost internal production and exports.
The country imported gold worth Rs 12.51 billion in first six months, whereas as usual the highest import bill stood of petroleum products at Rs 61.62 billion.
Iron and steels (Rs 29.5 billion) stood followed the petroleum products, whereas automobile and spare parts (Rs 20.28 billion) stood third largest imports.
Likewise, the exports of lentils, ginger and silver jewellery dropped as lentils export slumped from Rs 2.01 billion to Rs 964.72 million, the data revealed, adding that the woollen garment exports has, however, increased by a whopping 40.3 per cent to Rs 3.63 billion, whereas readymade garment exports swelled by 50.4 per cent to Rs 2.72 billion.
India as always is the largest trading partner of Nepal both in terms of exports and imports as the country exported goods worth Rs 29.51 billion to India and imported Rs 221.89 billion.
Apart from India, US, Germany, China, UK and Bangladesh are the major export destinations of Nepali products.
The TEPC data also revealed dismal situation of exports under Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) as the country exported NTIS products worth Rs 14.20 billion against Rs 14.68 billion in the six months of last fiscal year.