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Govt to lift ban on import of luxury and non-essential goods, says Miftah Ismail

The government has announced to lift the ban on the import of luxury and non-essential goods from October 1.

On Thursday, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said during a press conference that the government’s decision would be straightforward if it had a finite amount of dollars and its top priority was to provide people with the basics of life.

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Miftah said that the government would impose heavy regulatory duties (RDs) on these goods, so they would not be imported as “finished goods”.

He also stated, “We will attempt to impose three times the current RDs, the highest number of RDs allowed.”

He further said that the government’s returns on investments (ROIs) in some industries would range from 400 to 600 percent because the country lacked even the foreign exchange to buy luxury vehicles.

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“With my limited resources, I will prioritize flour, wheat, cotton, and edible oil instead of purchasing iPhones and cars. The government will remove the bans but impose heavy duties in the form of RDs, customs duties, and sales tax so the import does not go up.”

The finance minister, while responding to a question, said that levies on imported beef and salmon, completely built unit (CBU) cars and appliances, and other luxuries would increase.

He explained that the government’s goal was to limit imports while adhering to the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international accords, not to promote the import of such goods.

Miftah stated that the Pakistani delegation would meet with IMF representatives on August 29 to discuss the delivery of funds under the IMF Extended Fund Facility

He expressed gratitude to China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar for aiding Pakistan during its economic crisis.



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