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Pakistan Govt Bans Import Of Over Three-dozen Luxury Items Amid Crumbling Economy

In the latest development, Pakistan's government on Thursday announced to ban the import of more than three-dozen luxury items. Read further.


Image: AP

In the latest development, Pakistan's government on Thursday announced to ban the import of more than three-dozen luxury items. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif claimed that the decision to ban the import of luxury items will "save the country precious foreign exchange." "We will practice austerity & financially stronger people must lead in this effort so that the less privileged among us do not have to bear this burden inflicted on them by the PTI govt," he further added. 

According to reports, he also allowed imports of various products, such as completely knocked down (CKD) cars and mobile phone kits, to be limited to half of the previous month's imports. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb declared that the government has banned the import of at least 38 non-essential luxury products under an "emergency economic strategy." She also assured the people of the country that the "Prime Minister is working day and night in an attempt to stabilise the economy," the Dawn reported. 

The decision comes amid country's falling rupee against dollar

The latest move comes as the dollar has risen dramatically against the rupee in recent weeks as the country's import bill has soared, its current account deficit has grown, and its foreign exchange reserves have depleted. The dollar surpassed all records on Thursday, surging to Rs 200 in the interbank market. Aurangzeb stated that in the wake of this it was agreed to prohibit the import of all non-essential luxury commodities. The banned items include automobiles, mobile phones, home appliances, private weapons and ammunition, headphones and loudspeakers, preserved fruits, luxury mattresses and sleeping bags, aerated water and several other items. 

The latest ban would cost around $6 billion: Pak's Information Minister

The Information Minister further claimed the situation was "critical," and that Pakistanis would have to make sacrifices as part of the economic plan, estimating that the ban would cost around $6 billion. She stated that import orders, for which a letter of credit has already been opened or for which payment has already been done, would be processed, but that no new orders would be considered. "We will have to reduce our dependency on imports. The government is now focusing on exports. Under the government's economic plan, local industries would prosper while employment opportunities would also arise," Aurangzeb noted, as per the Dawn. 

Image: AP

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