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May 19, 2022 (MLN): To ease pressure on foreign exchange reserves and stabilize the exchange rate, the government on Thursday decided to ban the import of non-essential luxury items.

At a press conference, Information and Broadcasting Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb informed that a blanket ban had been imposed on the import of non-essential luxury items to alleviate the current economic difficulties in the framework of the “Global Economic Plan”.

“A comprehensive economic plan had been formulated under which a fiscal management policy would be introduced to pull the country out of the current economic crisis. The plan would help reduce the country’s dependence on external debt,” she added.

The minister further said that it was decided for the first time that the import of non-essential luxury items would be completely banned.

It included food products, decorative items, imported vehicles, mobile phones, household appliances, fruits, dried fruits, tableware, shoes, window and door items, lighting equipment, sauces, frozen meat, fish and carpets, tissue paper, make-up items. , furniture and confectionery brands, shampoos, jams, jellies, sunglasses, ice creams, chocolates, musical instruments and cigarettes.

Adding to this, she noted that there has been an emergency situation in the country and people will have to make sacrifices.

The economic initiatives of the current government would have a rapid impact on foreign exchange reserves for the next two months and there would be an annual impact of approximately $6 billion.

The government’s top priority is to minimize import dependency, while an export-oriented economic policy would be introduced to boost local industry, which would ultimately improve job opportunities. in the country.

Overall, these measures in the plan would not only have a direct impact on the current account deficit, but would also help stabilize the rupee against the dollar.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is very optimistic about the outcome of the aforementioned luxury goods import ban decision. Expressing his views on his official Twitter account, he said, “My decision to ban the import of luxury items will save the country valuable foreign currency.”

“We are going to practice austerity and the financially stronger people must lead this effort so that the less privileged among us do not have to bear this burden placed on them by the PTI government,” he added.

At present, the import bill for the month of April stood at $66.78 billion while in 10MFY22 the bill soared to $655.37 billion, up 46% from compared to the same period last year.

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