The Federal Government has decided to lift the Import Ban on Luxury Items in line with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) condition. This was stated by the Federal Minister of Finance and Revenue at Thursday’s press conference. The ban was imposed three months ago, on May 18, 2022. Miftah said the ban on the import of luxury items is necessary to save and use the country’s scarce forex to import essential items, including edible oil. He added that the IMF wanted Pakistan to lift the ban after two months. According to the minister, the federal government will discourage the importation of luxury items by imposing heavy taxes on them.
Increase the customs duty:
Miftah said the government would increase duty on luxury goods by at least three times and impose high regulatory duties (RD) of almost 400 to 600 percent on these items. It would help meet WTO and IMF conditions. Additionally, he said, “There are several inputs used in various exportable products that could now be imported. In order to ensure that the industry operates and no such’ completely built unit’ is imported, a larger amount of duty is substituted for the ban.”
Meetings with SBP and FBR:
Mifttah Ismail said, “We are meeting with SBP and FBR to resolve the (customs) issues by tomorrow. A detailed exercise is underway in various departments and ministries, he explained. All hurdles will be removed for exporters, especially for importing machinery and other spare parts for export purposes.”
IMF meeting will on August 29:
The Minister of Finance said that the long-awaited meeting of the IMF Board is scheduled for August 29. Moreover, he added that the fund would consider and hopefully approve the $1.17 billion tranche requested by Pakistan. Miftah said that all the terms and conditions of the fund had been fulfilled by Pakistan, one of which was to increase Pakistan’s foreign reserves by $4 billion. This condition was met with the help of friendly countries, i.e., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, which lent Pakistan the required funds. Moreover, the minister further said that China has helped by retying its loans, while Saudi Arabia has assured Pakistan of rolling back future loans.
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