Government decides to ban the import of luxury items to solve economic problems

ISLAMABAD: The federal government decided on Wednesday to impose a comprehensive ban on the import of unnecessary and luxury items amid the continued depreciation of the rupee and a troubling economic crisis in order to address the country’s troubling economic difficulties .

The decision was taken during a high-level meeting held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during which the country’s economic situation was reviewed.

The prime minister said precious foreign currency would not be spent on importing unnecessary and luxury items. He said a ban must be imposed on the import of non-essential items that are not used by the common man.

The sources said the Prime Minister has banned the import of luxury vehicles and other non-essential items, including cosmetics, for which instructions have also been issued. They added that the decision had been taken by the Prime Minister due to the worsening trade deficit and after holding a consultative meeting with his coalition partners, it was decided that the government would take tough decisions to stabilize the economy. The decision would be important to control the flight of the dollar.

According to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) sources, a proposal to increase duties on the following items has been submitted: statutory duties on machinery will be increased by 10% and household appliances by 50%; regulations on power-generating machinery will increase by 30%; regulatory obligation on steel products to be increased by 10%; duties on cars over 1,000cc are to be increased by 100% and 30% ACD; 40% increase in regulatory duties on ceramics

The government plans to double the regulatory duty on the importation of mobile phones. The new duties will vary between Rs6,000 and Rs44,000 on the import of a single device, sources said.

Five tax bands are described for the fee structure. The mobile set of Rs3,000 on a valuation of $30-100 the right is offered at Rs6,ooo, the mobile set of Rs7,500 on a valuation of $101-200 the right is offered at Rs15,ooo, on the mobile set of Rs11,000 on a valuation of $201-350, the right is offered at Rs22ooo; on the mobile set of Rs15,000 on a valuation of $351 to $500, the right is offered at Rs30,000; and on the moving set of Rs22,000 on a valuation over $500, the duty is offered at Rs44,000.

The business community had also urged the government to immediately curb the import of luxury goods as the country heads towards economic chaos.

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