Govt lifts ‘Import ban’ on Luxury items
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Thursday announced scrapping the import ban, three months after the restriction was imposed as the country’s economy sees a positive trend after IMF’s assurance of $1.7 billion bailout package.
The government has announced to lift the ban on imports of luxury and non-essential goods and to impose 300 to 400 percent duty on imported goods in compliance with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said in a press conference in Islamabad that we had banned the import of non-essential goods and now it has been more than two months, the IMF also wanted to remove this ban. But we have delayed it because Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif does not want us to allow luxury items to come into Pakistan, which is absolutely correct.
Finance minister Miftah Ismail said: “We will impose such heavy duties that these [Luxury] items cannot be imported easily or at least in their finished form,” further adding that, “I don’t have enough dollars, so I will prioritise cotton, edible oil, and wheat. I do not prioritise iPhones or cars.”
Finance minister Miftah Ismail announced that the heavy duties of 300-400 percent will be imposed on completely built-up (CBU) commodities i.e. cars, mobile phones, and electronic appliances and apart from them, the imported fish, meat, purse, and other such non-luxury items.
“Even then, if a person wants to import a car that is originally worth Rs60 million [but after the regulatory duties] it will cost them Rs300-400 million, they can import it.” Miftah said.
He said that our aim is not to make way for import of luxury items but to comply with IMF and international agreements.
Miftah said that the tax on cigarettes and tobacco will be double, which is an additional Rs36 billion.
Miftah said that after much back-and-forth, the IMF has finally announced that its board meeting will take place on August 29 — for considering Pakistan’s request for the release of the $1.17 billion tranche.