After three months, the federal government has finally lifted the ban on the import of non-essential and luxury items. The Finance Minister, Miftah Ismail, announced that the federal government has lifted the ban on the import of luxury items to meet a demand set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Ban on Import of Luxury Items Lifted but Heavily Taxed
Miftah Ismael said that after placing an import ban on luxury items, it became easier for the government to import necessary commodities, which were essential for the masses. Miftah said that it is a requirement of IMF that a ban is not imposed, we are removing it on all items. But at the same time, the government would be imposing heavy regulatory duties (RDs) on these items.
The Finance minister said that in some sectors the RDs would be between 400-600 percent because the country did not have foreign exchange to spend on luxury items. He added; “With my limited resources, I will prioritize flour, wheat, cotton, and edible oil instead of iPhones and cars. We will remove the bans but impose prohibitive duties in the form of RDs, customs duties, and sales tax so their import does not rise.”
No Restriction on Industrialists
Responding to a question, the finance minister said that there would be no restrictions on industrialists importing machinery for manufacturing products for exports, or on spare parts in small quantities. But, there would still be restrictions on the machinery imported to manufacture products for the local market. He concluded the presser on a note saying; “The truth is that even though we had the ban for the last three months, you could still find salmon and sushi in restaurants in Karachi and Islamabad. We will regularise that and impose duties.”